Many study abroad students are on a budget – there’s no escaping that fact. If yuou’ve made the committment to study abroad for your summer, then chances are you’re fully aware of the risk and financial dedication you need to put towards your trip over the few weeks or months that you’re studying abroad.
Yet many students manage to get by traveling abroad on a very tight shoestring budget. After researching their methods and madness, we’ve assembled a list of some tips they have for maximizing the return on your study abroad investment.
- Studying abroad in the summer seems to be the most cost-effective method of study abroad. Because your program is shorter, you will not be required to pay exorbitant fees for class credits or costs. Summer study abroad programs tend to run between 4-6 weeks, leaving ample opportunity for you to continue your travels until your funds run out.
- When you study abroad, especially in the summer time when travel destinations are notorious for cranking up their merchandise prices in order to accommodate deep-pocket travelers, it is important to keep a sharp eye on your finances. Shop for items such as groceries off the beaten path where the locals tend to shop. Sometimes, getting outside of the city to purchase groceries proves to be far more profitable than even the best sales at the local grocery mart.
- Dine in. Many study abroad students are coached in the art of minimizing spending by spending an evening dining in frequently. Summer is a time when restaurants are particularly alluring to the culture-seeking study abroad student as cafes set out their chairs in sunny spots and bars open up the patio. Set a budget (ideally prior to the trip when money is a matter of optimism) and do your very best to stick to that budget throughout the trip. Sticking to the budget will help the study abroad student refrain from calling their parents and asking them to send more funding for your summer vacation…AKA summer study abroad.
- When traveling, forgo hotels and opt for hostels. Hostels are about $25 a night, and many times include a continental breakfast and entertainment. Some of the best hostels in Europe include three Ducks in Paris and Balmers in Interlaken. These hostels are famous for their knowledge of the region, helpful staff and highly outrageous nightlife.
The most important thing to keep in mind during your study abroad summer program is that your financial investment will return memories to last a lifetime. While it’s important to be cautious of spending, really, how often will you have the opportunity to repeat this experience. While we do not condone financial recklessness, we do encourage you to spend every ounce of money you budgeted. You won’t regret it!
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