As a college student already on a tight budget, spending a semester abroad might seem like a far-fetched dream. But studying abroad doesn’t have to break the bank, and it’s very possible to do so on a budget. If you’re thinking about studying abroad, the following tips can help you save:
Plan as soon as possible
It’s never soon to begin financially planning for your trip, and the sooner you start, the more money you can have saved up. Put a financial plan into action and figure out what you need to do to have enough money for your trip. This might mean getting a summer job, cutting back on going out, etc. If you wait until the last minute to begin saving, you might put a lot of unnecessary financial stress on yourself. You might end up making decisions that can hurt you financially in the long run, such as going into debt in order to pay for your trip.
Apply for financial aid and scholarships
Just like with your courses back at home, financial aid and scholarships can help to pay for courses you take overseas, too. If you’re thinking about studying abroad, ask an advisor at your school about the types of financial assistance available for the program you’re interested in. You may qualify to receive partial or complete funding for your semester abroad.
Consider the destination
The destination you visit can have a substantial impact on just how much you spend overall. It’s more than just your tuition to consider, but also daily activities, airfare, general cost of living, and so on. While you may have your sights set on larger cities, such as London and Paris, consider smaller tows in other parts of the world. Eastern Europe or South America, for example, can offer an amazing study abroad experience for a fraction of the cost.
Keep up with currency exchange rates
Once you’re overseas, familiarize yourself with currency exchange rates so that you’ll recognize a good rate when you find one. Take advantage of currency exchange rate drops and exchange money in advance, so that you can avoid money exchange later on, when the rates go back up. You can also save on currency exchange by bringing along a credit card that doesn’t impose foreign transaction fees, and you may want to opt for a bank that doesn’t charge extra fees for withdrawing cash from international ATMs.
Consider an exchange program
Look into other programs that can give you the chance to study in another country, such as an exchange program, which generally costs less than study abroad programs. Although an exchange program does differ from a traditional study abroad program, it can still give you the chance to study in another part of the world, and for less money.
Don’t forget about student discounts
Don’t forget to bring your student ID and take advantage of student discounts wherever you go—even if they are not advertised, be sure to ask about them. Taking advantage of student discounts throughout the semester can end up saving you a lot of money, and you can receive reduced rates when it comes to museums, transportation, and so on.
Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions
Are you receiving long-term structured settlement payments? You may have the option to sell some or all of your future payments and receive a lump sum of cash. With your lump sum payment, it can be easier to pay for larger expenses, such as college costs. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today to learn more about your options and to receive your free quote.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.