Studying abroad is an absolutely incredible experience that truly has the potential to change your life. From improving your education to expanding your horizons and getting more familiar with all the cultural differences the world has to offer, the advantages of studying abroad are endless. However, a unique experience like this can also turn out to be a large monetary investment, often deterring students from making that important first step. Thankfully, this endeavor doesn’t necessarily have to be so expensive. Here are some simple and efficient ways you could make studying abroad more affordable:
Consider applying for a scholarship
Just like there might be a number of different scholarships available for going to university in your home country, you could also find scholarships for studying abroad all around the world. The amount you receive can significantly vary, however, from smaller scholarships only covering Visa and transport fees to larger ones that can pay for an entire year abroad, but most programs will only need proof of academic achievements, personal statements, proof of financial need, and letters of recommendation for application. In case you already receive financial aid through a university in your own country, you might be able to transfer that aid to a foreign university through a scholarship program as well.
Construct a monthly budget
While many Asian and South American countries might be quite cheap places to live, other destinations, such as Scandinavian countries, could turn out to be quite expensive. Depending on where you decide to study abroad, you might need to set a strict budget in order to live comfortably. This means assessing your income like scholarships and side jobs, looking over your regular expenses and seeing where you might be able to cut back, as well as saving any sum that’s left at the end of the month. Living such a lifestyle will allow you to spend less and save more, thus turning your studies abroad into a more fun and enjoyable experience.
Utilize helpful study materials
When studying abroad, especially in countries with higher costs of living such as Australia, your living expenses can quickly add up. And considering the fact that books and other learning material can often be quite costly as well, many students have turned to online platforms for their study needs. For instance, if you’re studying in Sydney, you could easily find helpful USYD materials online to make your university life easier. Offering thousands of notes and papers covering a wide array of faculties, such learning materials will help to provide better insight into subjects and ensure higher information retention, all without having to spend a large amount on traditional study resources.
Think about getting a part-time job
If you have enough time after your school obligations, getting a part-time job could be quite helpful to any international student. Not only will it provide you with additional income and a chance to save up, but it could also present a brilliant opportunity to expand your social and professional circles, while also getting to know the local culture and customs better. In many European countries, for example, students tend to take up jobs such as babysitting, bartending, and tutoring (especially if English is their first language) as a great way to get some necessary cash on the side, often without even needing to leave campus at all.
Familiarize yourself with the currency
When moving to a foreign country, many people find themselves still “thinking” in their native currency, often converting the currencies in their head, and making purchasing decisions based on those assumptions. While such techniques might work for some, others could find it difficult to truly understand the differences between expensive and affordable, particularly in the context of the local standard of living. To combat this issue, it might help to understand the exchange rate better, open up a bank account in the local currency and request a debit card, or even ask local students for some affordable living advice, in an effort to assimilate more quickly.
Look for special student discounts
Regardless of the destination you choose for your international studies, chances are the area will provide discounts and special deals for local students. Countries like Australia, once again, truly lead the way in this area, offering everything from phone plans with extra data and more affordable internet deals to fee-free bank accounts and inexpensive meals to anyone with a StudentCard. Most EU countries aren’t far behind, either, offering memberships, discounts, and great deals for university students when it comes to metro fees, popular electric scooter rentals, as well as more affordable meals at some of the most popular local eateries, which makes living on a budget as an international student that much simpler.
Even though studying abroad can often be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences in life, it can turn out to be quite a costly endeavor as well. However, with some forward thinking, good budgeting skills, and a willingness to make an effort, you can easily make studying abroad a more affordable and carefree experience.