Your dream has finally come true – you’ve decided that you’re going to go and study abroad. You’re bound to feel a little excited about your future, but it’s important that you take the time to start planning the details and preparing yourself for your adventure overseas. As your departure date draws closer, you’ll be thinking not only about where you will be and what you’ll be studying, but also your budget too.
Budgeting may sound like you’re restricting yourself, but it will actually help you to make the most out of your time and money. We’re going to look at some simple ways you can budget your time and money in order to improve your experience whilst studying abroad. Yes, whilst studying abroad!
Your Welcome Budget
When you arrive you’re probably going to feel excitement and enthusiasm to get out there and enjoy yourself. During the first few weeks, don’t be afraid to allow yourself some extra cash to try local delicacies, go to bars and restaurants and get comfortable in your new surroundings. Chances are that you’ll be busy during this period but try to keep a daily record of how much food, drinks, and other items are costing you. As students will tell you in their study abroad reviews, save the souvenirs for later in your trip, once you find out where the best deals are.
Budgeting Week By Week
After a few weeks, you should have an understanding of the local currency, what is good value and what’s extortionate. You’ll have been to the supermarket numerous times and stocked up on daily essentials. This is the best time for you to sit down and work out your average expenditure per week. Is there anything you could cut out of your routine? Perhaps you go to a coffee shop every day, how much could you save if you had a coffee at home instead? Think about what is essential for your day-to-day life and what is a treat.
Optimize Your Free Time
Some abroad experiences like volunteer or internships don’t include much in the way of classroom time, they suggest you learn outside the classroom. There will be spare time, sometimes downtime and this time abroad is a brilliant opportunity for you to think about self-improvement. You will be around new people and you’ll be free of many of the distractions you had back at home, both of which make it the perfect time for you to improve your personal skill set. Whilst abroad, you’ll likely be spending time on a computer at some point nearly every day. Instead of just sending Social Media updates, you might want to consider an online course to keep your academic skills sharp and to advance your career potential. Have a look MOOC’s for some options, or consider onlineitcourses.com for a wide selection of practical training courses that’ll help you to confidently use your computer, and your free time, to their full potential.
Budget your Studying too!
Remember, you are still a student and you can’t just spend all of your time outside the classroom. Living in a foreign country is such an awesome experience that provides endless opportunities; just don’t loose your study habits. There’s so much to see and do you’ll need to budget your time well. By applying these easy tips above, you’ll have worry-free money to spend on whatever you see as a treat. Make a list of exciting experiences you’d love to have during your time abroad, and then write a rough price for each experience. Keep this list visible, on your wall or as wallpaper on your phone or laptop. Constantly looking at this wish list will keep you in check during your day-to-day life and it will give you loads to look forward to.
These tips are designed to help you get the most out of your upcoming adventure by ensuring that you really think about how you spend your time and money. Budgeting may seem boring and unnecessary, but when it’s done correctly, it could literally save you hundreds of dollars and hours and help you get the most out of your experience abroad and afterward. Lastly, speaking about budgets, don’t forget to budget some time after your experience abroad to complete a review and then use it to get an edge in the career market by joining “The Study Abroad Advantage“.
Guest Posting from Victoria Moretti, a professional writer from the UK who contributes to Abroad101 from time to time. Victoria loves to write about businesses and macro economic affairs that move the needle. Her other loves include travel, long walks and flat whites.