How to save money and boost employability while studying overseas
Save some pennies and improve your employability with our helpful tips. Source: Shutterstock

Apart from their studies, there are two other things that matter most to students: saving money and improving their graduate prospects.

It can often be hard to balance your uni work, social life and student budget, leaving you to despair between having no money to spend on fun things, or having money but no free time due to work.

If you’re looking for a way to budget without having to spend all your time behind a bar or a desk, these tips can help show you how to be resourceful with your time to save money while also giving you a wealth of things to add to your CV.

Here are our top ways to save money at the same time as boosting your employability…

1) Volunteer at food waste charities

Most big cities have food waste charities that collect food past its official sell-by date from supermarkets and restaurants to pass onto people who can’t afford to buy fresh produce. And if your university town doesn’t have one, why not set up your own?

Volunteering at a food bank means you’re helping those in need, gaining skills and saving money. Source: Shutterstock

It’s estimated that 150,000 tons of food are wasted each day in the US alone, so there’s certainly a need for these charities, and by signing up as a volunteer, you demonstrate your desire to help others and inspire change. Employers are often impressed by volunteering experience as it shows you are committed.

If there’s food left at the end of your shift, it will likely have to go in the bin unless someone takes it. Take your pick and reduce this food waste further, saving money on groceries while simultaneously enhancing your CV.

2) Review events for student publications

This one is for all you music lovers. If you want to go to gigs, DJ sets and even festivals for free, see if your university runs a student publication with an arts & culture section or a student radio station. If they do, chances are they’re looking for people to review music events – this is where you come in…

Most artists are thrilled to be featured in student media (as long as you’re not hoping to meet Justin Bieber or Queen B). If you reach out, you can often score yourself a press pass which is basically a free ticket to review the event and publicise the artist. You may even be able to interview them, a chance to really get under the skin of the brand-new culture you’re in.

This could be you…for free! Source: Giphy

If you plan to enter the creative industries, this is a great way to stand out to employers since you’ll come equipped with music reporting experience alongside your degree – not to mention all the money you’ll save on expensive event tickets!

3) Work at university open days

Universities often need current students to work at open days as ambassadors for prospective learners. Your role will include showing prospective students around the campus, answering any questions they might have about student life and generally painting the university in the best possible light.

The pay tends to be decent for working open days as the university wants you to be positive and entice new students, and as an international applicant, you’ll be able to relate to all those who have come to look at the university from abroad.

You’re likely to be leading future students round campus and answering their questions. Source: Shutterstock

You’ll also be able to write on your CV that you were an ambassador for your university, demonstrating your professional skills to other students rather than spending all your time in bed or the pub, as some people think students do!

4) Tutor younger students

Once you’ve completed your first year, you may be able to make some extra cash as a tutor for younger students. This could simply include sharing notes from your first year or sitting down for a few hours a week to go over anything they’re struggling with.

You’ll show future employers that you are a team player who is committed to helping others, at the same time as consolidating your knowledge which will help you achieve top grades.

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Source: Giphy

Some universities offer organised tutoring programmes which could be one of the easiest ways to make money, but even if your university doesn’t have such an scheme, you can always set one up yourself by simply asking younger students if they’d like your help – chances are, they’ll be super keen for your guidance as a fellow international student so you’re likely to have a ready-made market on hand.

We at Study International know that managing your finances at university can be hard, especially when you’re dealing with a new currency for the first time and tricky exchange rates. If you have any questions about budgeting tips or student finances, email us at and we’ll do our best to help!

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

The 4 types of UK student discount cards & codes you need asap

The hidden costs every international student at US universities should know about