Studying abroad is a priceless way of enhancing and furthering your university education. Whether your goal is complementing your academic work, exploring a new field of study, having a grand adventure, or indeed all of the above, studying abroad is undoubtedly a life-changing investment with dividends that will pay off in the years to come.
I intentionally use the word “investment” because studying abroad- well, it ain’t cheap. The financial commitments can prove to be a huge hurdle sitting smack bang in front of studying abroad, and without careful planning, the price tag may end up keeping your dream from becoming a reality.
Think studying abroad is to expensive for you? Think again! This blog post breaks down the costs of studying… http://t.co/ndmEGOS8q1
— USFONS (@USFONS) August 19, 2015
Instead of letting the monetary woes get you down, look at overseas education as an opportunity to improve and ‘get creative’ with your ability to manage and juggle your finances. Read on to learn how to make your pound or dollar go that extra mile; here are 6 travel hacks to help you study abroad on a budget.
1. Pack your own mess kit!
When eating dinner or lunch out, bringing along your own set of tupperware will allow you to store leftovers and eat them as a later meal (multiplying an average meal from one to two!). Moreover, you can use your tupperware as a receptacle for a packed lunch if you go exploring- and sidestep the inflated prices of that golden cafe at the end of the trail). Having your own plastic container-fork-knife-spoon can go a long way in helping you avoid the high costs of eating out every chance you get.
2. Traveling for the weekend? Book a night bus or flight.
Seize any opportunity to combine travel and accommodation costs in one fell swoop. You may arrive at your destination looking a little dishevelled, but your wallet will thank you for being budget-savvy.
3. Carry a water bottle
Help planet Earth by reducing your plastic consumption and saving money on expensive bottled water- and get some wiggle room in your wallet. So much to love.
— ChooseMyPlate.gov (@MyPlate) August 20, 2015
4. Always, always ask for a student discount.
Provided you didn’t leave your university ID card back home (#fail), ask wherever you go if they can shave a couple dollars/kuai/euros/yen/etc. off of the admittance or sales price. Student discounts may be applicable at cafes, restaurants, museums, clothes stores, the works- you never know unless you ask!
5. Become well-versed in your new city’s FREE fun.
In addition to discounted entrance fees for students, familiarize yourself with free activities in your new home. Some museums will offer free admission certain days of the week. You may find free tours of the chocolate factory or free late afternoon entries to a historic park. Researching online and asking the locals are your best bet for finding these affordable hidden treasures in your new city.
— Mary in Manhattan (@MaryinManhattan) August 15, 2015
6. Beware the dear beer
Yes, you read right. While you’re excitedly daydreaming about your long evenings spent at the pub or local watering hole, your wallet is whimpering in fear. Now, hear me out. I’m not suggesting you don’t drink at all, but it would be wise to limit your nights out (or your general alcohol consumption). After all, you want to REMEMBER all of the fun you spent your money on, right?!
7. Lace up your walking shoes and hit the road
The best way to turn a place into a home is learning your way around. Avoid skimming over the small sights by constantly taking taxis and buses. Instead, get walking. It’s free, fun, and doubles as exercise. For students truly wanting to know the nitty-gritty of Sydney or the lesser-known charms of London, exploring on foot is the way to go.
— Cody Johnson (@the_CodyJohnson) July 28, 2014
There you have it. Seven tried and true, bonafide travel hacks to help you study abroad on a budget. While there are countless other ways to be money-savvy as you travel, these few simple tips will help you keep that dent in your pocketbook to a minimum. I can hear your coins jingling from here!
Image via Shutterstock.