With countries like the US, UK, Australia and Canada emerging as educational hotspots with fantastic universities, more and more students are looking to pursue their education abroad. And rightly so, not only do you receive a global experience, but the post-study job offers get you some big bucks, with graduate salaries around the $100,000 mark. But all things aside, it’s a well-known fact that studying abroad is a costly endeavour. And if you don’t have a proper plan to take care of your finances, you’ll be pinching pennies to get by.
It’s always better to have extra money than too less, right? Many students end up spending too much and struggling to make ends meet while at university, and often miss out on the whole college experience. So, we’re here with 10 ways to help you manage your money while studying abroad. Let’s get right to it!
- Student Pass
One perk of being a college student is the endless list of coupons and discounts you get. From restaurants, transport, cinemas, shops, grocery stores or even local events, just showing your student pass can save you a lot of money. So, try to get hold of your student ID as soon as you set foot in the university.
- Monthly Budget
It’s absolutely imperative that you have a monthly budget, and that you stick to it too. If possible, try to save a little bit so you can splurge once in a while. Most students end up overspending when they first arrive at a new country, while it’s true that you’ll need extra funds to settle down at the beginning, try to fix and follow a budget within the first two months.
- Living Expenses
Rent usually eats up a major portion of your budget, whether you’re living on campus or off. Each option has its own pros and cons, so see which works for you best. And if you’re choosing to live outside, consider moving in with a roommate to cut costs. Check out our student accommodation value added service for information on available and affordable places off-campus. Some other things to keep track of are your utility and grocery bills.
You’ll probably notice that on adding up all your restaurant and takeout bills, it’ll reach a couple of thousand dollars a month. Food is expensive, especially if you’re eating out for every single meal. And factor in the American tipping culture, you’re better off cooking your own food at home. It’ll cost half as much, and is better for your health as well. Also, if you are eating out, try to cash in some student offers.
Try to limit taxi rides to when they are really required as they cost a fortune. If you’re living on campus, or near it, consider getting yourself a bicycle instead. Also, make use of the very convenient public transport network, you could sign up for a bus or metro pass if you’re a frequent traveller.
- Phone Plan
Do a little bit of research and find a phone or broadband plan that is best for you. There’s a good chance that you will be paying for a bunch of add-ons you don’t need, so try to scrap these. All the months added up can save you some serious cash.
- Local Bank Account
Transferring money every now and then from an Indian bank to a foreign one might cause a significant portion of your funds to be eaten up as transaction charges from both ends. One of the first things that you should do is open up a local bank account, preferably one that your college has ties with. Also, keep a close eye on exchange rates to spot the best time to transfer money.
- College costs
Do your research well beforehand, to see if you are eligible for any financial aid or scholarships. Also, apart from the initial scholarships, some universities have grants for top students in the form of cash or allowances, aim to do your best at school, so you are considered for such awards. Other than tuition, expenses for books and materials is also significant so try to look for pre-used or online books on Amazon, Chegg, etc. Even better, consider signing up for a library membership.
Medical bills are quite expensive in countries like the USA, so if you’re studying there don’t be reluctant to spend enough on health insurance. You never know when you might fall sick, whether it’s as small as a cold or as big as a global pandemic aka, the coronavirus.
- Additional Income
As a student, you can take up part-time work, but make sure it doesn’t overshadow your studies. Most colleges offer on-campus jobs so check with the university office to find out any openings. You can also take up freelance projects, or look into investing your savings so you can build an additional source of income.
Studying abroad is expensive, but going about your expenses the right way can make sure you have a fulfilling and comfortable university experience. Contact us to get the best scholarships and grants for your profile today!