Article | 2:45 min read

Studying Abroad on a Budget

Budget and Save

So you want to study abroad, huh? Living and learning in another country for an extended period of time is an exciting and unique experience, but we’re sure you already knew that.

However, studying abroad is costly, and before you start dreaming about Spanish architecture or reporting in London, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared.

Do Your Research
The cost of living can vary dramatically from country to country. Consider all factors when choosing your destination, including your interests, safety, and budget. It might be wise to take advantage of the strong American dollar while it is inexpensive to travel in Greece [1]. You might also want to consider that Switzerland has the second highest cost of living in the world [2]. Whatever you decide, it's important to make sure you are fully informed.

Check and see if your school has a study abroad fair. Students who have studied abroad before can give you great advice and help you narrow down your decision. Be sure to ask lots of questions-they've been in your position before!

Plan Ahead
If you don't already have a passport, apply far in advance. Receiving your passport can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks for routine service. By applying early, you can avoid the extra fees that come with expedited service, which costs an additional $60 [3].

Look into your options for scholarships and financial aid. Oftentimes, you can apply for scholarships from your school or from outside organizations. There are plenty of diverse scholarships-whether you are a proficient Spanish speaker or you're a former girl scout, there might be a unique scholarship out there that is just begging for your application. Just make sure you're aware of the deadlines to submit essays and other forms.

Purchase Wisely
Before you hop on a plane, figure out what you're going to need for your adventure. Planning on doing a lot of weekend traveling? Invest in a durable backpack and comfortable shoes. Check out local consignment stores or eBay to reduce the cost of buying something new.

It's also important to think about your options for keeping in touch with your stateside friends and family. Check out your cellular provider's options for international travel. But beware of unexpected charges for roaming-you might find yourself paying hefty fees for sending one text. Apps like WhatsApp and other messaging apps might help you avoid that headache, but only use them when you have a Wi-Fi connection or can potentially use a lot of your data. Some people opt to leave their phone at home and get a new phone with an international number. Do your research and decide which option is best for you and your needs before you go.

Don't Forget

With all of this to organize, you might forget one of the most basic yet important things you'll need: money. Let your credit card company know that you'll be traveling internationally so that they won't think your card was stolen. During those first few days, having cash is crucial. Smaller businesses may not accept credit cards, so be sure to visit Central Bank and exchange currency before you leave.

Preparing to study abroad can seem a little overwhelming, but the experience will make it all worthwhile. Central Travel is always here to help if you need a little extra help planning your adventure. Next on your to-do list? Get excited.

[1] What Travelers Need to Know About Visiting Greece, Huffington Post
[2] Cost of Living Index by Country 2016 Mid-Year, Numbeo
[3] Passport Fees, U.S. Department of State


The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its affiliates and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.