Studying abroad can be a life-changing, albeit expensive, experience. To experience as much as your studying country offers, you may have to spend quite a bit of money. However, there are simple ways to make your cash go further and still have fun in your studying country.
Break Out Your Walking Shoes
The cheapest form of transportation anywhere is walking. It’s free to do, and you’ll get a better idea of your surroundings by walking on a daily basis. You’ll see a lot more on your feet than you will in the back of a cab, and you can truly appreciate the area that you’re in. Always learn which neighborhoods are safer, and pay attention to your surroundings.
Get to Know the Locals
One of the many benefits of walking is it makes social interaction possible. While you wander the streets of your area, you could speak and become acquainted with the locals in your area. Not only can the locals give you an opportunity to try your hand at speaking a new language (if your study country speaks a foreign language), but usually the locals know the best and cheapest places to eat or buy souvenirs or groceries.
Find Free Events
While many of the big sights may feature paid tours, it’s the free events and festivals where you could get the best exposure to a new culture. By acquainting yourself with the locals, you can find out about these free events more frequently.
Take Advantage of Technology
Cell phones are a great way to stay connected to people, but their frequent use while abroad can really make your phone bill climb. Rather than rely on your phone, take advantage of the Internet. Look into Skype as a way to make your calls back home. You can make voice or even video chats for a low price, and even sometimes for free.
Studying abroad gives you the chance to try new foods that you don’t normally have access to in your home country. That being said, eating out can get pricey in a hurry, so try and find the cheap eateries to get your grub on. That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat at a nice restaurant every now and then, but for frequent meals, head to the cheap places.
Cook Your Own Meals Every So Often
If eating at the same places is getting a little old or too expensive, spend a few nights cooking in for yourself. Take this opportunity to try to recreate some of the dishes you’ve had while abroad, or make some of those meals you miss from home.
Haggle! Haggle! Haggle!
Many international cultures expect their shoppers to haggle for lower prices, and you should try this whenever you can. Some vendors may even try to charge foreigners a bit higher than they would the locals. Don’t be afraid to attempt to haggle for a cheaper price. Saving a few extra dollars here and there can go a long way.
Track Your Daily Spending
Set a limit to the amount you want to spend a day, and make sure you track your spending as well as you possibly can. You can have a better idea of what you have spent, how close you are to your limit, and how much you need to save for the rest of the day.
Avoid Studying Abroad in Big Cities
Staying in a big city oftentimes equates to spending a lot more on a daily basis. Everything from your room to meals to transportation is increased in the bigger cities. Instead of studying at an institution in a big city, find one that’s in a smaller town but still fairly close to the big city. It can be a lot cheaper to spend the money to visit a big city than it is to live in one.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
A lot of places in the area where your university will be located may feature student discounts. Make sure to bring your student ID, and get into the habit of showing it wherever you make a purchase.
This article is presented by American InterContinental University. Contact us today if you’re interested in an opportunity to develop knowledge and relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from AIU.