When I started studying, I never thought I’d be able to study abroad. I assumed it would be expensive and that it would be tough to get selected to go abroad. Luckily, I was able to get a grant through Erasmus+ and I got into my first choice university abroad!
When I studied abroad, I was able to travel a lot and enjoy local restaurants and nightlife. Still, I was spending less than I would in my home country. In this article, you will read how you can save money while studying abroad too!
Find shared housing
If I really wanted to, I could have afforded to live in a small apartment by myself when I was studying abroad. However, shared housing is way more affordable and bonus: you will have flatmates! I lived in a huge shared apartment in the city center and paid way less than I did for my shared house in my home country.
Having great flatmates when studying abroad was amazing because there was always someone to do something fun with. My experience abroad would definitely not have been the same without my flatmates. To save money, we shared purchases for the house (laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.) and food. In the end, living in a shared flat was a big money saver and made studying abroad the best it could be.
Get a side job
My host university sent out vacancies for teaching jobs. While I didn’t need the money, being around local families was a great experience. Depending on the restrictions of your student visa, you could earn some money while studying abroad by working part-time as well. Ask the international office of your university for vacancies.
Use student discounts
In most countries, lots of discounts will be provided to students by just showing a student card from your university. At least city transport and museum entry fees should be discounted or waived by asking for the student discount.
Schedule your classes effectively
When I studied abroad, I had no classes on Fridays, and on the other days, I had no classes after 2:30 PM so I had a lot of free time. In this time I was able to work at my side job, study and travel.
Many activities are way more affordable on weekdays and since the weekend started for me from Thursday afternoon, I was able to do lots of travels and exploring on the cheap.
Consider getting a local bank account
If possible, you should consider getting a bank account in your new country, to keep ATM fees down. However, this may not be worth it if you’re studying abroad for only a semester. If it’s not possible to get a new bank account, take out as much money as possible at once. Nonetheless, never take out more than you could afford to lose!
This advice might be confusing, since making trips will clearly cost you money. However, depending on where you’re studying abroad, a lot of trips will be more affordable than if you were to do them from home. When I studied abroad in (mainland) Spain, I was able to get my hands on return tickets to Ibiza for only €17! Even though flights from other countries to Ibiza are getting more affordable too, I am pretty sure I’ll never find a deal like that ever again. If you plan your trips well, you will actually save lots of money in the end. If you choose to take trips regularly, make sure to avoid expensive tours and try to use public transport as much as possible. Many trips are easily done when organizing them yourself or with some friends.
Other than doing groceries on the cheap and making sure not to eat out too often, these were the best ways for me to save money while studying abroad. Make the most out of your time abroad and enjoy every moment!