It is a dream of many students to see the world and experience new people, places, and customs. One of the easiest ways to make that dream a reality is to study abroad.
There's just one problem: travel is expensive. There isn't any way around it. One thing to remember, though, is that the biggest expense is getting there. Once at your destination, there are plenty of ways to get by, even on a very tight budget. Today, we would like to offer a few suggestions on how.
Before Your Trip
There are several things any responsible student traveler must do before planning a major trip. Here is a brief but very important checklist:
Decide on a destination – choose a destination that will provide you with the optimal learning experience.
Get your academic house in order at home – be fully caught up on coursework, particularly written assignments. If needs are, collaborate with an affordable paper writing service like this one https://essaypro.com/ to ensure speed and quality.
Research deals on travel – search for cheap airfare online or work with a travel agent to get the best possible rates. Do the same for accommodations. We'll take a closer look at this one later.
Doing all of the above will position you well for not only saving money at the beginning but also having more money to use during the rest of your stay. Here are a few more ideas.
- Try to Get College Credit For Studying Abroad
Work with your college or university toward receiving academic credit based on the work and experience gained from your trip. Some schools have more liberal policies about these things than others, but if it can be arranged, it will save money on tuition by eliminating an elective course or two from your degree program.
- Find a Host Family
Most universities have relationships with exchange student programs and can arrange for free room and board with a family or organization that is qualified to host international students. If this is not an option, consider staying in youth hostels or other safe shelters that won't cost as much as a hotel or apartment.
- Travel As Part of a Group
Splitting rent on an apartment and preparing meals for an entire group of students is much less expensive than trying to live on your own. The exchange program should be able to put you in contact with student groups at home or in your host country that can help with these arrangements as well.
- Look For Work Study Programs
Many foreign exchange programs offer work-study opportunities that allow students to work on- or off-campus in exchange for room and board. Some even offer modest stipends as part of the arrangement. There are usually only a small number of these opportunities, and the organizers tend to give them to students who demonstrate academic excellence.
- Apply for Financial Aid
While it could add to your student debt, there are ways to ensure that your trip is adequately funded by way of financial aid. There are both loans and grants for which serious students can apply. Look into grants first since grant money does not need to be paid back.
- Choose an Affordable Destination
There are certain destinations with lower-than-average costs of living to consider. This article outlines a number of them throughout Western Europe. Here are just a few on their list:
- Bucharest, Romania
- Krakow, Poland
- Budapest, Hungary
- Istanbul, Turkey
There are also options outside of Europe, as outlined here. A few more to consider include:
- Mérida, Mexico
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Xi'an China
- Prague, Czech Republic
Remember that being well-prepared is the first and most important way to save money by studying abroad. We hope that the above information and advice will assist in preparing you for what is certain to be the experience of a lifetime. We also hope you'll consider writing about your experiences with the help of a qualified, trusted writing service. They can help with everything from organizing an outline to how to cite a research paper for MLA, Turabian or any other accepted method for academic papers.