– By Cintia Morello
Most people with the desire to study abroad are cowed by the expenses they think they will incur. Although leaving one’s country to go and stay in a foreign land will definitely cause some pocket dent, one can manage just fine.
Depending on the country you are going to, it is possible to make arrangements that do not necessarily require you to rob a bank.
Some of these arrangements include;
Local Home stay
This is most suitable for a traveler who has an interest in learning about a certain languages or culture. Find a family with extra space to rent and a need to make some extra cash. Some of these home stays offer breakfast and dinner depending on the kind of agreement you have.
It might be challenging to stay among strangers but it will help you learn from their lifestyle, save you the cost of furnishing a house and money you would have spent on meals.
- Maximize on Study Abroad Scholarships
Most study programs have a clear framework for applying for bursaries. They indicate the potential amounts available, the process of applying as well as the deadline and restrictions that may apply. This money can go a long way in making your study trip an enjoyable one.
Consider Backpacker Hostels
For a budget-minded student, back packer hostels are an ideal option. There are communal bathrooms and rooms which help keep the cost at an affordable rate. An average hostel room can host up to four people and comes fully furnished with bunk-beds.
For security of personal belongings, individual lockers are provided. An average basic breakfast is also provided. This atmosphere is shared among fellow travelers and creates a good environment to interact socially.
- Regulate Your Eating Habits
Being away from home, it is unlikely that you will enjoy the meals you were used to having back at home. Every so often you will come across restaurants that serve your favorite meal from home. It is very tempting to go to such a hotel.
However, this is an unaffordable comfort when traveling on a budget.
If you must eat out, pick a local hotel whose meals are within your current budget or at least something you will not need to ruin your entire plan for .
- Socialize at a Local Level
The residents of the country you are visiting are bound to know more about the best places to socialize in than you do. Try new things with the locals, eat their food and visit their local entertainments spots. There are a thousand fun activities that these people take part in-be a part of them and save the money you would have spent paying for entertainment.
Do as The Locals Do
If, for example you are staying in Spain, follow the daily habits of the Spanish people. Educate yourself in their ways of doing things. All people who have lived in their country for years have a tendency to doing everything cheaper than the visitors would.
They know where to go for cheap shopping and even how to enjoy sightseeing at small prices. Even local residents do not always visit fancy shopping malls and restaurants all the time-follow their ways and you will be comfortable in your tight budget.
- Look for Discount Stores
Most countries in the world have discount stores. These outlets sell almost all products at a significantly lower price compared to other shopping areas. A wide assortment of goods is availed and the focus is mainly on price rather than service. Buying stuff from such stores is a great way of saving money.
- Cook For Yourself
Although you may have gotten used to having meals cooked for you or eating out back at home, cooking for yourself might be just what you need to save costs. Cooking your own meals can even be fun as you get to practice with new recipes and new cookware. It is also less costly to prepare your own meal than it is to eat out.
There are also high chances of you enjoying your meal as you make it your way. Cooking for yourself will also help you regulate your meals in a healthy way-you can have a heavy breakfast, heavy lunch and enjoy a light dinner later in the day.
- Use Public Transport
As a student, you do not want to spend all your money on cab fare. If you are worried that public transport will take a lot of your study time, you can restrict all movements covering reasonable distances to night time. Take advantage of night trains which are cheap and convenient. Not only will they save you on transport charges but they will also save you accommodation fees as you will not need to pay for a place to spend the night .It is also advisable to research on various travel discounts to ensure that you are getting the best bargain.
- Currency exchange
A careful consideration of exchange rates can make the much-needed difference in your finances. Many exchange centers have unfriendly rates and you should keep away from such. If you are not sure of where to go, you can use the internet to find out the best places to get cash in the local currency.
A search tells you the best exchange rates can be found at the airport just after landing. It should also warn you about the places where using an ATM machine is most expensive. Due to the rapid changes that occur in website architecture, you should stick to the local website for the best results. Making a booking for an exchange is also cheaper if you use the local currency. To do this, just go to the local version of the same website.
For those looking to study languages abroad, one of the bigger challenges will involve operating under a restrictive budget. This is not by any means difficult to pull off-it just requires a few adjustments and sacrifices. Sometimes, all you have to do is tune your mind to a phase of doing things differently and gaining new experiences.