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How to Plan Your Expenses While Spending Time at Another Country

Participating in an foreign exchange program in another country is always an enriching experience. It’s an opportunity to explore new places, meet new cultures, make new friends and also study and learn about something you enjoy.

However, in order minimize troubles and prevent your trip from becoming a nightmare, one thing must be part of this from the beginning: the organization. There is a need for prior and detailed planning and an organization of ideas that needs to be greater than you think. We talked with some casperians who told us their experiences and methods to make this moment very easy and pleasurable.

Bruna Anielle is a 19 years old Journalism student who attended her second year of high school in a village called Argenthal, in Germany. The choice for Germany was easy, since Bruna studied at a German school in Brazil, and  had a certain knowledge of the language. She has chosen to hire an exchange agency, which is a good option for those who prefer to leave the biggest responsibilities and concerns to those who understand the subject.

Bruna liked the place so much that the trip that initially would last 5 months lasted 1 year. It is essential, for her, to have identification with where you are going: “In Germany, for example, people are very close to their family and love hiking. I had a Brazilian friend who came back earlier because he didn’t identify with any of it”. In addition, she highlights the importance of scheduling a health plan for the period of the trip, as she found herself at a time of difficulty in which the plan was fundamental.

Bruna during the trip

Catalina de Vera, 19, is also a journalism student and has opted for England for her exchange program. In her third year of high school, she went to Oxford University to take a course in Journalism and Creative Writing and an Academic Writing workshop. Catalina says that before embarking she researched a lot about the places she wanted to go on her free time while she was there: “I had a notion that it is a very small city but at the same time extremely rich in history”.

One of the difficult points of planning was deciding what clothes to take, since the weather in England is very unstable and you need to select well what you need and can take. Another point was to have a sense of how much money she was spending on the trip, since living in England was very expensive and she kept converting the value of all things, which caused some confusion. The tip that Catalina gives is organize how much to spend so you don’t have to stay converting coins during the trip.

From left to right: Catalina, Michaela (South Africa), Shenez (Dubai), Greta (Italy) e Eliza (Poland). The photo was taken in the halls of St. Hugh’s, Oxford.

Radio and TV student Camila Del Valle, 20, lived the exchange experience twice: in New York and Toronto, both times to study English. The planning of each place she wanted to visit during the trips was fundamental to stay focused and get everything done: “I watched videos on Youtube of people who had already done exchange in the city and I even bought those books for tourists”.

Camila’s biggest challenge was during her return from Canada to Brazil, where, due to the weather, the flight was canceled and the airport closed for two days. Between “comings and goings” to try to solve the problem, she found herself without money and unable to get out of the airport or talk to her parents. In the end, after the help of some people (and the universe, according to Camila) the situation was solved, and what remained was the learning that unforeseen circumstances always exist and we have to be as prepared as possible for them.

Camila Del Valle

Based on these and many other reports, we have prepared a list of 5 essential things for you to plan and enjoy each moment of your trip.

1.   Research a lot about the course you want to do – Go to the exchange fairs, talk to friends and find everything you can on the internet.

2.   Calculate your future travel expenses and incur possible unforeseen issues – Good planning is ideal so you don’t go through situations of despair.

3.  Search for the climate of the city and the country you plan to go to – Some can reach extreme temperatures of cold or heat and you need to be prepared for it.

4.   Pay attention to the documentation process – Although most respondents don’t have problems with this, it is always good to take passports and visas as far in advance as possible.

5.   List the places you want to meet and things you want to do – In addition to studying, the exchange is also a great opportunity to explore places and meet new people.

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Julia Martins

Casper Libero

Julia Martins is a Journalism student at Cásper Líbero College. She has a passion for having a passion for things, but he admits that music and gastronomy have a special place in them.
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