Do’s and Don’ts of Studying Abroad on a Budget

Any college student who is able to study abroad is by default on a budget. The program’s expensive, the city’s expensive, and our part-time jobs we had over the years can only carry us so far. However, it is possible to have a fantastic time with limited funds. The trick is to try and spend your money in the most effective and beneficial way. Here are some do’s and don’ts I’ve learned over the past couple weeks while living in London. 

Spend your money on:

-Theatre. Anything creative. Experiences like that will be remembered forever.

-Any food that is native to the country you’re staying in. Nothing will ever be as authentic as in the actual place where it originates.

-Museums and historical tours. Studying abroad isn’t limited to the classroom. Splurge on a tour or a renowned museum--you’ll learn so much and your family will think you are much smarter for it!

-The one souvenir you can’t get out of your head. You can easily fall into the “tourist trap” of buying anything and everything that has the country’s flag on it. Definitely don’t do this, but if you find yourself thinking of the one special thing you saw in the store….

Save your money on:

- Alcohol. I know it’s liberating to be under 21 when the rules are different from across the pond. But trust me, it isn’t so liberating when you check your bank account the next day and realize you spent more in one night than you have in days.

- McDonalds. Or any chain restaurant for that matter. The late night cravings, so accessible, seemingly cheep--save that money as you can have that stuff at home!

- Eating out everywhere. It’s much cheaper to grocery shop and eat a quick breakfast and lunch in, but then perhaps splurge on a fancier dinner.

No matter what though, don’t feel guilty about spending (pretty much) all of your money. It is a once in a lifetime experience!