Building Your Budget

Just like it is important to track how you will save money to afford studying abroad, it is crucial to create a Study Abroad budget. Building a budget will help you mentally prepare for how many expenses you will acquire abroad and ensure that you still have room to afford the experiences and travel study abroad boasts of. 

  1. Location
    • Your budget is determined by location. Look up the currency in your new host country and do research into how much things cost in that city like food, shopping, and transportation. 
  2. Fixed expenses
    • Before your departure, there are a few things you can factor into your budget in advance such as housing, program, passport and flight costs. Input all of that information into your spreadsheet. 
  3. Goals
    • Setting clear travel goals before you leave will be incredibly helpful to both your mental ease and your bank account. Realistically, students often embark on three to four out of country excursions during their times overseas. If you know roughly what countries those will be, for how long you will stay, and during what month of the year you will visit, then you can start to build a realistic spending budget. Research hostels or airbnbs in the area, track the prices for museums, concerts, or other travel experiences you want to purchase, and what flights, trains, or buses look like to and from that location via budget friendly sites like Ryanair, Skyscanner, Ouibus, EU Rail and Norwegian. 
  4. Discipline
    • You will make two budget sheets ultimately. The one before departure, that helps you get a big picture with broad goals to map out and the one while you are actually studying abroad. Students should track their spending weekly while they are living in their host country and compare it to their larger budget sheet. Are you spending more than you should? Can you cut costs on anything now that you are on the ground? Is there room to spend more than you are because you overestimated? You can only answer these questions if you stay in tune with your finances each week of your semester abroad.