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4 Ways to Minimize Costs While Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be an unforgettable and amazing experience, however it can be quite expensive if one does not budget their money efficiently and effectively. Here are some techniques to use for reducing costs.


Eating during one’s time abroad can be quite expensive, especially when traveling on a low budget. Due to the variety of world cuisines, one could get carried away with trying out all of the new tastes. So how do you save your money without starving?

Mindy Crary, suggests in her article on Forbes, The 8 Easiest Ways to Cut Your Food Budget in Half many techniques. Apparently becoming a vegetarian and cutting out alcohol from your diet can really cut your costs. Though this is useful, if you are not interested in changing your lifestyle, here are other ideas for you. For example, a meal at a restaurant can cost anywhere on average between $8 to $15 versus the average cost of a home cooked meal, which ranges from as low as $3 to about $7. Try to eat in restaurants less and instead, go out shopping for your groceries. Almost every city has its markets, and yes, they are normally cheaper than grocery shops. Get to know some locals and ask them for tips on buying in the markets. Every country has its own rules, whether it's rules on bargaining or changes in prices on specific days and times. It's important to know the rules and tricks in each country. In Copenhagen, for example, there is an interesting phenomenon called dumpster diving, where people search designated dumpsters for groceries. There is even a Facebook page, designed to alert its followers when a big food industry throws a massive amount of a product, due to an addition of an unwanted but non-harmful ingredient.  


Finding a place to live is one of the stumbling blocks that some people may encounter while planning their time abroad. When looking for an apartment abroad, there are things which you should and shouldn't doIf you decide to rent out a room in an apartment, finding a roommate who is in a similar situation as you to split the costs can help. After your rent ends, makes sure to get your deposit back on your student accommodation.   Most universities have dorms which are usually cheaper than the average monthly rent of an apartment. Check out all the possibilities to find the best solution to cheaper costs in the place you are staying. There are many programs which offer cheap accommodation all over the world. Find a program which will allow you to participate in it, and also have enough time to study. You may even be able to find a scholarship which will cover the expenses of housing. When traveling, staying in youth hostels in the country you are travelling in, could also help one save some money. 


A portion of your time studying abroad may include travelling and exploring the country you live in. This is your time to take in what the world has to offer. Once you get into the core of the events you still need to get around and transport in some countries can be utterly overwhelming. When traveling, use search engines which compare travel prices such as GoEuro . That way, you will be able to find the cheapest way to get around. 
Getting familiar with the new neighborhood you move into, can take some time. Consider getting a metro/bus pass to take the public bus, subway, trams and or train around your city to get familiar with. A practical option for transportation can also be purchasing a bike. A secondhand bike from eBay or Craigslist can minimize your costs and allow you to avoid spending money on buses and trains. There are many countries in Europe, for example, where people cycle everywhere. It is not only a useful way to get around, but also a certain lifestyle. 

Many students participate in a study abroad program, but as soon as they arrive in their destination, they hit up the bars and clubs. Everyone living in a foreign country away from home will want to go out and experience the new environment and culture. To save some money, try to schedule to leave the party with friends, who will share the taxi with you on the way home. Set a budget before going out, and make sure to stick to it. Plan to save up money during the week to treat yourself to a nice night out with your friends. That way, you will be able to consistently go out weekly rather than blowing all of your week's or month's savings on one night. Or check out these funny 14 Sneaky Tips for a cheap night out by Rich Cooper. Also, try to find activities that don't involve paying, such as Cheap activities in and around US university campuses. Such activities are not only cheap, but also have an added value.