Studying abroad is going to change your life forever, but there are some budgeting mistakes you will need to avoid. No student wants to be stuck in a foreign country with an empty bank account and no way to get money fast. Read ahead for a look at a few tips that will help you avoid common financial mistakes so that you can focus on our studies.
Research the Host Country
One of the biggest mistakes that a student can make is not spending some time learning about the country they will be living in. Expenses such as medical bills, class fees, and taxes can quickly add up if you are not prepared. Students should also understand the current exchange rate and how it will affect their budget. Many people will find that their home’s currency will not go as far in a new country, and this could be a disastrous oversight a few months into the semester.
Contact Current Students or Advisors
Another great way to budget for a semester abroad is to speak with advisers or students who are currently studying in that country or have recently come back. Many colleges have mentorship programs for students who will be traveling in the near future, and the information you get from one of these programs will be invaluable. This includes a list of the unique expenses you might not have considered such as public transportation, laundry, and student body fees.
Have an Emergency Plan
Before jumping into the budget itself, you should have an emergency plan set up with your family and loved ones. No matter how thorough your budget might be, a single accident or overseen expense could be devastating. Students should explore their options for transferring money overseas while they are away at school. Many companies, like sharemoney.com, now offer money transfers that it to be transferred directly to your bank account. That way, you can withdraw the money as soon as you need it.
Create a Budget
Once you have collected all of this information, then it is time to work on a realistic budget. Budgets should always start with a look at the absolute necessities including food, rent, utilities, and academic expenses. Any money you have left after those have been accounted for can go toward purchases that are not necessities such as traveling around the country, going out with friends, and smaller daily purchases.
Students who are preparing to study abroad should always plan for the worst and create a budget that is as flexible as possible.