Studying abroad has its own set of pros and cons. Sure, it is an amazing opportunity for a person to study at a well-known college abroad. However, despite all this eagerness and anticipation, studying abroad needs a great deal of financial investment.
The experience is both expensive and exciting. When studying in a foreign country, one of the most difficult experiences you'll face is managing your personal finances. Being in a new country with a different currency, financial system, and pricing methods can be anxiety inducing.
Undoubtedly, studying abroad will help you grow as a person and achieve your lifelong dreams. However, you will need to learn the art of managing your finances. Below are some helpful tips on how to handle your personal finances while studying abroad.
Set a Budget
In money management, crafting a budget is one of the most important steps. That said, make sure to create a daily and weekly budget. Take all of your spending into account so that there'll be no chance of any surprise expenses.
It would help if you made these computations to keep track of your budget. Prioritize the expenses that you need more than your wants. Also, try to include leisure and fun activities in your budget.
Get a Local Bank Account
Aside from setting a budget, the next important thing you need to do is to get yourself a local bank account. Your international development program (IDP) counselor can assist you with any information you need regarding bank accounts at your destination.
Since services differ from one bank to another, make sure you select a local bank that offers great benefits for students. Also, ensure that the bank doesn't give heavy fees for international bank transfers.
Understand the Exchange Rate
The exchange rate tells you how much your expenses will cost, for example, in U.S. dollars, excluding the fees. Use a currency converter to compare currencies. Remember that rates may vary. Thus, you might not know precisely how much spending abroad will cost you.
Undoubtedly, studying abroad comes with a hefty cost. However, with smart planning, anyone can survive living and studying abroad. First, you need to know what you want and what you need. You can do this by creating a priority list.
Look for ways to save money and make sure to use it smartly. What's more, you can cut down your daily expenses by:
- Shopping during sales
- Joining a library
- Using digital copies of books
- Acquire student discount cards
- Sharing accommodation
Keep Your Credit Score Healthy
If you study and live abroad with bad credit and significant debt, you will undoubtedly face the consequences of a bad credit score. There are many ways a bad credit score can affect you abroad.
For instance, a loan can be challenging to obtain if you have bad credit. Also, your public record will be at risk. In the U.S., bankruptcy filings stay on your credit report for at least ten years. Keep your credit score healthy and research options for maintaining a U.S.-based ranking, loan, and credit card accounts. Be sure to speak with your creditor to find out possible options.
Find Out You Need a Brand-New Debit Card
Most American debit cards might not work in Latin America, Asia, and Europe, particularly those without an EMV chip, which prevents the risk of fraud. Also, some debit cards may only work at one specific ATM.
If you do not have an EMV-chipped debit card yet, talk to your bank to know if you can obtain one.
Use Affordable Phone Services
If you are studying abroad, calling internationally and locally is important. If you do not pay attention, your bill could skyrocket quickly. Although there are applications like Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Google Duo already available online, these applications need wifi or mobile data, which might not be available.
That said, consider using affordable phone services to save money. Certainly, you will be amazed at how much money you can save on your international phone calls.
Look for a Side Job
Consider looking for part-time jobs such as a virtual assistant while studying abroad. The money you'll earn here can help you purchase academic materials and pay for tuition. Also, you can use the money to repay your loans slowly.
The question that every student stresses over and asks about when they study abroad is saving money while studying in a foreign country. The tips we've shared above can help and guide you when it comes to managing your personal finances the best way possible. Just remember to stay focused and disciplined to have smooth, hassle-free days while studying abroad.