Top 7 Budgeting Tips for Studying Abroad

Top 7 Budgeting Tips for Studying Abroad main image

Sponsored by Prodigy Finance

A new year brings new ideas and experiences, and many graduates will be looking ahead to the next stage of their academic careers. Moving abroad to study is an option which, although expensive, doesn’t have to necessarily break the bank.

We’ve teamed up with Prodigy Finance to find out how you can look after your finances when studying abroad.

Plan your budget

One sure way of saving money when studying abroad is to plan a budget and check it often. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of living and studying abroad but knowing what you need to spend will be a sure-fire way of helping you figure out what you also need to save.

Know your tuition fees and payment plan

Often studying abroad means saving up to fund your postgraduate studies, but we know this isn’t an option for everyone. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations and schemes which support students who wish to pursue a master’s abroad. Prodigy Finance for example, is a leading UK fintech that’s dedicated to ensuring international students realize their academic ambitions to study at selected business schools in the UK, Europe and US by providing postgraduate student loans.

A postgraduate loan with Prodigy Finance means they’ll pay your tuition fees straight to the university, so you won’t need to directly handle large sums of money yourself or worry about exchange rates.

Explore your banking options

It’s highly recommended you arrange a local bank account in the country which you’re studying in. If not, check with your current bank to see whether they allow you to use your card internationally, and if they do, what the exchange and transaction fees will be. You should also be aware of local ATM charges when withdrawing cash as international transaction fees and exchange fees from the bank can be much higher than you may expect.

Get a part-time job

Having a part-time job can make all the difference when it comes to having a little bit of extra money to help you experience everything your new city has to offer. It can also be a gateway to gaining work experience in an industry which you plan to work in after graduating.

However, bear in mind that, in some countries, international students are only allowed to work a certain amount of hours per week – check the country’s government website for more information.

Think about your accommodation choices

Accommodation is usually the second biggest expenditure after tuition fees. Although most universities have dedicated accommodation halls situated in the heart of the campus for first-year students and international students, their facilities can be very modern which is very much reflected in the cost of rent.

It may be in your best interest to consider living off-campus in private shared accommodation which can be a more practical option for those on a tight budget. Even though it may mean a longer commute, you’ll still usually end up saving more money than if you lived on campus.

Prodigy Finance also offer additional services and guides to help international students have as smooth a move as possible. They work closely with housing experts in London, Europe and the US to try and ensure you get the help you need when it comes to finding somewhere to live.

Take advantage of student discounts

No matter your age, if you’re a student, you can unlock the world of student discounts. Save money on everything from shopping and dining out, to visits to the cinema and museums, and even transport!

If you can’t see whether a shop or restaurant offers student discount, it’s always worth asking. Most places accept a student ID campus card, but others may want to see an official ISIC card (International Student Identity Card) which, although you’ll need to pay for, is an investment worth making as you’ll get your money back in no time.

Research scholarships

Although this isn’t strictly a budgeting tip, a scholarship can definitely help finance your studies abroad. The monetary value of scholarships can vary widely, with some scholarships paying for whole or part of your tuition fees, while others offer funds to help with resources, such as textbooks, laptops and software. Take the time to see whether you may be eligible for one. QS offers several MBA scholarships, including the QS Leadership Scholarship and QS Community Scholarship.

Written by Stephanie Lukins

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