10 Thrifty Ways To Survive Studying Abroad
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

10 Thrifty Ways To Survive Studying Abroad

Being a broke college student only gets worse internationally!

78
10 Thrifty Ways To Survive Studying Abroad
Pexels

Let's face it: College is EXPENSIVE! Not only do tuition, fees, and room and board add up big time, but being a college student also requires us to spend money on other things. A social life means going out for food or other activities, hobbies mean spending money on equipment of different kinds, and living out of the house means paying rent. No wonder we complain about empty pockets all the time.

Now imagine being an American college student AND living in a foreign country. That's right, study abroad only adds up the costs. Being away from home makes it tempting to spend money on the things that comfort us, but also requires students to be more independent with their money. However, there is a way to come out of study abroad actually SAVING money! Here are some tips on how to do this, if you want to get out of the "broke college student" rut.

1. Only use cash

Having a magic card that can immediately provide you with goods is dangerous. It's much easier to be careful with money if you can visibly see it disappearing the more you open your wallet. However, don't carry too much money at once. This can definitely lead to overspending.

2. Learn how to enjoy canned food

A weird one, I know. In Costa Rica (where I'm at) quick sources of protein are pretty hard to come by. Canned foods, such as chickpeas, black beans, tuna, etc., have become a really cheap way to add something extra to all the carbs I eat. Besides sources of protein, canned foods are CHEAP. I'm not saying to live off of the stuff, as some of it has so many preservatives it shouldn't even be considered food anymore, but if you need a quick snack I suggest good ole' cans. And if you need some flavor, sauce it up!

3. Don't get tempted by chains

With the exception of McDonalds (those reliable golden arches), American chains are typically WAY more expensive in foreign countries. No matter how much you may want that Starbucks latte, stick with local coffee shops. Choosing to try the places more native to your country of study also gives you the chance to try some different foods (although I would NOT be down for vegemite). Lastly, be forewarned of restaurants located in tourist spots, as they tend to be extremely overpriced in comparison to the spot a few blocks down.

4. Pre-make meals as much as possible

Through my study abroad program, I'm only provided breakfast and dinner. Everyday, lunch is on me. So I've learned that cooking some simple, portable meals before each day saves me a whopping amount of cash. Even those who may not be provided a kitchen can make sandwiches, salads, or microwaveable meals. Buying in bulk is always good! Major reminder here: don't buy food that easily goes bad unless you plan on using it the few days following your purchase.

5. Find where the locals shop

Depending on where you are in the world, this may be an outdoor market, small local chain, or large supermarket. Don't automatically assume that Walmart (or any variety of this) is the way to go. Local people know whats up, so ask around and figure out where you can get the best prices AND best food.

6. If you're legal, don't waste money at bars

Alright party people. All bars will probably serve overprices drinks, and will be tempted to charge more if you're clearly foreign. If you want to drink, buy alcohol from markets and SAFELY AND WITH MODERATION drink in this way before you go out on the town.

7. Research different forms of transportation before leaving the house

Sure, Uber is always a great option (if it's legal in your country). But busses or other forms of public transportation may be just as good AND hurt your wallet a lot less. This also applies to transportation around your Study Abroad country, as some super nice shuttles may be extremely overpriced. Try and find bus maps on the internet or ask locals how they get around. (Ex. I can get to either the Pacific or Caribbean ocean for no more than $5)

8. When traveling, choose hostels

I cannot stress how much I love hostels. If you're unfamiliar, hostels are privately owned places that provide the basics of hospitality: shared or private rooms, showers, kitchens or scheduled meals, common areas, WIFI, and personal assistance. Staying in hostels costs less than half compared to some hotels, and also saves you food money when provided a kitchen.

9. Be ok with simple, basic living

Although this is a good tip for college students in general, it's especially helpful when studying abroad. You have the ability to let go of your typical US habits and start with a clean slate, so if you can live without "fancy stuff", do it. Don't buy expensive toiletries, see if you can survive only on WIFI instead of international roaming, and adapt yourself to the lifestyles of a semi-nomad. All I'm saying is do your best to leave home expecting to rough it a bit.

10. Choose a cheap country!

I know, I know! I'm narrowing down your study abroad experience already. Just hear me out. Many cities are extremely expensive, even for the people that already live there. Make sure you don't overlook some of the cheaper countries, although they may not be as posh as London or Paris. Most study abroad programs already make traveling an easy expense for college students by working with host families, giving students many financial options, and establishing relationships with foreign universities. However, do you really want to be spending $10 on a muffin everyday?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

250938

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

The Best Bagel Recipes For Every Personality Type, In Case You Need Another Excuse To Eat Carbs

I'll approve of pasta for breakfast any day, but this is more socially acceptable.

15924
NBC

I've had times in my life at which I've told myself I need to cut out carbs. Those moments last about a minute or two before I start daydreaming about rice and pasta.

Bagels hold a special place in my heart — for many of my college friends and me, a bagel sandwich was the go-to breakfast after a long night of drinking. Years later, I still love to indulge in the occasional carb-filled breakfast. As much as I love putting in an UberEats order from bed, nothing beats the feeling of pulling some fresh-baked bread or pastries out of the oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

88808

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

221024

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Scrolling through Instagram can get stale after a while, especially if you're constantly refreshing in the hopes of finding something new and exciting. Should you be looking to add some inspiration to your timeline in the form of self-love tips, relationship advice, or love secrets, here are 11 relationship coaches you'll LOVE following.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

132715

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

If you are a college freshman, or new to college, this is for you. If you are in a new time in life where you don't know where this change is going to take you, where you might not have your community yet, this is for you. Or even if you are stuck in a rut of everyday life where the new normal is quarantine and isolation, this is also for you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

As Illinois Reaches Its Highest Death Toll Since June, I Urge You To Stay Home And Wear Your Mask

69 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in a twenty-four-hour period, the highest amount since June of this year.

1185
Photo by Noah on Unsplash

As we are approaching colder weather, we are also approaching a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state of Illinois. On October 21, 2020, Illinois recorded its largest daily COVID-19 death toll since June of this year. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 69 deaths of people who contracted COVID-19 were recorded within a twenty-four-hour period, raising the state's death toll to 9,345 since the start of the pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

9 Halloween Role Play Costumes That'll Make Your Partner Want To Jump Your Bones

Whoever thinks dress up is only for Halloween is seriously disturbed.

1625

When "Mean Girls" said "In girl world, Halloween is the one time of the year where you can dress up like a total slut and no one can do or say anything about it," they were damn right. Halloween is the perfect excuse to buy that raunchy costume and show your partner that you're that B. Coming from a very single (yes, very single) 20 something-year-old, I have already got my Halloween costume on lock, and now you will too.

Not only are these 10 Halloween costumes dangerously sexy, but you can wear them in the bedroom whenever you want to give your boo a surprise, yes, year-round. Whoever said you can only dress up on Halloween is seriously disturbed.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ariana Grande released her first single called "positions" since "boyfriend" with Social House and it is a BANGER. This song is absolutely incredible and I am SURE you will agree with me once you listen.

I'm a sucker for a single with a video and that's exactly what we got. Ariana's been pretty quiet during the pandemic, and we all assumed she was working on some new music, and we were right.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Rejection Of Black Lives Matter Mural By Phoenix City Council Doesn’t Stop Gizette Knight

The Phoenix City Council rejected a proposal for a Black Lives Matter Mural in downtown Phoenix. But Gizette Knight says this is not the end.

728
Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

Community organizer Gizette Knight, CEO of Reality Dreams LLC, is not giving up on the Phoenix City Council's rejection of the Black Lives Matter mural.

Keep Reading... Show less

For me, chai isn't just what I drink — it's a core part of who I am. Sure, I'll switch it up every now and then with a cup of English Breakfast, Earl Grey, rose, or Darjeeling, but I always come back to chai.

Nearly every tea lover has one tea they repeatedly drink and go back to, whether it's a daily morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up. One of my good friends has almost eight cups of jasmine tea every single day — she drinks more tea than water, actually.

Keep Reading... Show less

In a world where physical contact is a liability, the ease of slipping into despair and isolation has never been so tempting. Perhaps the greatest kindness we can lend to one another is reaching out to the people that meant something to us before everything changed. Here's why you should message your friend today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments