Preparing the Next Generation
of Global Leaders

Studying Abroad on a Budget

Posted on May 08, 2019

When trying to make the most of your global program and experience, it’s easy to ball out. But if you’re like many students, you might be working with a modest budget. To ensure your funds the last throughout your entire time abroad, we suggest creating a budget so you can anticipate most expenses before you leave home and determine how much wiggle room you’ll have with your money.


Start by creating a list of what is and isn’t included in the program fees so you can accurately calculate how much you will need to spend. Next, make sure to add a list of anticipated expenses. This generally includes the following:

  • Living: housing, meals
  • Academic: tuition, books
  • Travel: airfare, passport, visa, local transportation
  • Communication: internet access, cell phone
  • Program: application fee, group excursions
  • Health and safety: insurance, immunizations, medication
  • Personal: toiletries, souvenirs, entertainment

If possible, set aside a small amount for emergencies. If you have a credit card or are able to obtain one, it can be used for unexpected and necessary expenses. Just be sure to use it responsibly!

Now that you have a detailed scope of how much you will spend while abroad, how do you plan to hold yourself accountable to your budget?

This is a good time to research methods of payment in your host country. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is using a debit or credit card popular socially or do most vendors ask for cash?
  • Does it make sense to open a bank account in my host country or will my bank account be accessible while I’m here?
  • What is the exchange rate?
  • Will I have access to ATM machines or should I anticipate converting currency before leaving or upon arriving at the airport?

Check out a more in-depth article on how to budget your money abroad. You can also view our webinar on How to Budget and Save for Study Abroad.

Author: Diversity Abroad Community

Share this article: