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?
Author: Diversity Abroad Community