Budgets and Money Management

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While you are abroad, you will be in charge of managing your own money. If you’re like most students you’ll have a limited amount of funds so it is important to budget to ensure your money lasts throughout your entire time abroad. Be sure you know what is and isn’t included in the program fees so you can accurately calculate how much you will need to spend.

Before you go abroad, put together a budget. Make a list of expenses and how much you anticipate spending in the local currency. Some key items to include are:  
  • Living expenses: housing, meals 
  • Academic expenses: tuition, books 
  • Travel expenses: airfare, passport, visa, local transportation 
  • Communication expenses: internet access, cell phone 
  • Program expenses: application fee, group excursions 
  • Health and safety expenses: insurance, immunizations 
  • Personal expenses: toiletries, souvenirs, entertainment 

Now that you have an idea of how much you’ll be spending, convert that into US dollars to get a better idea of how much you will need. Next, you’ll want to think about how you’ll manage your money abroad. With so many things to pay for you should ask yourself: 

  • Should I use my bank account from home or should I open an account with a foreign bank? 
  • Should I carry cash or use credit cards? 
  • What about traveler’s check vs. a traveler check card? 
  • What is the exchange rate of my host country? 

Learn all about banking, traveler’s checks, ATM/check cards, credit cards, and exchange rates below.


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