Work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job.
A great way to save up funds for travel abroad.
The number one reason students cite for not going abroad? Cost. We’ve got plenty of resources for diverse students to help you get started with scholarship and major funding sources, but it’s important not to overlook the pocket change as well. A little here and a little there can go along way.
If you don’t have a savings account or other travel fund set aside yet, do this today. It’s important that you have a dedicated place for your trip funds. By segmenting this from your spending money (and checking account), you are less likely to burn through your savings on weekend fun and impulse buys. Some banks and credit unions even allow you to name your different accounts. Dissuade your future self through simple yet effective reminders. For example, my savings account is called “Can’t Touch This.” For some great ideas on how to budget and save, check out our recent webinar, How to Budget and Save for Study Abroad.
Now that we’ve gotten the prerequisites out of the way, here is a list of possible side hustles to get you started:
Freelance in your Free Time
Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to get paid in your free time. Services like TaskRabbit connect people who have a job they need completed with Taskers who take on the project. Typical jobs include mounting a TV, moving furniture, yard work, minor house repairs, and moving assistance. As a Tasker, you have complete flexibility. You determine your own rates, decide what jobs you want to do, and set your own schedule. If physical labor is not for you, perhaps you might prefer to capitalize on your talents using Fiverr, a platform for creative types including freelance graphic artists, digital markets, artists, programmers, and many more. There’s even a market out there for Tinder profile help. Chances are that you have something you can offer as well!
If you have access to a car, you have a few more side hustles at your disposal. Many of us are familiar with the backseat experience of services like Lyft and Uber. If you and your car meet the minimum and maximum age requirements, respectively, consider taking a turn in the driver’s seat to earn a little extra cash. As an added bonus, you’ll have the added benefit of getting your car serviced and gassed up on the company tab. And if you’d rather transport peas than people, you may want to try driving for delivery services, where you can transport groceries or takeout food orders.
Donating Yourself to Science (Kind of)
Want to know the secret behind many major research discoveries? They were made possible by college research subjects. If you are based at a university, you should investigate the possibility of being a paid research subject. Compensation varies from food, to giftcards, to hourly and lump sum payments. Try to figure out if your school has a listserv where they solicit research subjects or simply visit the psychology department, business school, or gym to look for flyers. Some studies may be as low-investment as a survey, while others could involve an experimental drug trial. Figure out what you are comfortable with and read over the risks carefully when deciding if you’d like to be part of a study.
The Old-Fashioned Way
Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with the tried and true method of a part-time job. You may already be working through work study or at another on-campus job. If you are looking for on-campus work, you’ll want to check your university's internal posting website. Off-campus, try sites like Craigslist, Indeed, or Idealist. You may also want to consider picking up work during winter and summer breaks. Certain employers like Amazon, UPS, and retail stores may have a need for temporary employees around busy periods like holidays. Many campus bookstores also need people during the beginning of the semester rush.
Birthdays and holidays often mean well-intentioned but unnecessary gifts from loved ones. Why not funnel their goodwill into something that will genuinely benefit you? Consider asking friends and family to contribute to your trip fund in lieu of gifts. You can do this via cash and check (just make sure the money makes it into your savings account!) Or, you can set up a fund on your preferred crowdfunding website. Be sure to read the fine print so you are aware of any restrictions or fees.
Keep it Going
The hustle doesn’t have to end once your experience abroad begins. If permitted, consider subletting your room or apartment while you’re abroad to avoid paying double rent. Working while in a foreign country can be tricky, but you may be able to pick up a gig here and there babysitting or tutoring English.
The cost of going abroad can be daunting, but there are definitely ways to make it more affordable. Every little bit helps, so get out there and get your side-hustle on!