i hate talking about money. i hate talking about how much money i have. i hate talking about how much money i don’t have. and i especially hate talking about other people and their money. money is such a personal subject. but it unfortunately matters. and it especially matters in regards to studying abroad.
questions about money are asked more often than nearly anything else on this blog and so i’m going to try and do a mini summary of everything i’ve learned.
i believe there is a large misconception that you can only study abroad if you are rich. let me tell you firsthand, that is wrong. nearly every program that i researched accepted the exact same scholarships and grants used for home universities while abroad. of course there are some options that are cheaper than others and some countries are undoubtedly more expensive than others.
for example, studying abroad in london will of course cost more. it’s a city. and their currency is the pound. scotland is also the pound, therefore it’s expensive for anyone coming from the american dollar. when i was researching, austrailia’s dollar was weaker than americas, making austrailia a bit cheaper. but i had my heart set on ireland. ireland uses the euro currency. it’s a rough exchange rate for my dollar but i knew that going in and i tried to plan accordingly.
the great thing about going through a program is that you pay for tuition, housing, and with academic programs international a few excursions upfront.
the money i then needed to save was for food, travel, and daily expenses. luckily, i had a fabulous job. i worked full time for over a year in order to save money to study abroad. in all honesty, i wanted to have $1,000 saved for every month i was in ireland. that equates to $6,000. but, don’t be discouraged. many students i know did not have the same amount of cash saved.
traveling throughout europe can be as cheap or as expensive as you choose. if you can book your flights and bus tickets well in advance, you can often find round trip flights for under 20 euro. which comes to roughly $30. and at least in ireland, when we booked our bus tickets in advance we could get them for one euro.
i was lucky enough to go to scotland, spain, italy, and now maybe croatia? (instead of greece) on my dime. and with api i was able to go to paris.
i made the mistake of not planning far enough in advance. i paid nearly $300 for my flights to italy because i didn’t book them very far ahead of time. and greece is an expensive place. it just is. but i decided it was worth it to me. and souvenirs? you can use your own photos as your souvenir if you don’t want to spend the money on them.
i know everyone has their own situations regarding money but my outlook on it all is as follows: next year, when i’m a broke joke, i’m not going to look back and say well shucks i really shouldn’t have spent so much money on international excursions and pub crawls. nope. i’m going to go back to work, and save up again. for me, i earn money to enjoy myself. i don’t work as hard as i do to look at paper bills. i work hard to live.
i hope this helps a tiny bit? but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. i know money is touchy and i’ll try and be as honest as i can with you. i’ll even leave the comments private so that nobody will see your questions.
if you’re lucky enough to get over your phobia of talking about money, you’re lucky enough