About 3.7 million students travel abroad to pursue their education in another country. This number grows 12% annually.
If you want to study and live overseas, the first thing you must consider is your finances. Many graduates, even those who don’t travel to another country, often end up paying loads of student loan after their time in the university. The last thing you want is to spend the early years after college working hard to pay off a huge amount of debt.
Living in a foreign country is exciting, but it is also expensive and scary, especially when you lose track of your finances.
How do you live debt-free while studying abroad?
In this article, you will learn to become adept at better financial management.
Choose an Affordable Destination
Different cities in every country of the world have varying cost of living. Some are more affordable than others, especially in terms of basic commodities, as well as housing, like Student One student apartments, for example.
Take Brisbane, for example. The city is popular with students because it is marginally cheaper compared to other cities like Sydney or Melbourne. Add the fact that it has several universities within its limits.
You have to make a smart choice when selecting which country you want to study in. Aside from the scholarship grants, you also have to think about your day-to-day expenses, such as transportation and food cost.
Don’t forget rental fees on student accommodation. More often, rent is one of the bigger expenses and something you should set a budget for. Good thing there are Student One student apartments that you can choose for housing that fits your budget, especially in major countries like Australia.
Use Your Student ID for Deals and Offers
You’ll be surprised at how many discounts and other money-saving advantages you can get using your student ID.
In Australia, different student cards come with different perks.
- International Student Identity Card (ISIC) gives you great discounts from multiple types of services internationally.
- Student Edge lets you save on student essentials, such as Microsoft products and items sold at the Lenovo Education Store.
- UNiDAYS iD for discounted clothing, taxi rides, and a range of products.
Get a free membership in libraries where you can study and borrow books or use it in cafes for a discounted meal. Perks also include leisure and entertainment. And while student cards don’t always offer discounts on student residence rental fees, you will receive perks like free luggage storage and Wi-Fi.
Don’t be shy about asking for discounts. For every penny you don’t spend is a penny added to your funds.
Cut the Little Costs, Save Big Time
In line with saving small amounts, you also need to watch out for the small costs in your daily budget. It’s the little things that you ignore that actually have a big impact on your finances.
Limit your international phone calls. While you want to keep in touch with your loved ones’ back home, overseas calls are expensive when done frequently. Use free messaging apps as an alternative.
Likewise, withdraw your money from ATMs in bigger amounts. Banks charge you for every transaction you make and international withdrawals have higher rates. Say you withdraw thrice a week and every transaction costs $5. That’s already $15 off your budget. Withdraw a bigger amount at a time and save money in the long run.
Stretch Out Your Daily Living Expenses
Find ways on how you can maximise your living expenses. Some hacks that you can apply include buying groceries in bulk and using multiple-entry transit passes.
You can also opt to walk to your destination from the student rooms to save cash. If the Student One student apartments of your choice are not that far from the Queensland University of Technology, for example, walk.
It is important for you to be able to stick to your budget. Download any finance management tool or any other money tracking app that can help you get a proper overview of your overall funds.
Apply for Part-Time Employment
Always grab the opportunity to earn money. A little extra income will help you with your books, meals, rent on student apartments, and other costs. You can apply for a job on campus, or you can also try other opportunities outside your school.
Regardless of where you want to do your internship, you have to take note of the number of hours that you can work as a student. Visit your university’s career services office to check for job opportunities that might fit your schedule and your skill.
If you are planning on studying abroad, do a thorough research about the country you wish to study and live in. Find out what it’s like living there, how different the culture is from yours, and other aspects.
Meanwhile, if you are already overseas chasing your degree, manage your finances wisely. If you haven’t started yet, get on it right now using the tips listed above.