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Budgeting Tips

Studying abroad can be expensive; however, there are various ways in which students can make this experience both enjoyable and affordable.

Before Going Abroad

Consider Program Duration and Location: Short-term or summer programs are almost always cheaper on the whole than semester programs, but semester programs may provide more value per dollar spent, since a student usually earns two to three times as much credit for a semester program as a summer program. The cost of living varies dramatically based on program location. For example, many large cities in Europe have high costs of living while cities of comparable size in Latin America or Africa usually have much lower costs of living. Also, there are programs in small towns or cities in many countries that provide better value than a program in a large city.

Compare Exchange Rates: It can be helpful to compare the exchange rates of currencies in several counties to get the best deal on the dollar. Americans can get more for their money in some countries than in others depending on these exchange rates. Students can check current rates at this website.

Review Different Program Types: Exchange programs are usually the cheapest way to study abroad. UK students attend overseas universities for a semester or a year and pay their normal UK tuition and fees. Some exchanges also involve room and board, in which case UK students pay UK housing and meal fees, and receive room and board at the host institution. UK Sponsored Faculty Led Programs are programs taught by UK faculty abroad. The cost of tuition is waived for students participating in UK Faculty Led Programs. Students are responsible for the program fee and ISP 599 one credit hour place holder course. UK Partner Programs are programs offered to UK students by organizations with whom UK is affiliated (AsiaLearn, CEA, ISA etc.). These programs might be more expensive; however, they provide much greater variety of services to students. 

Apply for Funding: The key to receive financial aid or scholarship money is to start early and plan ahead. Visit our Financial Aid & Scholarship page for more information.

Evaluate Your Lifestyle and Current Budget: There are many ways to save money from existing funds. Many students are able to save substantial funds toward their study abroad experience just by working part-time and budgeting carefully. Visit our Financial Aid & Scholarship page  for more information on creative fundraising.

While Abroad

Live Like a Local: It is helpful to observe how people in the host country or city live, where they eat, where they shop, etc. Living like a local rather than as a tourist will likely save money.

Learn the Local Language: Knowing the local language may help in bargaining for cheaper prices on goods rather than paying the tourist price.

Utilize Student Discounts: There are several different kinds of discounts that are available for students. For example, many museums in Europe have one day per week when students can pay a discounted student rate rather than full price. Visit this website for more information on students discounts abroad

Budget Carefully: A weekly or monthly budget is essential if a student is studying abroad on limited funds. Students may find our EA at UK Scholarship Budget Sheet is a helpful tool in planning how to manage funds for this experience.