2 answers

Having the opportunity to study abroad would be an amazing experience! When is a good time to travel and what are some financial tips prior to going?

Asked Denver, Colorado

2 answers

Ann’s Answer

Updated

Hi Ayen


I studied in London, and it was a great experience! As far as when it is a good time to travel will really depend on where you are going. I went to London in the spring. The weather was terrible, but there weren't a lot of tourists, so it was much more affordable to do things. As far as financial tips, most banks will charge a fee when you use your card, so make sure you research what fees you will have. You will also want to compare the fees of converting currency at exchanges versus banks. The bank of England didn't charge anything to withdraw cash from its ATMs, so it was cheaper for me to withdraw cash at the bank than it was to exchange money. That will differ depending on the country. You also want to research the value of your current currency to the currency of the country you travel. At the time I went to England the Pound was worth almost double of the US dollar, so I had to keep in mind that every Pound I spent was like spending $2. I hope this helps.


Good luck!

Christine’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

Hi Ayen,


Study abroad is a life-changing is absolutely amazing experience! A good time to travel depends on when you want to go and when you're available to go. If you are open, then any season would be great. Think about your preferences: do you like cold or hot weather? This will depend on which country you want to study in, and also where it's located. For instance, I see you're in Colorado and right now, it's winter. If you want to study in South America or Australia, for example, know that the seasons are different and its summer/hot. Maybe you want to experience a little bit of different seasons? Fall term would allow you to get some of that warmer weather at the end of summer, and cooler temps as the season changes. Likewise, Spring term would allow you to experience colder, winter weather, as well as the transition to spring/warmer weather. Summer is a popular option for many with constraints during the year or for shorter opportunities.


For financial tips, are you talking about scholarships/aid to help fund your study abroad, or saving money to live while studying abroad? Either way, I can provide some advice. If you need financial aid/scholarships/grants for studying abroad, look into your university, school (like school of social sciences, engineering, etc. The school your major is housed in), department (where your major is housed in), and major. For this last one on major, a simple Google search "[insert major] study abroad scholarships grants financial aid" would yield some ideas on where to get external funding in your community, state, or even world. There are tons of resources that are hiding, and you just have to dig, be persistence, and look.


Regarding financial tips to save money while study abroad or before you go, here are some ideas: get a job if you haven't already. If you have the summer to work, work as much as you can. Budget, and try not spend anything you can make yourself (like food). Sell stuff like clothes (to Poshmark or ThredUp for example) or books. I know coffee drinks are a big things during college, so learn to make your own -- going out for these yummy treats adds up big time. These may seem like small things, but they really add up a lot. Consider living on campus in a dorm or sharing an apartment while abroad, or living with a host family (and this will depend on which study abroad program you decide on). Do some research on expensive items in your host country, or things that may be difficult to find if you aren't going somewhere commonplace (like Europe). If you are a certain age (under 25 or 26 I believe), there are student cards that can save you tons of money on admission to tourist sights/museums/attractions, transportation, etc. I remembered when I studied abroad in Rouen, France, those under 25 were eligible for a free transportation pass! Talk about savings there.



This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • Think about where you'd like to study abroad. What are you goals? Do you want to study the language further? Study a particular issue related to that country? This will first help to narrow down where to go.
  • Figure out what season you love and/or would like to experience. Remember, study abroad can be several weeks to a year (and longer sometimes).
  • Think about your current financial situation and look for ways to save more, earn more, and spend less. Those are key to making this work for you.
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