5 Tips for Studying Abroad Without Breaking the Bank

in First Person: Our Blog, Personal Finance

An increasing number of students are leaving college with the experience of studying in a foreign country. While the prospect of studying abroad may seem daunting — both financially and logistically — with just a little extra planning, studying abroad is attainable for those who are up for the adventure! We have a few easy tips and tricks to make it happen:

  1. Plan ahead
    Don’t wait until the end of your college career to decide that you want to study abroad. There are many opportunities for money and scholarships to help fund your travel, but they often have early deadlines. Check out the Institute of International Education’s Study Abroad Funding portal to search a comprehensive list of available scholarships.
  2. Think about location
    The cost of studying abroad will vary by continent, country or city. In some places, the exchange rate is more favorable, while in others the cost of living is lower. For example, if you’ve always wanted to study abroad in England, consider avoiding London, as the big city price tag will be more costly than other areas.
  3. Save before you go
    Consider getting a job to earn some extra money before you leave. Saving before you go abroad will relieve some financial stresses once you’re there. [Shameless plug: Open a First Internet Bank Money Market account and earn interest on your savings!]
  4. Create a budget, and stick to it!
    It’s easy to get caught up in the experience of a new environment. If you’re concerned about finances, creating a budget will help hold you financially accountable. Be sure to make your budget in the currency of where you’re going. And once you’re there, try to live like the locals do… Ask around for the best places to get affordable groceries, or a cheap meal out.
  5. Find a credit card with no international fees
    This may seem like a minor issue, but if you’re abroad for an extended period of time, even a minimal charge for every international transaction could really add up.

It’s never too early to start planning to study abroad. If you have yet to begin your college search, keep it in mind while you look at colleges and consider visiting their study abroad offices. If you’re already in college, see what opportunities are available. As always, First Internet Bank is here to help you prepare financially for big events or small. Just give us a call toll-free at 1-888-873-3424.

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