It is absolutely crucial to budget before beginning your sojourn abroad. (For logistical information about money abroad, please refer to the Pre-Departure Checklist.)
Here are some tips to help you plan:
- If you know that you want to go abroad, start saving early.
- Consider possible resources: personal savings, gifts from family, loans, grants, and financial aid. (Note: financial aid must be used to cover living expenses, relevant for programs where board is not charged or covered by Holy Cross.)
- Consider the following additional expenses you may incur: cell phone, cell phone bills, travel expenses, meals eaten outside the dorm/host family, entertainment, personal expenses such as toiletries, medicine, etc., airfare if you plan to return home in the middle of the year abroad, and/or emergency funds for unexpected situations, especially medical since insurance companies expect you to pay and then submit claims later. Ask the study abroad director who runs your program if your program might have additional costs to consider.
- Get in touch with students who participated in your program in the last few years to find out specifics about budgeting. Talk to more than one student! Some people that you speak with might be bigger or smaller spenders than you are.
- When preparing your abroad budget, overestimate rather than underestimate because unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities will arise.
- Keep in mind that there are usually more expenses during the first month abroad than there will be the duration of your time.
- Consider getting a job! In some locations getting a job is extremely feasible. Working visas in certain countries allows for student to work up to twenty hours per week.
Studying abroad requires careful financial preparation; however, at the end of your time abroad you will have acquired the ability to carefully manage your finances.