|Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses|
Preparing financially for your study time abroad
The first thing to do is to set out a realistic budget for your time away. Take a look at what you expect your weekly expenditure to include – this may include accommodation costs, as well as any tuition fees you may have to pay for, and day to day spending on food, phone and internet bills, stationary and course materials. Remember to include some spending money for fun stuff, like meals out, trips to the cinema and gigs and money for clothes and record shopping too.
Once you have your budget drawn up, you will have a far clearer idea of how much money you are realistically going to need for your trip. With this in mind, you’ll be able to work out how much you ideally need to save ahead of time.
Financially, it’s wise to start saving towards your overseas trip as early as possible. The more money you have saved up for your studies, the easier it will be when you get there. Set up a dedicated savings account and draw up a budget. Figure out how much you can afford to set aside in the lead up to your trip and stick to this savings plan.
Many students take a summer job prior to their study abroad. Not only will a summer job help you save up extra cash towards your time away, but you can pick up valuable skills too. Having a summer job helps you get used to being responsible for your own finances, and the money and time management skills that you pick up will see you in good stead for your study time abroad – and you’ll make some new friends along the way too.
If you don’t already have a current account, be sure to set one up before you go. You’ll be able to withdraw money with your debit card from ATM’s across Europe, or further afield, although there will likely be a small charge for doing so depending on your bank. Major banks like Santander offer a range of current accounts, including accounts designed specifically for students. Look out for student accounts that offer free overdraft facilities as well as perks such as money off gig tickets and travel too.
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