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Budget Tips

Make a budget before you leave. Then really try to stick to it.

Study abroad can be expensive. And if you travel a lot, it can be really expensive. Here's a simple plan for preparing for life abroad.

  • Figure out how much money you will have. Consider that you may not work abroad because of time or visa restrictions. How much can you realistically save before going? 
  • Think carefully about what you plan to do while you're away. How much do you plan to travel? How do you plan to get there? Where do you plan to stay? Are you comfortable staying in hostels? You get the idea. 
  •  Consider everyday expenses, like food, toiletries, etc. - they can add up very quickly when you're not used to your environment.
  • Be realistic. You're going to be very tempted to spend lots of money during your first few weeks abroad - you may make new friends and want to go out a lot, especially at the beginning. If possible, allow for "splurges" (especially souvenirs!) when you consider your budget.
  • Try to break down your budget by week or month, then make a solemn vow - or at least a quick promise to yourself - that you'll stick to it. Keep track of how you spend your money once there. If you write it down, you'll find places here and there where you may be able to save. Good luck!

Make your money go further

  • Your budget in Ghana is what you make it. The U.S. dollar goes further in Ghana than in the United States. Do not let that fool you, however. Your money can easily disappear especially on things like souvenirs and food.
  • Do not buy everything in the supermarkets. Shop from the streets and little shops and you will save money.
  • Ask your CRAs how much certain items or cab trips should cost so you have a better idea when haggling. If they still try, say, “I know how much this is. Don’t rip me off because I’m not Ghanaian.” People will understand and then you can bargain for real. Be respectful but be firm.

(Content from STS guide)

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Traveling on a Budget?

"Studying abroad on a tight budget? Go on the NYU-planned trips! Most of the aspects of the trip are paid for in your tuition including lodging, transportation to and from, passes to museums, tours and some meals. Make good use of the opportunity."

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