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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!

Making the money go further

  • Get ISIC (International Student identification Card) – You can get great deals at restaurants, markets, and museums. Apply for one while you are in the States, they will mail it to you in 4-6 weeks.
  • Ask for student discounts - Everything from train and bus tickets to hostels to little restaurants with friendly owners will give.
  • Buy groceries - Buy fruit and vegetables from the street markets. In general, buying groceries is far cheaper than eating in restaurants.
  • Take local transport – Price-wise local public transportation is always the better option over taxis.
  • There are a lot of free things to do in London (museums, parks, just walking around). Do your research.
  •  There are student discount tickets for shows, even West End shows.
  •  Use your Oyster card for transportation.
  • ULU provides many good savings - you can look through their website or through their magazine.
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