How To Afford Study Abroad: 15 Helpful Tips

The price of many study abroad programs can be intimidating for some students. First, money spent on study abroad is money well spent. It is a good investment in yourself and your future.

It  is important to count the cost and consider several things when thinking about how to afford study abroad.

Know How To Afford Study Abroad: 15 Helpful Tips

Here are my best tips for how to afford study abroad!

1. Get A Summer Job

A summer job abroad is a short-term employment opportunity for people who are interested in working in a foreign country over summer.

Summer jobs are for everyone. Whether you want a change of scenery, or you’re a student between academic years, a summer job away allows you to do what you enjoy the most.

Many people choose to get a summer job abroad. It’s a great way of making friends, and help you to earn extra money

You can do jobs like: Working at a restaurant, working in retail, lifeguarding, working as a summer camp counselor, babysitting and tutoring 

2. Get An On-Campus Job

If you need a job that works around your school schedule, you can try to find an on-campus job at your university.

As the name states “On-campus” it means you can work at all the buildings on your school campus.

If your school has more than one campus, you may only work at the campus where you’re studying in most cases.

All on-campus jobs are part-time jobs and you can work up to 20 hours a week in them. 

You are only allowed to work more hours during holidays and in those cases, you would be limited to 40 hours a week.

On-campus jobs are paid and you can earn anywhere between 7 to 15 dollars an hour for the work you do. 

The extra income in your pocket can make a big difference to pay off bills

3. Get An Internship

An internship is a temporary form of employment where students work at companies as interns. 

Internships usually last anywhere from 1 to 12 months, but most commonly between 3 and 6 months.

For instance, if  you can get a part-time internship at a major broadcasting company and make $18 an hour for 20 hours a week.

It will help you save a few thousand more dollars for your study abroad.

4. Apply For Scholarships

This is definitely the  way to afford studying abroad. It’s literally free money.

Apply for as many scholarships as possible 

Always remember to apply to smaller, more niche scholarships as well.

5.Use Points And Miles

Using points and miles to see the world can save a lot of cash.

And when you get into this hobby, you begin to realize that all sorts of travel is affordable and within reach.

When using points and miles, That ticket that would have cost you over $1,000 if you had bought it, will instead cost you a little more than $10 plus airline miles.

Read Also: How Much Does It Cost To Study Abroad

6. Cut Back On Luxurious 

Choose to do the cooking at home instead of eating out!

It is better to learn cooking, and you can prepare your week in advance and take a maximum of 2-3 takeouts out of the preparations you made. 

This would save you money, customize your diet and help you live a healthy lifestyle.

Also cut back on luxuries like going to movies/concerts, shopping, etc.

7. Get And International Debit Card

You can apply for an international debit card at the nearest branch of your bank or do it online. You can also enable international usage on your local debit card.

You can check out Charles Schwab checking account and debit card. This debit card allows you to use any ATM anywhere in the world with no fees. 

There are also no foreign transaction fees on any purchase.

8. Make Use Of Free Wi-Fi And Use Cheap Phone Services.

While studying abroad, you need to make local as well as international calls, and if you do not pay attention to the phone bills, then it is bound to skyrocket in no time. 

You can use applications such as WhatsApp, Google Duo, Skype, etc., which facilitates free online calling. 

To use these apps, you can use the free Wi-Fi facilities available at various places. 

To make a call to your home country, you can use services like GoogleFi, Rebtel, etc.

9. Host A Fundraiser

Hosting a fundraiser is a great way to raise money for your study abroad program.

Some  students do everything from selling clothes to hosting a bake sale to simply starting a GoFundMe in order to get money for their study abroad.

10. Make Use Of Apps

A budgeting app is an app designed to help you optimize the spending and savings choices you make while studying abroad 

The main advantage of mobile apps is that they’re easy to use and cut out a lot of extra time – and expense.

11. Pick A City With A Low Cost Of Living 

This should definitely come first. Choose to study somewhere with a lower cost of living.

For example, a Big Mac in New York will cost around $8, while students in New Mexico could enjoy one for just over $4, along with rent prices that are around 80% lower!

If you have your heart set on one particular country, you may find that different cities in that country can have dramatically different rent or travel prices.

12. Get A Local SIM Card

Another mistake you will make while studying abroad will be forgetting to  get a local SIM card for your  cell phone. 

Don’t think you will just use WiFi, you might end up having to use cellular data sometimes which will cost you a lot!

If you want to use your cellphone while abroad, be sure to pick up a local sim card. It’s usually much cheaper and you can get unlimited data for under twenty dollars a month.

Read Also: The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing Guide

13. Find Cheap Housing 

I asked a friend what was his biggest mistake while studying and he said

“My biggest mistake while studying abroad was deciding to live in an apartment by myself in Paris, in one of the most expensive areas. I loved my apartment, but this was definitely a HUGE expense.”

You can save so much money on study abroad by finding a cheap housing option, like a shared apartment or even a homestay.

14. Stick To A Budget 

One of the most important things you can do while studying abroad is creating a budget and sticking to it. This will help you manage your finances without any stress.

The only way you will know if you are saving money is if you budget.

I consider this the most important.

15. Shopping During Sale

Sales like Black Friday or garage sales are the best ways to find out some great deals on clothes, furniture, appliances, and other utility 

For grocery shopping, one can budget the weekly items and buy them from stores like Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, etc which will cut down costs of studying abroad.


Truthfully, the list is endless, however, the above listed is satisfying.

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