Paying For Study Abroad: 21 Tried & True Strategies 

Studying abroad seems very simple to us , just pick a program in your dream location and go! Right? Well…it’s not always so simple. 

Have you ever imagined going to a supermarket and picking up everything you love and admire, I mean everything, then you get to the counter and wonder how you will pay for all the beautiful things in your basket.

Studying abroad isn’t free (unless you’re one of those lucky few to find fully-funded programs), but there are definitely other ways to study abroad so it doesn’t have to wipe out your bank account. 

There are tons of affordable paying for study abroad: 21 Tried & True Strategies.

Paying For Study Abroad: 21 Tried & True Strategies-Explained

You are not sure how to start saving and how to pay for study abroad? Follow these tips to kick off your saving efforts. 

1. Create A Budget Plan And Stick To It

If you’re not familiar with Google and Excel spreadsheets, then it’s time to start learning. 

You need to start by mapping out how much you think you’ll spend on study abroad, the l program fees, international flights, housing, food. including all those adventures you are planning.

More importantly, stick. to. this. budget. At least, as much as possible within reason. 

Avoid planning extravagantly.

2. Start Appealing For Funds Sooner Rather Than Later

It’s 2023, Fundraising is as easy as logging in, telling your story, and sharing with friends and family via social media.

It is the way in which a nonprofit organization asks for financial support from it’s donor.

Crowdfunding sites like FundMyTravel are specifically geared toward meaningful travelers, and it’s aim is to help you with paying for study abroad. 

Create your own campaign, include your specific program and university, share your campaign with friends and family, and watch the dollars start rolling in.

3. Scholarships

With so many study abroad scholarships out there, you will be doing yourself no good if you do not throw your hat in the ring for any and all of them. 

4. Open An Online Savings Account 

Opening an online savings account a few months before your travel will help you track your finances. And even help you track your spending when you are abroad.

Use apps like Mint to help you create and manage your budget, track your savings, and stay on top of any bills you might have (at home and abroad!).

If you wish somebody could start saving your money for you, you can use apps like Digit, that analyze your usual spending and save money here and there automatically based on your cash flow. 

It’s a great way to help you with paying for study abroad.

5. Check For The Best Student Travel Deals On Flights

Thinking about the payment to study abroad isn’t just about tuition fee, flights sure ain’t cheap. 

Check out travel agencies, they work with their partners to offer you the best flight deals on a student budget. 

You can also find great student deals directly through airlines, you just need to ask the right people the right questions. 

6. Declutter All Old Textbooks.

Do this and your bank account will thank you.

Are you really going to pick up that anthology of  English literature ever again? It’s not exactly light reading. 

If you haven’t already, start collecting your old textbooks from past semesters to sell, either at your local bookshops or online through Amazon 

Read Also: How Much Does It Cost To Study Abroad

7. Save Your Change 

This sounds strange right? That’s for sure, but collecting every dimes here and there can really start to add up.

 You don’t need an actual piggy bank (even though they’re good ), but putting any extra pocket change into a jar will make your wallet a little easier to carry around, while ultimately still keeping money in your pockets!

8. Take Up Odd Jobs Here And There For Extra Cash.

Take as much jobs as you can handle 

Whatever extra odd jobs you can find with a decent paycheck will really help your cause of learning how to afford study abroad. 

9. Garage Sale Time!

If your house looks like it’s been on an episode of Hoarders, it’s well past time to have a garage sale.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings are usually the best time to hold your garage sale.

Having a garage sale can be a daunting task, so go ahead and do the major work ahead of time. 

As you’re unearthing all of those clothes and old board games, sort them into three basic categories: Keep, Sell and Trash.

10. It’s Time To Cancel That Gym Membership 

You and I know you’re not running on the treadmill three times a week. It’s been ages since your last leg day. 

Just save that money and see the benefits, you may need it for something more important abroad 

11. Save Those Morning Coffee Habit

Think about how much money you’re spending on coffee daily/weekly/monthly/annually! 

Honestly, you might not actually want to look into this, it’s painful, just stop doing it and save yourself the pain. 

Skip that coffee treat and see how much you would save from it.

12. Get To Coupon Clipping.

This is a great way to save money on groceries and things you need to be a living person (shampoo, laundry detergent, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc.) 

while you’re still home! Become a member at your local grocery store to start getting those sweet sweet awoof of buy-one-get-one deals.

13. Save On Transportation.

Walk more!

This is another great two-for-one tip— great for saving before you go AND while you’re abroad. 

Rather than taking taxis or users, hop on those two legs of yours and get walking or pedaling to your destination. 

You’ll be in great shape – physically and financially – before studying abroad.

14. Skip That Night Out With Friends, For A Casual Night Instead!

You know what’s way more fun than going out to drink overpriced cocktails in tight jeans? 

Sitting with a glass of cheap wine and some popcorn, binge-watching “Stranger Things” with your best friends. 

Rather than spending money on nights out, movies, clubs, etc, chose to spend time with your besties

You’re saving money, but time spent with your besties is priceless. 

15. Save With Family Hand -Me – Down.

That really old school puff jacket your dad took camping in 1985 is probably back in style right now.

 If your friends and family aren’t quite the adventuring bunch, and you need some gear, check out thrift stores and secondhand shopping sites to get everything you need at a much better price.

16. Cut Down On Expensive Outings 

Skip that expensive outing and save the money!

Spend less time and money going out for dinner and drinks.

17. No More Impulse Buying!

We understand how difficult it is to walk through a fruit store without buying at least half of your favorite fruits. 

Especially when you went in there only needing oranges and apple. But, you need to put those other fruits down, even if they’re “only” two for $1

18. Share The Cost Of Movies (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) With Friends.

Choose your ideal Netflix plan, go in with some friend and share the bills.

Now you’re not spending quite as much on that summer OITNB binge.

19. Stop Paying For Expensive Cable Packages.

If you’re sharing the cost of Netflix and Hulu, who even needs real-time TV anymore? 

All your favorite football and basketball games are probably streaming online anyway, so “missing the game” is no longer a valid excuse for blowing a lot of money on an unnecessary cable package just to get ESPN. 

20. Meal Plan With Friends And Splits The Cost Of Groceries

Dinner parties don’t have to be about eating out all the time. 

Get together and cook with your friends! Not only is it fun, but splitting the cost of groceries means you save money. And prevent left over meals

Whether you meal plan every week with your roommates, or a couple times a month with your squad, saving that extra $$$ to help with paying for study abroad is ideal—and this way you get to share the clean-up duties!  

21. Consider Moving Back Home So You Don’t Have To Pay Rent.

this might not be an option for everyone, it’s still a great way to save! 

Especially if your parents haven’t already converted your room into an office/gym/craft closet yet. 

Even just taking the summer to go home, live rent-free, and work hard will make a big dent in the cost of your study abroad program! Plus, it’s extra time to spend with your family before you’re off jet-setting around the world.


I am convinced you enjoyed reading this article and you are currently smiling and satisfied with the tips listed.

At the end of the day, you know exactly how to pay for study abroad. 

You cut down. You work hard. You save up. You snag scholarships. You pack your bags. You choose programs in the cheapest countries to study abroad. You go! 

Making any of these small changes can result in big returns, and makes paying for study abroad less of a barrier. Besides, all those memories are treasured.

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