10 Hacks to Save Money While Studying Abroad

save money while studying abroad
Masters Degree

10 Hacks to Save Money While Studying Abroad

If you want to study abroad, you might be worried about how much it could cost you to do so. Most bachelor’s and master’s students are strapped for cash and have limited resources. Everyone wants to save money while studying abroad! They may even decide not to study abroad because they believe it will be too expensive and want to save money while doing so. However, there are several money-saving hacks you can use while studying abroad. Read on to learn more about how you can save some cash and still have an awesome time while you study at the top study destinations. 

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10 Hacks to Save Money You Can’t Miss!

Desiring to save money while studying abroad is a must! The following money-saving tips and tricks will help you get a great education at your desired study location without spending a fortune:

1. Create a strict budget

The first study abroad hack to follow if you want to save money while studying abroad is to make a strict budget and stick to it. This is perhaps the most important hack to follow, as if you have everything written down in your budget, then you probably won’t go over it. This applies if you live in a place with a high living cost or a low living cost. If you take out student loans and get some external funding to help with your study abroad journey, you might feel like you have a lot of cash in hand.

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In this case, it’s critical to have a budget and deduct from it essential costs like tuition, rent, food and other living costs. You can allocate the rest wherever you please but make sure you have the basics covered, so you don’t go over your budget and find yourself strapped for cash. You should also put aside a little bit as a safety net, even if it’s just a small amount, as you never know when you’ll need some extra funds! 

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save money while studying abroad
Jar full of money saved

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2. Take advantage of student discounts

Another easy hack to save money when you study a master’s degree abroad is to take advantage of student discounts that are offered. Most top study destinations provide student discounts, allowing students to access various services at a reduced cost. This is because they know that students have limited funds and might struggle to stretch them to cover all costs.

You can receive discounts as a student in areas like rent, entertainment, food, cultural attraction, transportation and gym services. Check if the country you are studying in has a student card that you need to apply to or whether you can just present your student ID to receive the discounts offered in order to save money while studying abroad. Keep in mind that if there’s a card you need to apply for, it’ll probably take you about a month to be delivered, so you should order it in advance if you want to take advantage of it. 

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3. Get a good deal on your flights

Getting a good deal on flights is also important if you want to save money while studying abroad, as flights are costly and are some of the biggest fixed costs when you become an international student. Always look for the best deals on flights, as you can usually find different prices for different days or time periods. You can also take advantage of websites like Orbitz, Kayak and JustFly to find out good flight deals. They can help you find flights and give you notifications if the prices for flights you are interested in become cheaper.

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These websites can also show you the days with cheaper flights or cheaper flight timings. Also, you should always book your flights with a credit card, as many banks give rewards, like cash or points, when you use their card to buy an airline ticket.

Another hack to save money while studying abroad is to create a frequent flyer account with the airline you typically use. This helps you receive rewards and points and give you exclusive services. It’s a great idea, especially if you travel a lot- which students that study a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree abroad tend to do! 

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4. Get cheaper study materials

If you want to save money while studying abroad, another tip is to acquire cheaper study materials. Instead of buying new textbooks and exercise books, search online or at local bookstores for second-hand books. Buying them online directly from the vendor can also offer you a discount.

Another option is to buy the books as PDFs, as they are typically cheaper than hard copies of books. You can also find free textbooks on Gutenburg Project online, so check if your books are on there before going to purchase one. You could also try the university library to borrow the book instead and make copies of the sections you will study if the number of pages is fine by country or university regulations. 

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5. Use Skype or other online applications to call home

One of the major costs students pay for is international calls back home. Taking advantage of Skype, Messenger or Whatsapp, or other online applications for calls to contact relatives back home can help you save money while studying abroad.

Students typically need to call home so they can avoid feeling homesick. Using these applications means you can call family members for a low cost, much lower than huge international phone bills.

You could also buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card for your mobile, as local mobile calls will be way cheaper, and if you answer a call, you won’t be charged for it. It’ll also come in handy when you are calling new friends or university colleagues, as well as calling for services with phone numbers. This little tip can help you save money while studying abroad! 

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6. Avoid taxis and use public transport

A great hack to save money while studying abroad is to avoid using taxis and instead utilize public transportation systems. Instead of taking shortcuts and traveling by taxi or Uber, make sure you learn how to use the public transportation system, since it saves you more money as they’re cheaper than using taxi or Uber

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Look into monthly and annual passes for public transport as there are often good deals that you can take advantage of if you want to save money while studying abroad. There are also usually student discounts when it comes to transportation systems as well, so you should also look into those. This can make a big difference to your budget as transportation is an essential cost that you can’t avoid when you study abroad.  

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7. Work part-time

Another way to save money while studying abroad and make some extra cash is to work part-time while you are studying for your degree. This can be a great way to gain some extra money, as well as gaining work experience. Most students are able to work up to 20 hours a week during the course of their studies. You can look up what students work in the city you are going to work in and apply when you arrive if you aren’t able to do so beforehand.

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However, be sure to check the rules of your visa and the country’s rules for working part-time, as some countries don’t let students who are studying for a degree work simultaneously with their studies. You can find information about work rules on government websites so you know in advance if you’ll be able to work during the course of your studies. 

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8. Find free entertainment

Looking for free entertainment options is another hack to save money while studying abroad. Each country has tourist and local spots that are free, which you can go to for entertainment, even if it isn’t all the time. There are usually many free entertainment venues that no one is aware of, so be sure to look them up to know where they are.

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Some options may be museums, art galleries, parks or cultural shows. Instead of going to expensive venues where you’ll pay entry fees, go to these venues for free entertainment, so you don’t splurge big cash on your free time. 

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9. Learn to cook rather than eating out

One of the highest costs when you study abroad are food and drink costs. Eating out too much can rack up a huge bill and cause you to go way over budget. A way to save money while studying abroad is to cook at home whenever you can rather than go out and eat at restaurants or cafes.

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Learn to cook new dishes that are from local culture, and you’ll enjoy the cultural experience, as well as save some big bucks. You can also get your colleagues involved and have dinner parties where each one of you cooks a cultural dish, and you can enjoy the food and the great company.

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10. Use apps to monitor your spending

Finally, you can use applications to monitor how much you are spending if you want to save money while studying abroad. Make the most of your smartphone; it’s always in your hand anyway! There are so many apps you can download to help you save money. For example, the XE Currency Converter app can help you make sure that currency exchanges aren’t giving you bad deals on the exchange rates.

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You can also use the MoneyWise app to track spending so that you know where every penny you are spending is going. SavingsGoal App can also help you set aside some extra cash to save up for something you’ve been dreaming about. 

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Benefits of studying abroad

After learning the hacks to save money while studying abroad, you might be curious to know some of the benefits of taking that leap and studying abroad. Here are some of the benefits of choosing to studying overseas:

  • You can improve your language skills

Whether you will study in an English-speaking country or a country where another language is spoken, studying abroad can help you improve your language skills. Applying language skills practically when you deal with other students or natives of the country can help you enhance your linguistic competence quickly. You’ll also be able to pick up on local phrases and terms that will make you sound like a native, which you wouldn’t have learned if you just took a language course in your home country.

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  • You can impress future employers

Another benefit to studying abroad is impressing future employers. Everyone respects students who have taken the leap to go to a new country and start over on their own while studying for an advanced degree! Those who study abroad are known to be passionate, open-minded and hard-working. After all, these are all skills you need to develop when you go out into a foreign country and live alone. Students who study abroad simply have way more to offer than students who haven’t gone through this experience.

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  • You can build a good professional network

Studying abroad can help you build a great professional network as you meet people from all over the globe in the field that you want to work in after graduation. Some people you meet could help write you a great recommendation letter, put in a good word with your dream employer, or even just become good friends. You’ll meet people from many cultures and backgrounds, and who knows? Maybe in the future, you’ll work in one of their home countries, and you’ll already have a connection there to help boost your career and have your back!

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  • You can learn about different cultures

Finally, a major benefit in this international world we live in is learning about different cultures. When you study abroad, you meet people who are not like you. These people come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and religions. This exposes you to unique cultures, and this can help you grow as a person and become more open-minded, friendly and dynamic. You’ll also be immersed in the culture of your host country and will get a great experience with the locals.

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There are many easy hacks to save money while studying abroad. From taking advantage of student discounts to using applications to monitor how much you are spending and saving your cash to working a part-time job to raise some extra funds. If you use these hacks, you will not only save money while studying abroad, but you could also make some extra money and save up to buy anything you’ve been wishing for.

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If you don’t know where you want to study abroad, don’t worry! UniApp can help you figure out where you want to go!

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