Study Abroad on a Tight Budget

by Kayleigh Hong, Lifestyle Writer

It’s not often you’re given the opportunity to live in an entirely different country, but the UW-Madison study abroad program makes it simple. One of the biggest regrets of college graduates is that they didn’t study abroad. Many students pass by the option of studying abroad because it’s too expensive. However, with the right program and planned finances, you can study abroad on a tight budget.

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Finding the Right Program

It’s true that studying abroad can be incredibly pricey, but only if the program you choose is expensive. In fact, study abroad programs are often less expensive for students paying out-of-state tuition fees. The study abroad website offers a lot of detailed information on cost for each study abroad program. The site provides costs for pretty much everything you would need to pay for while you’re abroad. It breaks down airfare, tuition costs, housing, food, travel and more. It also lists estimated cumulative totals for Wisconsin residents, Minnesota residents and out-of-state students.

Set up an appointment with one of the study abroad advisors on campus. They’re knowledgeable about every program, so they can help you find the one that’s right for you. They can even help you figure out how to raise the funds.

Funding your Trip

Once you’ve selected your program, leave yourself time to save money. Even if you have your heart set on a program that’s a bit outside of your budget, you may not need to rule it out yet. There are dozens of scholarships set aside specifically for students studying abroad. Some specific study abroad programs even have their own scholarships. You might want to consider getting a party time job if you have time to do so. Putting a little bit of money away from each paycheck adds up in the long run.

Consider different fundraising programs. Websites like Kickstarter create a webpage where family and friends can donate money to help you fund your trip.

Living Abroad

Raising the money is half the battle. After you have the funds, you have to find ways to make them last. Take advantage of student discounts. There are deals for college students all over the world to save a bit of cash. Traveling is often the biggest expense when students go abroad. Especially if you want to travel to other countries in Europe, it’s important to set some extra money aside. Luckily, there are tons of travel guides in cities all over the world to travel for cheap. Researching restaurants, hostels and free attractions will both prepare and pump you up for your travels.

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