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Can You Pursue Abroad Studies on a Budget?

Can You Pursue Abroad Studies on a Budget?

Some aspirants might have started with the process of study abroad till the time they saw the price tag. Pursuing higher studies in abroad does not mean that you have to break the bank as there are many ways to help fund this trip. In fact, it can be quite affordable, if the students plan their budget accordingly.

Moreover, planning well before you decide the university or the country can help you set your budget accordingly in well advance. Although it is true that you will not be travelling to your new destination for free but there are several ways wherein you can save money and maintain your budget through smart planning and better decisions.

You can enjoy your time abroad without breaking the bank by choosing the right study abroad program, taking advantage of special deals and creatively managing your expenses.

Below mentioned are some useful money-saving tips, wherein you will learn about how much you may need to save for your adventure abroad:

  1. Shortlist the Country for your Study Abroad: Medical aspirants should be aware that for the programs such as MBBS, securing a medical seat in India is extremely difficult. Planning to pursue MBBS in western countries can be extremely expensive and has a difficult admission procedure.

    On the other hand, MBBS in Russia, MBBS in China and MBBS in Bangladesh is much better opportunity because of affordable fees and low cost of living that too with high quality of education.

  2. Plan your Budget Well in Advance: Even in these countries, you can choose the universities which are extremely pocket friendly and the cost of living is also low. Moscow being the capital of Russia can still be a little expensive than cities where the universities such as N.P. Ogarev Mordovia State University, Ulyanovsk State University, The North Ossetian State Medical Academy, Crimea Federal University and Krasnoyarsk State Medical University are located.

  3. Choose Hostel Rooms or Sharing an Apartment: Staying in the hostels can be more cost saving and looking on a brighter side it will lead to a good exposure into the culture of your host country. For all those aspirants who are looking for a more personal space then they can share an apartment with their other class mates and still save money.

  4. Keep a Tab on your Expenses: In order to maintain your budget, it is advisable for the aspirants to maintain a record of all your spending so that by the end of the month you know on what all you have been spending more or less accordingly. This will also help you to cut down on the things you are unnecessary spending and you will get an idea on where you need to spend more.

  5. Set up a student bank account in your host country:  In orderto avoid accumulating foreign transaction fees,setting up a student bank account is not only handy but it makes getting other services in your host country easily accessible.

  6. Avoid Bank Fees: It is important for you to inform your bank about your travels as you might end up getting locked out of using your card while abroad or you will not be able to withdraw money from an ATM in case if you do not inform. Aspirants are advised to ensure with their bank if they have any sister banks in your host country that will not charge foreign transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees.

  7. Exchange Cash Before Departure: At airports, currency exchange rates are not in your favour so always exchange the cash from the banks prior your departure. Always take exchange of small amount as it is convenient for you to take care and there is less possibility of misplacing or theft.

  8. Consider Travel Reward Cards: There is a high possibility that during your studies abroad you are going to spend a lot money any which way. While spending the amount you might also be earning points and rewards. The amount you will be spending will definitely qualify for the introduction offer which will earn you a reward card. Within the first few months of having the card, if you spend a certain amount of money, most travel rewards cards will offer you a sign-up bonus. Travel reward cards are much in demand as they do not charge any international transaction fees like a bank debit card usually does.

    Moreover, many different travel rewards cards provide great sign-up bonuses and perks. Apart from all this, collecting the points can benefit you later and even get you free flight tickets or a great discount for your future travel.

  9. Acquire Benefits of Student Discounts: Aspirants are suggested to carry their student ID card wherever they go or travel during their stay in the country. Apart from the student ID card, if you get the opportunity to acquire an international student ID (ISIC) card, then get it in order to enjoy the free perks and benefits from it as it will save your money in both transportation and entertainment.

    Countries such as Russia, China and Bangladesh provide give major perks to students and travellers under the age of 27. In Russia, most museums do not charge any entry fees to the students who present their student ID card on their visit. There are many theatres that provide huge discounts to the students when they present their ID card so the students can enjoy their leisure time without making a hole in their pocket.

    In case if you forget your student ID card, you can also try to avail the discount by showing your standard ID to prove your age but that can be hit or miss.

  10. Make Friends with Locals: One of the most valuable resources for your study abroad experience is making genuine connections and friendships with the people whose home country you are visiting. They will give you an insight about their city’s best places that might be helpful for your stay in the country. The locals will provide you with some of the best recommendations and usually it is priced most reasonably, even if they are not free. After staying with the locals, you will witness the difference in the amount you were spending during the initial days and after knowing the city with the help of your local friends.

    Making friends with locals, from shopping at local markets and grocery stores or enjoying dinners with your classmates will help you connect with their cultures and traditions, learn the language faster and you will come across more better experiences with friends you have made during your stay in the new country.

  11. Friendship Building and Cost-efficient Activities: Explore more on what is happening in nearby museums, churches, schools, community centres and other entertainment zones. Apart from all this, go through your new city’s neighbourhood calendar and community board. Sometimes, most of these events are connected with your study abroad program which might be free, donation-based, or low-cost for you and you can have a leisure time during your weekend.

  12. Explore by Foot or Public Transportation: A splendid way to learn a new route, get fit and save money, experience a new neighbourhood is by walking around, getting a little lost, and eventually finding your way back. There is no other better way to explore the new city with boots on the ground and dedication of looking for new things and learning new ways.                          

    By getting on foot, you will not only discover unique shops and hole-in-the-wall places but you will also save on transportation fares.

    Although exploring on foot is tiring, thrilling and at times a little scary but the reward is fantastic. So, it is like going hiking.

    While exploring by foot, you might find a cafe, food carts with delicious treats, a designer and reasonable boutique, vibrant murals, parks, charming squares as well as street artisans and impromptu performances.

    In many countries, even the public transportation provide huge student discounts and transportation passes to the aspirants through which you can take huge benefits from while you are on your exploring journey of your new home.

  13. Become an Expert Researcher: Aspirants should put their research skills at work right from the time when they are in their home country as it will hone your skills when you are going to start with your study abroad destination.

    Search for tours that provide the best bargain for you or look for a lowest price hunt for hotels that offer the best price guarantees.

    It is also advisable to find a bus that provides a scenic ride to your next destination instead of flying or go on a self-guided local street food tour rather than lavish or high-end restaurants.

    When you have reached your new home country, you can test your researching skills here. So, if you are an investigative expert at home then you can definitely be one in abroad.

While on A Budget Important Pointers to Take into Consideration

Keep a tab of all your expenses, including pre-trip expenses: Other expenses such as travel insurance, vaccinations and passport fees etc should be taken as part of your budget.

Aspirants should use public transportation: Every time hiring Ubers or taxis can get costly, so always opt for monthly bus passes or search for the other transportation system the new city is offering.

Be careful of how much you spend on leisure activities: Although it is advisable for the aspirants to participate in the activities, they're excited about but make sure you are not spending more than it is required. Getting your research skills at work, you will also be amazed to see how many free or low-cost activities you can enjoy the benefits from.

So, even aspirants who are from a less privileged family can also enjoy the benefits of pursuing studies abroad.

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