Save and make money while studying abroad
You don’t have to go through college broke. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to save and earn some money alongside your studies.
In this article, we share some advice on how you can make some extra cash, and save some money while studying abroad. When you’re preparing to live or study abroad, remember tuition is not your only expenses. You must also factor in living expenses like rent, food and travel. However, don’t let this overwhelm or deter you from studying abroad in 2019. SchoolApply can help with this process. SchoolApply can also help you research scholarships, so that you can start school with some financial assistance if required. So, add ‘create a budget’ to the top of your to-do list, right after converting your CGPA to GPA, and let’s see how many ways there are to save and earn money while you are studying abroad.
How to save money while studying abroad
Create a budget
First things first: budget. The word itself probably makes you want to yawn, but it doesn’t have to be emotionally taxing. All you need to do is create a simple plan starting with the amount you will start with at the beginning of the school year, term or month. Then subtract all your required expenses, like tuition and rent. Create categories for all the things you think you’ll spend money on – groceries, going out, school supplies – and how much you think you’ll need to dedicate to each of these categories. Planning ahead will be a huge benefit!
The national charity Brightside has developed an International Student Calculator to help you work out what money comes in, and what goes out. You might want to consider the 50/20/30 rule, where you spend 50% of your budget on your essential expenses, 30% on discretionary expenses, and save 20% for the future.
2. Dine in and save
Eating out is expensive. Even if you can afford to do so on a regular basis, consider limiting this and instead cooking your own meals. If your culinary skills are limited, don’t worry, there are tons of student recipes online to get you started.
Pinterest is a popular source of inspiration for discovering new cuisines and helping you step outside your comfort zone. Some students opt to go vegetarian or vegan while studying abroad to boost their health and save the money they would otherwise spend on meat and/or animal products.
3. Find the free gems
Studying abroad is as much about the experience as it is about academies. You can stay within budget by doing a little research. Find out about the clubs and societies at your university. You will find that most clubs organize various events on campus – art shows, movie nights, concerts. These are great opportunities to not only meet new people, but also broaden your cultural and intellectual horizons – you may even find free food at some of these events. Also take advantage of student discounts in your city, for transport and even sometimes museums and theatres. Walk around the city or join a free walking tour, to explore your new host city.
4. Hunt for discounts and sales
There are few things that feel better than when you get some new clothes… and they’re on sale! When you’re living on a budget, the sales rack will be your go-to spot whenever you go shopping. Discounts at the grocery store are also quite easy to come by. Some products you can buy in multi-packs to save money, and other products – like household items – you can find coupons for in local newspapers or magazines. Keep an eye out for those coupons and take full advantage of them when you go shopping.
5. Find low-cost accommodation
Though it can be exciting to live in your first official apartment off-campus, it’s hard to beat the convenience of living in an on-campus dorm. Students who prefer to live on campus after their freshman year but don’t want to break the bank can look into becoming dorm resident advisors, or RAs.
As an RA, you’ll be responsible for enforcing housing rules, providing support to other residents, and acting as an experienced resource for peers on anything from classwork to social life. In most cases, RAs have their room and board paid for by the university so the cost is virtually nothing. Even better? It’s a great opportunity for some resume-building experience!
If you happen to have a family member that lives near your campus, living with them could be a convenient and affordable way to go. For some, this option can feel like a step backwards. After all, isn’t a huge part of college going out on your own and gaining independence? But if your budget is tight, this might be an option for you to consider.
6. Take advantage of student discounts
- Shopping online: Use your school email address and sign up on UNiDAYS, a website that offers discounts for clothing, electronics, dining, health and beauty items for students from the US and the UK. The site carries brands like Forever 21, Adidas, McDonald’s, and Apple among many others. Unfortunately for students in the UAE, discount websites have yet to become more popular, but you can always be on the lookout for flash deals online or consider buying and selling pre-loved items through the app Shedd. Don’t forget to search for online promo codes before you place your order!
- Phone bills: For an international student, staying connected with not only the people in your classes but as well as family and friends back home is important. While instant messaging applications like Skype and WhatsApp have successfully connected people around the world for free, you may still need to pay for a cellphone plan to secure a way to communicate with the world 24/7. In the US, telecommunication companies like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all offer special discounts for students from participating institutions. Students from the UK may qualify for a 10% discount on monthly bundles offered by Vodafone. Just be sure to use your active school email address to sign up on websites.
- Electronics and software: Academic Superstore is an online website that sells tablets and computers, softwares and electronic accessories at a discounted price for K-12, higher education, and even homeschooled students in the United States if you verify your eligibility by sending a copy of your student ID, class schedule, registration receipt, letter of enrollment or report card. Microsoft’s Education Store also offers at least a 10% discount on selected products to higher education students from selected institutions across all 50 states. For students in the UK, HP’s Student Store also offers exclusive savings and deals on a wide range of selected HP products available to customers of at least 16 years of age studying at a recognized further or higher educational institution in the country.
- Travel and group-buying discounts: Plan your activities in advance and save money by looking out for deals on group-buying websites, the most popular of which is Groupon, serving more than 500 cities globally including the US, UK, and the UAE. Another great way to be exposed to diversity is by visiting new places. Traveling is made easier and more affordable with StudentUniverse, a website that negotiates with over 75 airlines worldwide to provide special prices to students between the ages of 18 to 25. Also look out for flash sales and deals available to young individuals under the age of 26 in STA Travel. If you are going back home for the holidays, plan your trip as early as six to eight weeks in advance. FareCompare's data shows that Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly.
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How to earn money while studying abroad
There are several ways to earn money while studying abroad, however before embarking on any of the suggestions below, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the country you will be studying in. See if you are allowed to work on your visa, how many hours you are allowed to work, are you restricted to work only on campus etc. No matter the limitations, the key is to make the most of the opportunities available to you, and here are some great ones to consider:
Get into freelancing
The greatest benefit of being a freelancer is the flexibility, it allows you to work according to your schedule, and also helps you get some real world work experience under your belt before you graduate. This way, you can also earn a small income while you study.
Freelancing comes in many forms. If you're good with image editing, then taking on some commercial design projects may just be up your alley! Or for those with a knack for languages and translating, writing is a good path to take.
Before you get started, make sure you check out the local laws on working for yourself as this can differ from country to country. The next step is to set up profiles on platforms like Upwork or PeoplePerHour which connect freelancers to just about anyone who needs help with a project!
2. Find a local part-time job
Having a part-time job is an excellent way to earn some extra cash when you’re not studying and improve your language skills at the same time!
As its a local job, speaking at least the basics of the local language will be a requirement. This might be a struggle in the beginning, but it gets easier with time. To find a local business to work for, we recommend asking your classmates for insider tips as they'll have similar jobs.
Part-time jobs usually require you to commit between 6 to 10 hours per week, which shouldn't be too hard to add between your studies. Remember to be transparent with your boss about your schedule so they can be flexible with your hours during exams.
3. Become a tutor
When you're moving to another country where the education is different from your own, you'll come across subjects that you might be stronger in compared to local students. Ask your teachers if they have a tutoring scheme at your university that you can sign up for, or better yet, ask them if they need any teaching assistants.
4. Do some babysitting
Babysitting is another easy job to secure and maintain – if you like kids, that is. It also tends to pay well! Parents often offer a relatively high hourly wage and you may even get some free snacks on the side. Check local job boards and Facebook groups to see if there's anyone requiring babysitting services.
5. Do some dog walking
If your an animal lover and babysitting doesn't sound appealing then you could try your hand at dog walking. It doesn't generally pay as well as babysitting, but it's a great way to get in some exercise, explore your new city and earn money at the same time! Try putting your details on a local job boards or Facebook groups to advertise your services to your community.
6. Sell your old books
Another option to earn some extra money is to sell your old school books. If you take good care of your books, then they will still be in good condition after you have used them. These kinds of school books are often costly and are therefore worth quite some money. There are always students that are looking for school books, and they also would like to save some money by buying second-hand books.
- Never buy on impulse
- Sign up for coupons and vouchers
- Monitor currency exchange rates
- Top up when you need to
- Start saving now
With all of these tips, you’ll be able to save money and earn some extra cash while you’re abroad. It’s worth looking for opportunities before you move so you know the options that are open to you. SchoolApply will guide you throughout this process while you apply to universities abroad. However, after your arrival, you can ask your classmates or even the student centre at you university for help with finding a suitable job.
But before that, you need to send your application to a university. Let SchoolApply help you find the school and program that’s right for you and get ready to experience a life-changing journey abroad.