Going to university is a considerable investment. Living abroad? An incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience that I highly recommend. But if you are doing both at the same time, to me, you are a superhero.
It is no secret that international students are charged even more for their tuition fees. After all, they are contributing to their host country’s economy. Trying to stay on top of your studies while having to manage day-to-day expenses is not easy. Not impossible, but still a responsibility. Although the words ‘students’ and ‘saving’ do not usually blend well together, there are ways for university students to save up on some cash. Here are some money-saving tricks that may not leave you rolling in money but should make your life abroad easier.
1. Create a budget
The cost of living is different in every country. Whatever your living situation, you will have other expenses to consider aside from your tuition fees, such as transportation, accommodation, clothing, grocery, and entertainment. To avoid splurging, because we all know how easy it is, establishing a budget is an efficient way to keep track of your spending! A budget will also help you be smarter with your money and understand the difference between a want and a need.
2. Live-off campus
While living on-campus is a great way to make friends, student housing tends to be more expensive. You can easily find other good alternatives off-campus at a bargain and save up on the pricey and mandatory meal plan when staying on campus. As a rule, finding a place near your university is more convenient and will save you on transportation costs. Another tip is to consider having roommates to share the rent.
3. Take advantage of your student status
As a university student, you become eligible for many benefits, including student discounts and insurance coverage. For international students, the ISIC card comes in very handy, especially for entertainment purposes. The ISIC card provides international students from all around the world with additional discounts at movie theatres, bookstores, restaurants, etc. If you are an international student, make the most out of your status while you can!
4. Buy used books or check out online resources
For most of your lectures, you will be assigned a list of mandatory readings as part of your syllabus. Here’s the thing, course textbooks are crazy expensive. Some professors may provide the course materials if you are lucky, but that’s not always the case. Buying used books is an option that will help you save up. Otherwise, you can visit your school’s online library to see if you find what you are looking for. Another student hack is to check out other online book databases like Z-library.
5. Get a job on-campus
If your visa allows it, working part-time during your studies is an effective way to earn extra cash. Not only will a job look good on your resume, but you will also acquire some skills and earn an income to better manage your finances. Look out for job openings on campus; there are usually many opportunities for international students.
6. Avoid unnecessary bank charges
Although the amount varies from bank to bank, transferring money from different foreign banks comes with a lot of interest. Setting up a local bank account in your host country is probably a wise decision to avoid these international charges. It is also essential to pay all your bills on time, especially your credit card, if you do not want to be charged with late interests.
What are your finance tips? Please share them with us in the comments!