Spending Tips for Students Studying Abroad
When studying abroad and you start looking at host families in different cities near the colleges you would prefer to visit as a foreign exchange student, one of the many factors will be cost. And you need to be smart about how you spend your money. This will ensure that your experience is a good one and that it doesn't cause undue financial hardship. Families interested in hosting a foreign exchange student are often fairly forgiving, but you still need to manage your money well. Here are a few smart spending tips to keep you on track.
1. Download a conversion app.
It can be difficult to spend wisely when you don't exactly know what you're spending. When studying abroad, while your host family can definitely help you out, it's not a bad idea to use a currency converter on your smartphone. Such an app can give you a quick idea of what something costs in your native currency when you're on the go, at least until you get a handle on the cost of goods. The XE Currency app for the iPhone and Android devices is a good option.
2. Get your budget in order.
Some households become host families to earn a little extra cash, but most realize that you're living on a budget. In addition to whatever you pay for room and board, you'll also have tuition and related expenses to deal with, as well as activities, food, and transportation. So if you want to spend wisely, it's best to factor in all known costs up front and then see what you have left for fun money.
3. Get a job.
If you can swing it, try to obtain a work visa so that you can earn some extra cash during your exchange program. This is a good way to get some money for school expenses and for fun. Plus, you won't have to go through the hassle of converting your pay from your native currency. And if you ask, families familiar with hosting foreign students may have a good idea of where to get jobs that work with a school schedule.
4. Look for student discounts.
When you go through the host family screening process, you can look for a home that is near campus, but chances are you'll want to see the sights during your time in a foreign city. So don't hesitate to use discounts for city buses and other types of travel, as well as discounts at local eateries, movie theaters, and other businesses.
5. Ask about low-cost goods.
Whether you find a host family that is middle class or fairly well-off, they should be able to help you find area stores that provide discount goods. For example, when studying abroad, you can shop for discount foods at Smart & Final, discount clothing at Target or T.J. Maxx, and discount media at nearby used book or music stores, just for example.
AmeriStudent is always there for you as we offer 24/7 support for international students and host families to ensure a excellent homestay experience and avoid the costly spending that may cause you financial problems.