Studying abroad can be very expensive and sometimes that’s a limit that prevents us from even thinking it’s an option. I thought so too, until I found different ways to receive and save money during the process and I hope it can help many people in order to make world travel a possibility. It’s definitely something everyone should do once in their lifetimes!
Apply! Apply! Apply! Any amount of money can be beneficial to have when you’re away! The Alabama Study abroad website has scholarships you can apply to that are directly deposited into your student account. Affiliated programs also have scholarships that can be applied to that award up to half of tuition! There are government programs as well that award money at studyabroad.state.gov. Essays are often required but be sure to include your goals for your trip and why you need the scholarship. By researching and asking questions, finding and applying for scholarships can be easy and not at all stressful.
For years I’ve had a regular debit card but when I decided to study abroad I called and asked about ATM and international fees. Yes, those sadly exists and can be a drain to your bank account. I looked for the best bank that would eliminate these charges, and Charles Schwab did just that. It has no international fees or ATM fees which was a relief! It’s considered an online bank, so funds must be deposited with a check. I recommend a money order that can be bought at a post office since that automatically goes into your account. Having a debit card from Charles Schwab is definitely a good way of saving money that could add up!
Phone bills can definitely add up and be very expensive. I asked many classmates that studied abroad, and they would be paying up to a hundred dollars a month for unlimited texts and 2G of data while still having to pay 20 cents a minute for phone calls! I already had T-Mobile, so when I called to set up a plan I was told it was already included! I would advise to get that carrier even if it’s just for the amount of time you’re away!
I hope that these tips can help everyone save a couple pennies (to make wishes in fountains like the Trevi Fountain!)