SAVing: Tips for Studying Abroad

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College is four years made up of new, fulfilling and memorable experiences. If you’ve got a bit of wanderlust in you, studying abroad may be one of them. The list of countries that host study abroad programs is plentiful, and your expenses vary depending on location. Below, we’ve listed a few general expenses that you should incorporate into your travel budget and planning no matter where you decide to study abroad.


Tuition and Books

Similar to a semester at MSU, you’ll need to pay tuition for the semester and purchase any assigned books. Your tuition may be covered by your financial aid package. Even so, make sure that your tuition bill is settled before you leave. Time differences and long-distance telephone fees can make it difficult to communicate with your school should anything happen. Preparing beforehand will help you avoid any issues of this sort.


Whether it’s a dorm room or an apartment, your housing situation abroad could add unexpected expenses to your trip. Sometimes housing is included in your tuition (i.e., room and board). Other times, you might have to pay for it outside of your tuition. If you have a rent payment, make sure that you have those funds set aside in your monthly budget. If paying a lump sum for the entire stay, make a plan to save up those funds ahead of time or develop a payment plan.


You’re in a new country and can expect to have entertainment expenses. Trips to museums, dining on local cuisine, weekend excursions and buying souvenirs are only a few examples. Planning for these expenses before you leave will help you make the most of your experience.


We hope that your trip will be a wonderful and safe experience, but we also know that emergencies happen and can be particularly challenging when abroad. Set aside an emergency fund that you’ll be able to easily access when traveling. This fund will help you in the event of an emergency and give you peace of mind for the duration of your trip. Additionally, be sure to alert your credit union that you are traveling abroad so that they may place a travel notice on your account. If your credit union thinks that you are in Michigan and purchases from England appear on your account, they may think it is fraud and block your card to help protect your account. Travel notices will help prevent these mishaps and make your trip much more enjoyable.

Tags: march 2016, study abroad, traveling