Girls Guide: Study Abroad Money Saving Information & Tips
Everyone is an travel expert when they find out you’re studying abroad. In reality only about 300,000 US students out of some 20 million students have the courage to spend time abroad. Instead of listening to everyone about what the best items, apps, and places to see abroad, take it from a reliable source: those that have studies abroad! Here are a few money saving tips our study abroad students have put together for you. There are many strategies for study abroad money saving tips, but these are some you may not have considered.
What Type of Power Connection?
Buy a curling iron/ straightener when you are in the host country such as China. There are 15 different types of outlet plugs used across the world, ranging from Type A- Type O. Of course there are adaptors and such, but it is such a mess to find out the voltage of your product and the socket you are plugging into. It is also no secret that these products can be expensive, ranging from $30-$150.
It’s even worse if you purchase the wrong adaptor. Your expensive hair straightener will fry if you make this mistake. This sounds like an unnecessary purchase abroad, but leaving yours behind will make your bag a little lighter and your headaches much simpler. Purchase one for the duration of your trip when you are in your host country!
Purse Rule – What Kind of Purse Should I Take on my Travel?
The American mind is so polluted with articles and news stories of robberies, pick-pocketers, and scams abroad. However, don’t believe it all. A necessity is to have a bag with a zipper (and actually use the zipper). Bags with a magnet are not as secure and in the event of a pick pocket or if your bag flips upside down a zipper will keep your things safer longer than a magnet.
Size is also important because in some countries there may be stores that do not offer grocery bags or shopping bags for free. So if you spontaneously pick up a few items at the store, you want to make sure you can carry them home! Also, if you are a student you will need a bag for your books and notebooks. But don’t overdo it. You’ll want to have one bag that is versatile and can be used for most of your activities.
What Kind of Shoes Should I Take on my Travel? – Comfy Shoes
You may be thinking how cute your Sperry’s or white Converse may look in an Instagram, but it is not worth the pain you may endure if these shoes are not broken in. Also heels are not as easy to maneuver in on cobblestone. Make sure you pack light to save money on baggage. But most importantly, you won’t need all the shoes you think you’ll need. Just grab your favorites and most comfortable.
Learn the Language!
Even if you can only say “Hi my name is ________, and I am learning the language”, you will be far better off. Foreign people have more respect for your poor attempts than they do for you expecting them to speak English. Of course, the majority of the world knows English, at least to some degree. But remember- you are entering their country and this customs which require a certain level of respect! This will save you money because language courses abroad may be pricey.
Apply for Your Passport, Visa Early and STEP Program early!
There are many additional costs if you need a visa or passport quickly. Do yourself a favor and apply early for your passport and visas. Government fees are additional when you need your passport faster than the routine processing time.
Normal passport processing is 4-6 weeks or longer. If you need a passport expedited, then you will pay more for the services. Generally prices start at an additional $60 and can quickly go up hundreds of dollars. Of course an expedited service is worth it if you need your passport or visa right away. But as a student, you’ll want to save money any way you can. And that’s why we will keep bringing you more Study Abroad Money Saving Tips! You could learn more about the STEP program here.