Budgeting For Study Abroad
How to Set Up Your Study Abroad Budget
As you prepare to embark on your journey abroad, it is important to ensure that you are able to take advantage of all the amazing experiences that Florence, Italy has to offer without breaking the bank. Budgeting for study abroad allows students to turn “study abroad” into the experience of a lifetime.
- Know what you’re working with - The first step of setting up your study abroad budget is to find the “big total” of what you are able to spend. This will help you begin to decide what specific categories to create for your necessities like food and fun experiences such as weekend travel and nightlife.
- Convert to local currency - Once you know your grand total, convert your money to the Euro to see how much you really have to spend. A side tip is to revisit your budget after a few days of being abroad, as you may realize that the local supermarket actually charges more for a few of your needs and you may need to move a little money over from your emergencies fund. Considering this before departure can save you from being unprepared in unexpected situations.
- Categorize your needs and wants - Categorizing is important when budgeting for study abroad to see where your expenses fall. Create your “need” categories for things like food and transportation around Florence. Having these budgeted and out of the way can allow you to begin to think about the fun activities and excursions. Many classes at Marist-LdM host sponsored trips, but plan to do some sightseeing on your own as well. You’ll want to make sure that you are getting the most out of an Italian study abroad experience.
- Discounts for students will save you money - Get your international student ID and use it as a passport to many adventures. Museums often offer discounts to students presenting their international student identification card. Everywhere you go it is worth asking if they will accept it. You might even get up to 50% off ticket prices at some places! There are also a variety of museums and activities with a price tag of free. Even when you don’t want to spend money, you can find experiences that are just as exciting as if you did.
- Consider last minute emergencies and extra souvenirs beforehand - One of the most important things to consider while creating your study abroad budget is emergencies. Your emergency fund can be used for necessities or fun opportunities depending on your needs. You never really know what may come your way while studying in a new and exciting country. Having budgeted for these changes ahead of time will let you take advantage of what you want to do.
- Keep a copy with you at all times - Having a copy of your budget with you, in your dorm and while traveling around, can help you see where you’re actually spending money. If you notice any categories getting too low early on, be honest with yourself and cut back so that you don’t deplete anything before the end of your trip. Or maybe, it is just time to capitalize on one of those free excursions.
Completing Your Study Abroad Budget
Once you have created your budget you will notice where you need more spending freedom. You may be set in your necessity categories but want to have more financial freedom in your traveling category. After all, this experience is about creating amazing memories! Completing a budget well before your travel allows you extra time to save up more money through fundraising, working at your local job, and cutting down on your expenses while at home.
Budgeting can seem like a tedious task but the extra effort is worth a stress-free travel experience while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can and don’t forget to study in between your trips.
Contact us to learn more about the study abroad experience of Marist-LdM in Florence, Italy.