Do you have your sights set on studying abroad? Are you worried about how to afford it? When students consider applying for a studying abroad program, many think it is too expensive and completely unaffordable for them. As much as I would love to write that study abroad is not expensive at all, I can not, but what I can tell you is how to save and spend for the best study abroad! Anyone can study abroad if you budget right and follow these tips!
Before your trip:
The moment you even start to consider studying abroad, start trying to save up some money. There are many ways you can start saving, like cutting coffee runs at home, working a part-time job, or even selling things that you don’t use anymore. However you decide to save money, whether it is a dollar a day or a couple of dollars a week, anything helps. Once you have started saving, you can also start looking for scholarships. Whether you are applying to study abroad directly through your home university or on your own, there are many internal and external study abroad scholarships. A lot of students don’t find out about the scholarships because they do not apply at all. My advice is to apply and see what scholarships you can get from your school. After you know what your school can do to help, start looking on scholarship websites for study abroad-specific scholarships. There is no limit to how many scholarships you can receive for so apply for as many as possible!
On the trip:
Once you have arrived in Rome, it is tempting to want to immediately start doing and seeing as much as possible around the city. While it is not a bad thing to be excited, if you go straight into exploring the city without research you may spend more money than necessary. Take a look at these tips before exploring Rome to make sure you can stay on budget but still have a great experience.
- Look for when famous landmarks and museums have discount days or if they offer reduced tickets/student discounts
Rome is full of art and history museums that you will not want to miss out on. Lucky for us, as students, many museums around the city offer reduced tickets that you can reserve online before you go. Making a reservation for a museum may seem weird but it is how I recommend getting to see everything you want to around Rome, plus some museums in Rome are only open on certain days and times, so by making a reservation you won’t be stuck outside a museum on a day it is closed.2. Try to limit the number of times you eat out.
For me, this was hard because in Rome you are surrounded by so much good food and you will want to try all of it, but after a while, things will start to add up. My tip is to try and eat breakfast and lunch in your JCU housing and then eat dinner out on the weekdays. This helped me save a little bit more money only paying for 1 meal a day instead of 3. Also, you can look into getting a meal plan through JCU and eat more at the Tiber Cafe which does have some pretty amazing food for a good price.
3. Use public transportation when needed.
Rome is a very walkable city, but if the place you want to go is a bit too far of a walk there are many alternatives to Ubering or taking a taxi. The bus system is a great option for getting around Rome. You can purchase a week-long pass that allows you to use the bus and metro to get around Rome! If you're in a pinch and don’t want to wait for the bus, there are bikes and scooters scattered around Rome that you can use to get from place to place very easily and for pretty cheap!4. Try to plan trips as early as possible, staying with friends, hostels
If you decide to leave Rome and visit other places around Italy (highly recommend) try to plan as in advance as possible. This will help you save as much money as possible on train or plane tickets and accommodations. I also recommend getting a small group of friends together because it will make it easier to split the cost of hotels or you can even try staying in youth hostels!5. JCU Student services event
Lastly, one of the best parts about being a student at JCU is the fabulous RAs and student services team that work to plan a bunch of events for students. There is everything from walking tours, cooking class, painting workshops, and so on. There is always something you can sign up for for free or for a small fee. Either way, it gives you a chance to interact with other students and explore Rome at the same time!
Studying abroad can be expensive but if you do it correctly and budget and save before and during your trip, you are bound to have fun exploring your new home! For more information on scholarships and financial aid from JCU, check out: https://www.johncabot.edu/admissions/financial-aid/scholarships/study-abroad-financial-aid.aspx