Don’t let the cost of studying abroad scare you or hold you back from going. I can tell you from my own experience, there are plenty of ways to save and budget your summer study abroad. Here are some steps that helped me.
Plan Out Activities
Find out how much it will cost for the excursions you plan to participate in, before you leave and set that money aside. I found it very beneficial to project the cost of some specific activities I knew that I wanted to do, including climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge, going white water rafting, and a day trip on the Great Barrier Reef ahead of time. This allowed me to save that money before I left for these specific activities and not use it before my last week in Australia. The staff will tell you that the big excursions are at the end of your trip, so keep that in mind.
Budget for Meals
Planning your meals is a little harder when all you want to do is try new foods, but there is no need to worry. First, see how many meals the program accommodates for and when. This will help you calculate the amount of meals you will need to purchase. It is great to go to try new restaurants, but this will get pricy. A fun way to save on meals is to get a group of mates with you, take a quick trip to the nearest grocery store, and decide on a group dinner. For example, one night a group of 10-12 of us had a spaghetti dinner for only two dollars each (Tim Tams included). Another great way to save on meals is checking out the local pub’s lunch or dinner specials. There were plenty of times where locations had a deal for $10-12 dollars for a quality burger, side, and drink or two.
Round Up (Not Down)
When you are figuring out prices of what you plan to do, make sure you round up rather than down in your estimates. I found it very helpful to round up to the closest 10 or 100 dollars to have a small window of extra cash for the event. This gave me extra room to purchase pictures, a snack, or even have extra left over if I didn’t use it.
Spend on Australian Experiences
The biggest tip of all would be to spend your money on activities and meals you can only do or find in Australia. It is great to go out for drinks with the new friends you have, or eat chicken tenders, but try to focus your savings toward the experiences you can’t find from your hometown. This helped me save, budget, and have the best journey of my life.
Melissa Lichota is a TEAN Alum and Global Ambassador at Michigan State University. She studied abroad with TEAN in Australia on the Tourism and Event Management Summer Down Under Program. There are scholarship opportunities for students who are accepted into a Summer Down Under Program.