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Exchange students – a year studying abroad needn’t break the bank
Studying abroad doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Sure, it’s tough to study in a foreign country, pay for taxes, and still be able to make a living. The secret is to find a college with convenient pricing. It’s not something you should do on your own, and if you’re a student you can always apply for a wealth of available programs; most programs are paid, although the money you get is often not enough to ensure a comfortable lifestyle.
Among the best countries worth traveling to and study are France, UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, and Finland. Check the Erasmus programs available at your school, and see where you can go. Most programs feature pre-determined grants, so as to make an idea whether or not the money you get is enough for both studying and living abroad. A smart idea is to get a job – either part-time or full-time. But be careful: you should apply for an Erasmus scholarship, get a job and then forget all about school.
Make plans in advance
Assuming that you’ve applied for a program and got in, the next step is to settle on a plan. As soon as the paperwork is done, and you’re a couple of months away from leaving to your new temporary home, you should begin prioritizing some fundamental aspects of your trip. If you live in a country that doesn’t use Euro as an official currency, it will be difficult for you to get used to the system. In the beginning, you’ll have the tendency to convert Euro to your local currency. Stop doing that! It doesn’t help you live a better, more comfortable lifestyle.
Start looking for a place to live in case your program doesn’t already include one. Book plane tickets in advance, and get to know everything about the public transportation system in your new home town. Last but not least, search for a job; but not until you know your school curriculum. Making some extra cash is more than welcomed, but you shouldn’t ignore your studies.
Go job hunting
Hunting for a job when traveling to a foreign country can be excruciating. You may know the language very well, but you don’t know the system. Before doing anything else, get to know the rules of landing a job in a country you know very little information about. Being an Erasmus student can help. Many companies welcome students that want to learn; the jobs are mostly summer internships that don’t last more than 3 months.
However, if you plan to study abroad for a year, you may need some more accommodation time. In this case, we’re not talking about an internship, but about a full-time job with a legal working contract. Before leaving your home country open a foreign bank account. This step is fundamental if you want to withdraw and receive cash.
Assess your options very carefully
When going abroad to work and travel, it’s very important to assess your options. As a recent grad with some level of experience, you should contact a recruiting agency in your new hometown rather than grab the latest newspaper and begin looking for just any job. It’s fundamental that you get a job that has something to do with your studies. In time, it will help perfect and expand your skills and abilities, not to mention that it will become relevant in your resume.
Invest in a SIM card
Being charged absurd cash amounts for data roaming is a genuine nightmare. As a student studying abroad, you can’t afford to overspend. The solution is simple: purchase a local SIM card upon arrival. Assess more than one Phone Company, and compare their services. Settle on the one that is compatible with your mobile phone, and don’t fall into the trap of buying a SIM card and a new phone. Your phone will be charged a lot more. Don’t forget to cancel your phone bill at home!
Contrary to popular belief, studying abroad doesn’t have to be that expensive. If you know how to prioritize, you won’t starve to death. On the contrary, you have the highest chances of landing a nice job, study, and not end up paying a fortune for London student accommodation. Take precaution measures, find out as much as possible about lifestyle trends in your new hometown, and you should be on the safe side.
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