Pricing up a year abroad
The opportunity to spend a year abroad as part of your studies is an exciting, potentially life changing, prospect. Understanding the expected costs before you immerse yourself in another culture can help you really make the most of your time without unnecessary money worries.
Know your options
Many of the people that spend a year abroad do so as part of a programme from their universities or as part of Erasmus+. If you're no longer a student, you can work or teach abroad - a great way to make sure you earn enough to thoroughly enjoy the experience of exploring a new country.
Consider the costs
While you’ll be no stranger to effective budgeting from uni life in the UK, the amount you need in foreign locations can vary widely. Places with poorer exchange rates like China, Southeast Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe offer relatively low living costs, while countries like Sweden and Denmark can be quite expensive.
There are several costs you’ll need to think about when planning a year abroad. Once you've worked out your monthly budget, consider how you’re going to cover the following expenses:
- Tuition fees (if you're a student)
- Visas (if applicable)
- Flights home
With that in mind, it may be worthwhile saving in advance of the trip, so you can really make the most of it. Of course, while you’re on your year abroad, other exciting opportunities might present themselves and if you have to put a request in to the bank of Mum and Dad, they can send money to you with an international money transfer.
Tips for saving money when you’re a student
There are plenty of ways to save money while studying abroad. Here are a few handy tips from Save the Student:
- Students at your host university may get free or discounted public transport - ask if you're eligible too.
- Check if you can get a Student Finance travel grant, which helps pay for travel costs, as well as for medical insurance and travel visas.
- If you know you'll be spending a year abroad when you start uni, try to get e-textbooks instead of printed versions. They're much easier to pack and should be cheaper.
- Make the most of your native language skills. You could trade language lessons or conversation practice for things you need, or to make a little income on the side.
- Learn to love the local cuisine - you'll have more options for dining out on a budget.
- Make friends! Local students are the best source of info for saving money, getting around, or knowing how things work.
Get ready for adventure
Whether you’re looking to study or work, we’ve created a handy visual guide to help you plan your year abroad. From options for financial support to tips for saving money, our guide covers the factors to consider when pricing up a year abroad. Read on to find out about your available choices, day-to-day costs and more.
For more advice on studying abroad, you can also check out our guide to studying abroad, covering budgeting, price differences and staying connected.
Once you've tackled the finances, you'll be able to relax and take advantage of the incredible opportunity of spending a year abroad. You'll be set for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
All information was correct at date of publication, subject to change pending Brexit outcome. Please contact the relevant programmes or institutions cited for more information.
This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.