Proven Strategies to Save Money as an International Student

Studying abroad can be costly.  Aside from paying the pricey tuition and miscellaneous fees in a university, the cost of living can even be steeper.  Hence, international students should learn to be money smart to survive university life.  Following are tips to save money which one can actually apply throughout their life to become financially savvy. 

Live Off-Campus

Housing is the next most costly expenditure of an international student.  While living inside the campus may be convenient, living outside the campus can save a lot of money. You should consider renting a house or an apartment that is near the school.  One that is within walking distance is ideal to save on transportation expense. Or you can opt to get a bike to be mobile without paying for expensive public transport.

You may also team up with a co-student, a friend or a classmate to further split the cost of the rent of the apartment or house.

Most countries also offer a homestay program, whereby a student lives and stays at the house of a local resident or host family for a specified time.  This also provides an opportunity for a student an immersion experience of the life and culture of the host country.

Buy second-hand books

Textbooks are another major expense of a student.  Instead of buying brand new books, you should consider buying used books which are a lot cheaper. You can check online or go to bookstores usually adjacent to the campus.

You can also opt to ask their friends through which you just might get these books for free. 

Finally, most course textbooks are available in the library, which you can simply borrow for a time.  While it may not be entirely advisable, you may also opt to have the book photocopied so that you don’t have to borrow it again and again.  

Take advantage of student discounts

Most countries offer student discounts from meals and drinks, text books, travel or transportation to cinema tickets.  International students should learn which items or services may have student discounts to make the most of it and pay less for almost everything.  One’s student ID should always be on hand to avail of such discounts.

Aside from student discounts, you should be on a look out for on-campus events, which often give out freebies, such as food, school materials or even clothes.

Apply for scholarship

Getting a scholarship is an apparent way to save money from tuition fees.  You can even receive stipends and allowances.  While most scholarships are given for academic achievers, there are also special programs that are prearranged for certain studies.  You could check these programs to see if you can qualify. 

Get a part-time job

It is a lot easier to save money if you have a source of income instead of solely relying on your allowance.  There are plenty of jobs that are available for students to earn extra money on the side. This can be within the campus (e.g. student assistants, lab assistants, etc.  or outside the campus (e.g. waiter, nanny, etc.)  Aside for earning, a part time job can also provide you a great working experience.

Be active at school

Information is power.  The best way to learn about where to find cheap goods, discounts, job opportunities, school events, and even cheap apartments is from your network.  Hence, it is prudent to be active at school by joining organizations.  You can also befriend seniors, or other people who have been where you are now.

Studying can be costly, but learning the tricks of the trade can be make things a lot easier for a student.  More than just saving money, doing these tips can make your university learning experience more fruitful and rewarding.

Steven Wang

Social Media Assistant

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