Tips For Making Friends and Having a Social Life While Studying Abroad
Here are some study abroad tips to make yourself feel better:
So, to all the souls studying abroad in a strange place and missing home badly, stay strong .
Managing finances is one of the hardest things while you are studying abroad. You are in a new financial system, with new currency and different pricing methods.
If you think that living and studying abroad is a step closer to being an adult, then you should perceive money management as your initiation process in that direction.
It involves self-awareness, persistence and a great deal of personal restraint.
So, here are 5 study abroad tips on how to improve your money management when studying abroad and avoid distressful situations such as borrowing money or sitting at home with no plans for weekend due to lack of money!:
- Make a budget:This is probably the most important thing. You should know how much money you have over what period of time. Include everything that you could think of as this will reduce the chances of unexpected spending.First, you will need to get used to the local currency and the exchange rates. Try not to compare your domestic prices with the prices abroad. Rather, try understanding the general standard in the town you are residing and convert the currency in your head. If it’s easier for you, you could make a list where you indicate the equivalence between the 2 currencies (for example 10 USD =?; 10 euro = ? )
- Smart banking: First, check if your bank has a local branch or a partner and what are the conditions they work with each other. If your financial institution doesn’t have one, you’ll need to deal with ATMs, which often belong to a private company or another financial institution. In this case, along with a withdrawal fee, the ATM will also charge you a percentage of the sum that you have with. In order to avoid that, you should open a local bank account and have your money transferred directly to it.
You should also use online banking. It will help you follow the money transactions and your balance. You will also be able to transfer money without any additional fees.
- Spend like a local: Being an expat has its advantages but one of biggest downsides is getting ripped off by local merchants. Different regions have different buy-sell culture so it’s important to get familiar with these traditions for effective money management.For instance, if you are studying in the Middle East there’ll be a great deal of negotiating and bargaining. This is due to the fact that merchants put prices on their items, which are not static. It’s up to the customer to determine the value of the goods and consider if the price is reasonable or not.
- Managing social activities: The scourge of your life abroad will be managing your social interactions and miscellaneous adventures (from financial point of course).Most of the situations are totally unpredictable and you will need to deal with a lot of new information, unexpected adventures and random interactions with friends. Due to this it’s very hard to keep track of your spending. It’s even harder to try and anticipate how much money you will need in the first place.
- Organize an additional income: If you are good with basic Economics you could convert your savings into investments or put them into a bank account and gain interest. You could also get a part-time job. It shouldn’t be something fancy or ambitious since your main concern is your studies.Universities often have established programs for international students where you could get a part time job within the university’s body (library, campus, administrative task etc.) It won’t pay much but the best thing is that it is coordinated with your studies.