How to Set Your Money Priorities During Study Abroad

May 5, 2016

ISEP student Morgan L. is a part of ISEP Voices Spring 2016. She is a biology major from University of North Georgia, and is currently studying abroad at La Trobe University in Australia.

Studying abroad is honestly the best thing you could ever do for yourself. It is life-changing and freeing beyond any boundary you could ever think of. Well, almost any boundary. Let’s talk about the scale that comes with any study abroad trip: on one hand you have this once-in-a-lifetime experience, but on the other hand you have your wallet. Which do you choose? Studying abroad can be expensive. Unless you get lucky and find a trip that's cheap and in your favor for the currency exchange rate, you’re going to feel a little bit of stress every time you open your wallet.


Photo by Rachel B. who studied abroad in Australia.

I’ve been facing that problem throughout my study abroad experience. Money has been the ultimate limiting factor. If money wasn’t a concern, life wouldn’t be so challenging - and I feel the full force of it when I spend my savings on a ticket to far away. It’s troubling to look at all of these beautiful adventures and know that I can’t do everything because of the cost. But I have come to the conclusion that maybe money isn’t that important.

You can be smart about your traveling. Always make sure to find the best deals, and really do research before you travel. This way you won’t end up spending your money on seemingly important things that really aren’t all that helpful in the end. Know that you’ll need to find budget accommodations.  Living the life of an adventurer often means you won’t be living the life of luxury. Finally, don’t let the amount of money you have convince you that you can’t achieve your dreams.

Ozirsky 1

Photo by Charlotte O. who studied abroad in Australia.

You (most likely) only have one chance to fully experience a semester abroad. Make ends meet afterwards. Buy fewer souvenirs - trust me, there are very few you’ll actually look at and feel fulfilled by buying. Find little ways to earn small amounts of money for the time being. Ask your family to help out and pay them back later when are able.

As irresponsible as it may seem, money is only temporary. Of course,  you have to be aware of your spending and know when to cut back. But also know that the moments you have to spend now aren’t temporary. Know that you will remember this experience for the rest of your life so ask yourself you want to live: happy and poor, or okay with a little more money?

Are you ready to study abroad? Find out more about all of your options on the ISEP website.

Want to see more from our ISEP bloggers? Learn more about our ISEP Voices Spring 2016 group.

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