Studying abroad in college is such a unique experience that it’s easy to get caught up in your own excitement. While abroad, I wanted to enjoy my time as much as possible, which included spending a lot of money on things that didn’t really improve my trip. For example, every time I ate at a restaurant in Rome, I ordered three courses and maybe a dessert because when else do you have the chance to eat in Rome? Of course, I always ended up ordering way too much food, wasting a bunch of it, and regretting my decision only to make it again five hours later. When in Rome, this wasn’t a huge concern, but now that I’ve begun my journey back home to New Orleans, the financial repercussions of my study abroad program are becoming more apparent.
If I was to start my study abroad trip again today, here are some things I would do differently with my money:
- Do more research about average costs in the cities I am traveling to in order to create a stricter daily/weekly budget.
- Allot a specific non-negotiable spending limit on souvenirs for me, my friends, and my family.
- Research specific excursions before my trip to find cheaper tickets for popular tourist sites and save time waiting in line.
Overall, your budget while studying abroad has everything to do with your specific financial situation as well as what area of the world you’re traveling to. Although I spent more than I should have abroad, I am not upset with myself for doing so. The most important part of studying abroad is enjoying yourself, which becomes much easier if you plan your budget in advance.