A week today, I will be back at home after 14 heady months abroad in Spain, then France, then Spain again. Here is a collection of advice that I have picked up along the way, some of it from others, some from those clichéd guides (much like this one) and some I've learnt in my own sweet time.
Budgeting for a year abroad on a shoe-string is standard practice, but these tips are by no means money-saving survival tactics for those trying to live on the cheap: they are original ideas to help you spice up and make the most of your time in Madrid. They just so happen to save you some céntimos too. Enjoy!
As a UK Erasmus student, you are entitled to receive a grant for your time away at a a participating Erasmus institution (work or study). The grant is paid through your home institution and aims to subsidise part of your year abroad. You are still entitled to receive your usual financial support outside of this grant, as you need to bear in mind that it may not cover all of your costs. It is non-refundable and free, and as such, it is wise for all UK Erasmus students should apply for one!
Jennifer is a Joint Honours student at Warwick University, and is currently on her year abroad in Germany doing a Language Assistantship in Oberhausen while living nearby in Essen. Here is her advice to help you save money while travelling on your year abroad in Germany.
You might currently be saving or have saved up enough funds for your epic venture and are now looking into the ways in which you can access and control your hard-earned cash. You could take it all in a bag (highly risky and a tad stupid!), you could get travellers’ cheques (for a fee, and sometimes not widely accepted), you could wire money or use your home debit card (which can be expensive and potentially risky) or you could set up a bank account in your temporary home (which can sometimes be a hassle). Now though, currency cards are becoming more widely used, with virtually no drawbacks. Here's how they work...
Funding your year abroad is a big step to finalising your plans, making sure you can afford your city and enabling you to really make the most of your time there, without worrying too much about money. Many grants and schemes are available, as well as the chance to get to grips with various other forms of money-saving ideas. Here is our definitive list of what you should keep an eye out before you whisk yourself off to other countries: