Hello again, for my final blog post of the semester! My name is Brandon and I’m a third-year marine science and journalism major studying at the National University of Singapore. With the semester finally at a close, I wanted to look back on one of the things that nobody really wants to talk about: budgeting. Wherever you may choose to be abroad, there’s always costs attached to them. Whether you’re away for a Maymester, semester or year, the total cost of being abroad adds up. But there are a number of things you can plan for to make sure you can have fun for both the planned adventures and the spontaneous excursions that will occur.
There are a few things to do before you leave for your trip abroad. If you’re looking to fund you’re studies/research while abroad, I’d highly recommend looking into the large number of scholarships and grants that are available through Texas Global. In addition, there are also many scholarships for specific locations that can be searched online. Apply to as many places as you can as these can increase your budget flexibility later on.
For your specific location as well, I’d suggest looking into the surrounding areas for places you would like to visit. Even if you don’t personally plan on travelling much on your time abroad, there are often holidays throughout the semester where you’ll be free to take a break from studying for a time. By planning out places that you’re interested in going to, you can plan a budget for that specific trip in mind and understand the cost of vacationing to that specific place. Once you have that budget, add a little more to that value. While some vacations are planned, many that I went on were not. Having a little bit more in the bank than what you anticipated on spending can be helpful in allowing you to take these little weekend getaways.
My last recommendation would be to look into your country’s currency usage. In Singapore, credit cards can be used at most of the more developed places like malls and food courts. But when it came to hawker centres and canteens, cash was king. Being in a foreign country and understanding what form of currency you’ll be using most can be made much less stressful by planning ahead. If you know you’ll be doing quite a lot of cash withdrawals, maybe look into opening a bank account that has no withdrawal fees. If you know quite a lot of your purchases will be made with card, maybe look into a credit card that doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees and is widely accepted worldwide. By already understanding the currency situation in your country, it can make living abroad significantly easier.
While planning a budget before going abroad can help alleviate some unneeded stress, managing while abroad is just as important. Keeping track of your spending and knowing how much you already have can help make it easier to plan your studies in the future. Hopefully this will help make planning your trip abroad a little easier and useful for your future studies, wherever they may be.
This post was contributed by Brandon Chan, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in marine biology and journalism. He is studying at the National University of Singapore.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Brandon’s experience at NUS>>