Budgeting While Abroad

Determine your budget

Make a weekly or monthly budget for your semester abroad, taking into account all of the items listed on the Finances page, and stick to it. Remember to follow the exchange rate in your intended destination before and after departure as well, which will help you to keep track of how much you are spending in U.S. dollars.

Live like a local

One of the best ways to save money while abroad is to live like a local. Observe how the people around you live, where they eat and where they shop. If you align your lifestyle more with the locals rather than with the tourists, it will help you to save money during your time abroad. Many restaurants and stores that attract tourists have higher prices on their meals and products.


Consider your priorities for your time abroad as they relate to your budget. If you plan to travel extensively, you will likely need to budget more than students who choose to spend weekends exploring their host city. (Past participants often comment that frequent travelers miss out on opportunities to truly become a local and make local friends by spending weekends away, too!) Save your money for the items or activities that are at the top of your to-do list.

Learn from the experts!

Speaking with students who have studied on your program is an excellent way to get budgeting tips. Chat with one of our Peer Advisors or read blogs about budgeting abroad.