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7 Ways To Save Money On Your Study Abroad

Yes, going abroad costs money, but with so many ways to save and options to help you finance your trip, you can make a study abroad experience possible. Here is how:

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1. Scholarships!

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Every term Student Awards and Financial Aid at the University of Waterloo offers international experience awards, ranging from $500-$5000, to support undergraduate students participating in an international experience. There are also a number of graduate awards available to graduate students going abroad.

2. Cook your own meals.

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Cooking your own meals and packing your lunches will help you save money for your travels! Don’t be afraid to buy your groceries and find inexpensive meals now and then. While doing this make sure to keep nutrition in mind.

3. Hostels and Airbnb.

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Avoid hotels and stay in hostels or an Airbnb. Airbnb and Hostel World are fantastic accommodation sites, but remember that whatever option you choose, it is important to do all your research on its safety and accessibility before you go.

4. Know the right time to exchange money.

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Keep a currency exchange app handy, like XE Currency for iPhone or Android, to know how much you are truly spending. Some credit cards such as Amazon Visa have no exchange fees when paying! You could also use other apps such as Currency or Oanda.

5. Student Discounts!

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Don’t be afraid to ask! Most attractions offer discounted entrance tickets for students. Sometimes the discount isn't even posted, so always ask! You can also apply for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which offers you student savings across the world. It will help you save on coffee, burritos, school supplies, and all the other essentials for your time abroad!

6. Search for cheap flights and cut down on transportation costs.

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Transportation is going to be one of your biggest expenses, but there are ways to snag some great deals. Visit YYZ deals for booking your departure and while abroad look for cheap flights by playing around with the dates, or try finding group transportation rates when travelling with others. Your ISIC can also help you save with travel discounts!

7. Plan your travel budget.

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Plan your travel budget and stick to it! Plan on saving money in your host country, so that you can go out and travel more. There are so many experiences and activities to do, so buying a latte every day isn't always the best use of your money. Try using budgeting apps or software such as Mint. Mint includes a countdown for saving and will even suggest ways to cut your expenses!

A special thanks to the recent returning exchange students from 2015-2016 who shared these tips for saving money. If you have a tip you would like to share, leave it in the comments below!

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