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Budget Backpacker or Luxury Learner? Tailoring Your Study Abroad Plans According to Your Wallet

25 Mar 2024

Did you know that over 57% of international students say that they will take more loans to cover their study abroad expenses?

While many students wish to study abroad, little do they know that it can create a big hole in their pocket if they are unaware of the tricks of proper financial planning. The most important aspect of studying abroad is managing your finances. It is better to decide first if you want to live the life of a budget backpacker or a luxury learner while juggling your regular expenses and the money transfers back home. Keep reading this blog to learn how to create the perfect study abroad financial plan according to your budget.   

Setting Your Study Abroad Budget

Before starting your international educational journey, it is important to define your budget. Here's how to start.

Understand Your Financial Condition

Begin by charting out your current financial condition. How much savings do you have? Are you expecting any scholarships, grants, or financial aid? Learning as much as possible about the benefits of applying for scholarships is important. This initial step gives you a bird's-eye view of what you're working with.    

Estimate Your Expenses

Now, break down your expenses. Consider the tuition, accommodation, food, transport, and those unmissable experiences. Yes, even that weekend getaway to Paris counts.

The Money Transfer Magic  

Whether you're a Budget Backpacker or a Luxury Learner, keeping your money safe and accessible is very important. You can send your savings back to your family to invest in improving their lifestyles. Here, ACE Money Transfer can be of immense help. It has favorable exchange rates and minimal fees. ACE is your perfect partner in managing finances abroad and ensures that you send money online without a hitch.   

Crafting Your Adventure According to Your Budget

Depending on your budget calculations, you can be a budget backpacker or a luxury learner. Here are the details of how you can live life according to the title you put yourself under.

The Budget Backpacker’s Blueprint   

The following are tips for budget backpackers who do not want to spend extra money.

Embrace Local Living

Ditch the pricey dorms and seek out a shared apartment with locals. It is kinder to your wallet and an express ticket to cultural immersion.

Become a Public Transport Pro

Learn how to use the local transport. It’s not just economical but an adventure in itself.

Master the Art of Meal Prep

Eating out can bleed your budget dry. Local markets have lots of fresh, affordable produce. Channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and whip up delicious, budget-friendly meals.

Scholarships and Part-Time Jobs

Keep an eye out for scholarships aimed at international students. Also, secure a part-time job so you can stretch your budget. It may also be helpful to you while sending money back home.

The Luxury Learner’s Guide

Here are details on how you can splurge on the luxuries for an unforgettable study abroad experience.

Picking the Perfect Pad

Opt for on-campus accommodations or rent a plush apartment. Websites like Airbnb can be goldmines for finding that perfect, cozy abode.   

Transport in Style

Consider leasing a car or, even better, using ride-sharing apps. They offer convenience, comfort, and the chance to explore your surroundings on your own terms.

Dining and Experiences

Enjoy the wonderful dishes your host country has to offer. Don’t shy away from fine dining experiences. They can be as much a part of your education as your classroom lectures.

Use Financial Flexibility to Most

With a more generous budget, you can explore further. Weekend trips, cultural events, and networking events become accessible. Remember, experiences are an investment in themselves.

Balancing the Scales: Finding Your Fit

Whether you lean towards being a Budget Backpacker or a Luxury Learner, it is important to create a balanced experience that doesn’t overextend your financial capabilities. Aim for a hybrid approach where feasible. Maybe choose local accommodations but allow for occasional travel splurges. Or opt for a luxury living space but take the bus to class. Ultimately, your study abroad adventure should be about growth, learning, and creating lifetime memories without breaking the bank.

Managing your study abroad finances requires savvy planning, smart choices, and the right financial partners, like ACE Money Transfer. Whether pinching pennies or splurging on experiences, the aim is to make each moment count. Remember, at the end of the day, whether you're a Budget Backpacker or a Luxury Learner, it's the experiences, learnings, and memories you'll treasure the most. Sign up on ACE today to enjoy your first free money transfer back home and make your family proud of your achievements in the foreign land.


What’s the best way to manage my daily expenses while studying abroad? 

Utilize budgeting apps designed for students to track daily expenses and identify areas where you can save money.

How can I earn extra money while studying abroad?

Look for freelance opportunities online that match your skill set, such as writing, graphic design, or tutoring in your native language.

Is it better to exchange currency before I leave or upon arrival?

It’s often more cost-effective to exchange a small amount before leaving and then look for better rates at local exchange offices in your destination country.

What's the best way to keep my money safe while traveling?

Use a combination of a secure travel money card for most of your funds and a small amount of local cash for daily expenses.

How can I find affordable textbooks for my study abroad program?

Consider buying used textbooks from students who have previously taken your courses or utilize online platforms that offer rental or digital versions at a lower cost.

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