Study abroad during pandemic
The world is a pretty different place now than it was before the pandemic. Travel bans and current lock-downs across the globe have left everyone disheartened. Some of the best places, such as the USA, Australia, UK, Canada and Europe, are affected badly by the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has built an environment of uncertainty around several students aspiring for abroad study. Moreover, it’s not just the aspirants that are affected by the pandemic. Students already pursuing their education overseas will have to face some tough monetary decisions. With the lock-down, the economy in countries across the world took a massive hit.
The closing of several stores and restaurants resulted in many students losing part-time jobs and has affected their budget and study abroad during pandemic. Even though students loan continues to go ahead normally, without an extra source of income, students have been financially struggling. However, with a little bit of planning and understanding, you will not only have enough money for your essential needs but also get to reward yourself every once in a while. Let’s talk about some tips that will help you overcome the financial burden and enhance your overseas learning experience.
Get an account in a local bank
If you are an overseas student, this will be your first step towards financial survival. Contact your IDP counselor to help you with information on the leading banks in your destination so you can make a well-informed decision. Since services differ in each bank, make sure the bank you choose provides maximum benefits for students and does not impose heavy charges for international money transfers.
Monitor your direct debits
Monitoring what leaves your bank account every month is probably one of the easiest and most constructive ways to reduce your expenditures. When you are pursuing your abroad education, chances are you will forget about a lot of things because of the fast-paced life. Maybe you are still paying for a subscription that you don’t use or forgot to cancel the membership you thought you would once the free trial gets over. You’ll need to figure out which direct debits are leaving your account. You can do so either with the help of online banking or different apps that help you track your monthly outgoings.
Download a money management app
Time is precious, especially if you have gone to study overseas. Online banking apps will help you save a lot of your precious time when managing your money. These apps can help you budget, save and track your spending habits. Different apps come with different features but the objective is the same- to help you save your money by presenting your expenses, savings, etc. Find what app works best for you and keep it. Make sure your education overseas does not get affected because of wasted time that could have been utilized in a better way.
Leverage on your student status
Going to study abroad overseas could be an expensive affair. Get yourself a student card as soon as you possibly can. This card will ensure you have a universal study abroad experience and will help you avail yourself discounts on restaurants, transportation, shops and various cultural events. Many websites offer great student discounts on events and shopping, make sure you check them out.
Pay your credit card bills on time
If you fail to repay your credit card in full by the end of every month, you will be charged interest on the value of expenditure made on the card. You will also be charged a higher rate of interest on cash withdrawal using your credit card. Even if you repay the minimum amount on your repayments, you will still be charged interest on the remaining amount, which will be compounded. This might negatively impact your credit score, which in return will make it harder to borrow money in the future. If there is an urgent need to borrow, go for zero per cent interest overdrafts.
Spend wisely at supermarkets
It’s easy to save money when you go to supermarkets. All you need to do is prepare a list of essentials before you leave and stick to it. Always check the cupboards and refrigerators while making the list to cross-check what you already have and what you need. Make it a point to have some food before you go shopping as going out on an empty stomach will likely dig a hole in your pocket. Also, try to shop at a budget supermarket that serves similar products but at a lower price.
Prepare an emergency fund
One thing that this pandemic has taught everyone is to not take things for granted. As you have left your home for the education abroad, your family will not be there with you all time. Having an emergency fund will take the pressure off you when push comes to shove. Think of it as an opportunity: being able to manage your finances while taking care of your education at the same time will enhance your learning abroad experience.