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Tight Traveling: Studying Abroad on a Budget

February 04, 2020
by Erin Crowell

Study abroad is an amazing time, full of new experiences. However, with those comes a cost. Even when you’re traveling on a budget, there are still amazing ways to enjoy both the city that you are staying in as well as travel! Here are some insider tips on how to get the most out of your experience.


Tip 1: Take advantage of excursions run by your program.

Even though there may be early wake-ups or long bus rides, these trips are worth it. The cost is included in the program itself, so don’t miss the opportunities that are there! I am currently studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and my program offers excursions to Cordoba, Granada, and Lisbon, all included. They also offer a bike tour of the city, a tour of the Alcazar, and a flamenco show! Not only can you save money you would have spent, but it’s a great way to meet other people in the program who are interested in similar things.


Tip 2: Find free things to do in your host city.

The best part about cities? Things are happening all the time. There are endless things to do just while you’re walking around, and they change every day so you never get bored! Some of the best things to do that are almost always free are tours of churches (or even attending a mass! Pro tip: the 1:15 mass at the Seville Cathedral is when the organs are playing), participating in or creating your own walking tour, exploring the gardens, watching the sunset over the river, or enjoying the free shows of dancing or singing by street performers (there is a flamenco show almost every day at the Plaza de España!). By doing this, you can learn a lot about the city and the culture without hurting your wallet.


Tip 3: Be food savvy!

Food is one of the best parts of study abroad. However, it can hit your wallet hard. If you’re able to, one of the best things to do is to make your own! Cooking a curry for six people cost less than a euro a person, and it was delicious and fun for the whole group. Dining out is fun occasionally, but taking a picnic to a nearby beautiful area is just as delicious and much less expensive. Also, if you’re staying with a host family, eating in is an awesome way to try local cuisine and make connections.


Tip 4: Book on a budget! 

If you want to see other countries, travel with people to save money on Airbnb! You can also save a lot of money on lodging by connecting with other study abroad students in different countries and staying in their accommodations. You can also use travel agencies like “onfleek” to book trips all in one place; they typically include transportation, lodging, and food, for the same price or cheaper than anywhere else!


Study abroad doesn’t have to break the bank; you can enjoy your time and still stretch your money! What other tips do study abroad students have for traveling on a budget?

Erin Crowell is the Spring 2020 CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain, and is currently studying at University of Massachusetts.
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