6 Replies from Mentors
Rae RaeSenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityI would recommend that you don’t go to restaurants often or splurge on unnecessary things frequently. Of course you are in the city to experience the culture (and that means food too!) but eating out everyday wastes so much money, and is impractical. I’d say go to the grocery store as much as possible. Also shop around and don’t buy the first thing you see! Especially with souvenir shops, restaurants, clothing, etc...There are many places selling the exact same things for alternate prices so don’t make any hasty decisions. I also made a rule for myself: “Don’t buy anything here that I can get in America cheaper.” Of course you are there to enjoy yourself so have fun, just do it within your means. If you want to travel, check out cheaper sites such as ryainair.com or priceline.com and stay in hostels/budget hotels or with friends and family.
IreneJunior Year Film Production MajorLoyola Marymount UniversityWhen you first arrive you are going to want to experience EVERYTHING in your first week abroad. Remember that you will be spending a lot of time their and try to budget your money accordingly. If you make a budget for yourself and stick to it, you will have less worries about running out of funds.
Miloni GandhiAssociate Director, International Recruitment, Office of AdmissionsUniversity of Southern CaliforniaIf you are on a really tight budget, be vigilant about watching out for sales. There are a lot of sales especially online, you just have to catch them at the right time. Also, local travel agents often sell many packages that come out to be much cheaper than buying things separately. Learning to cook your own meals even when traveling will also save a lot of money as well as help you meet new friends. Also, when in a city, try and avoid taxis but instead walk and take public transportation when possible.
Additional MentorVarious students and administratorsinterviewed by the Center for Global Education
This student’s number one concern was money; learn how she was able to save for the trip through fundraising and asking family members for help.
KimberlySenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityMy advice for those on a tight budget is to be aware of how much you are spending throughout the day. Everyday some of my friends would write in a notebook or excel document what goods they bought and how much they spent on them. This way they were able to keep track of how much money they could allocate towards traveling, shopping, etc. The best advice though is to spend your money wisely. It is okay to splurge once in awhile, especially if it is to travel, but make sure that you have enough for other expenses too. Decide on which expenses are necessary and which are not.
JanethJunior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityMake sure to have a budget that you can stick to. It’s important to prioritize what you want to do so you won’t spend money on anything unnecessary. Another good idea is to remember when you are shopping that you’re going to have to bring it back home and to think whether you really have space for it in your luggage. This may actually help prevent you from buying unnecessary items. Also it may be wise to invest in an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which can save you money in traveling and expenses. Depending on where you will be studying abroad, it may be helpful.