Is Studying Abroad In Europe Expensive?
One of the greatest deterrents when deciding to start studying abroad in Europe is that it can seem expensive. Costs can be a major factor in deciding which program to attend. Keep in mind the cost of the study abroad program greatly varies based on the type of program that you choose. There are also factors like the study abroad city you’ve chosen, the country you’re in, the type of program and the length of time you spend abroad.
We won’t lie to you, some financial investment is required when it comes to studying abroad. There are flights to book, food to try and cities to explore. Studying abroad can seem like an expense you can’t afford so the biggest expenses to consider when studying abroad are airfare, tuition, housing fees, and food.
The good news is if you’re smart about it you probably won’t end up spending more than a semester back home. Unless of course you find yourself at the club until 5 a.m. and end up missing your flight to Rome the next day.
So how much should I budget for studying abroad?
Usually once you, or your parents, write that tuition check your program or college will deal with all the tuition and housing expenses while you’re abroad so you don’t have to worry about that.
The first thing to figure out is how much you want to spend on traveling while abroad. In Europe it’s easy to travel to different countries on the weekend so you’ll probably find yourself planning three out of four weekends of each month to go somewhere new, if not every weekend. Thankfully, travel between European countries isn’t typically expensive (especially when using sites like Student Universe or Skyscanner, or the beautiful Study Abroad schedule of Stoke Travel).
Keep in mind transportation costs both in your host city and the cities you travel to. Once you arrive in a new city a lot of airports are at least half an hour to an hour outside of the city center. Trains, shuttles or buses from the airport to the city center can be a better travel option for the bank account. Taxies aren’t typically the cheapest way to get around so be prepared to make public transportation your new best friend.
When you’re not in your host city you’ll need somewhere to rest your head. If you don’t have a friend’s place you can crash at the cheapest options for your budget will always be hostels. In most major cities You’ll have your pick of hundreds of hostels that range in size, quality, character and price (with hostel beds varying from €5 to €50 per night, depending on which city/country and quality of the establishment). Hostelworld is a good tool to use when trying to find a good fit since hostels can be a hit or miss.
Airbnb is an option to consider if you’re traveling in a group and can split the price but be careful. The cheaper ones are usually farther from the city center so then you end up having to spend more time and money to get where you want to be.
Food ends up being one of the biggest expenses when traveling. It’s tempting to eat out for every meal especially when you’re in a new city or to order McDonald’s every time you’re hungover. It doesn’t help that there is so much delicious food to try.
Then there are the gifts you want to buy for family and friends, late-night gelato cravings, and there’s always someone’s birthday to celebrate with bottle service and sparklers.
By the end of your time abroad, depending on how much you traveled, you can easily rack up a bill of anywhere between $5,000-10,000.
So what are some ways to save money when studying abroad?
Save money on flights by booking two one-way trips instead of a single round-trip. This is not always true, but it’s sometimes the case that two one-way flights are cheaper than a single round-trip flight. Consider flying a discount airline for cheap flights to Europe. This can be a good option If you don’t have much luggage.
Another way to save money on your flights is to try flying into a different airport and then catch a bus or train to where you want to go. It’s usually a lot cheaper to fly into big metropolitan cities like London, Paris or Rome.
Be smart about taking money out from an ATM. You’ll have to usually pay a fee to get cash so take lots of cash out at once. Be careful about using your debit or credit card as you may get hit with conversion fees.
Become a Stoke Travel Ambassador and travel for FREE. No really, If you want VIP upgrades on your trips, free travel to Oktoberfest and the best hookup while you’re studying abroad. Sign up for the Stoke Travel ambassador.
So is European study abroad worth the cost?
The important takeaway is that the study abroad cost is worth it. Every penny. You don’t know the next time you’ll be spending 3 months in Europe so take full advantage of it. The experiences you’ll have will stay with you long after you leave and who knows it could change your whole life.