Office of Study Abroad

Money Abroad

Managing money in a new environment requires a lot of organization to provide a little room for flexibility. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind to help manage your money.

  • It's important to know what you can (and cannot) spend. Recording daily expenses (at least for the first couple of weeks) will be indicative of your typical costs for the week and help you anticipate how to adjust your spending for your entire stay.

  • The value of the dollar may be fluctuating; make sure you have enough to last the duration of your program.

  • The start of your trip may likely have extra costs, such as phones, sim cards, permit of stays, etc. You will find consistency, but also be sure to have emergency money for unanticipated events.

  • It may be important to bring local currency with you or perhaps a credit/debit card with a certain bank may be more accessible in your country. Look into it beforehand and ask your program for advice.

  • Take some local currency with you abroad in case you don't initially have access to an ATM.

  • Ask your bank about their exchange rates and international transaction fees. Many have sister banks abroad that may have less fees. Know the fees associated with withdrawing money or using a credit or debit card.

  • Contact your credit card company to let them know you will be traveling (so that your card is not deactivated for security). Likewise, check with the company to make sure your PIN number will work in your host country.

  • Check with your program and/or someone who has lived in your host country for the best means of banking (whether credit cards are widely accepted, accessibility of ATMs for debit cards, what the local banks are and if an account can be set up, etc.).

  • Ask your program for budget details, what to expect, or to be connected with a program returnee. Know that finances are different for everyone.
  • Traveling costs will add up! Consider limiting your weekend/break travel and get to know the city you are living in!