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 Savings Tips

Strategies for Saving Money

Financial planning for your study abroad experience is a great life skill. To get started, list your current living expenses so you can compare them to your expected costs abroad. With a little careful planning, you can keep your expenses abroad comparable to—and sometimes lower than—attending your UC campus.

Personal Budget Planning

We highly recommend developing a personal monthly budget to ensure you have money to last your entire time abroad.

  • Start by determining how long you will be abroad. You can find the length of your program in the Program Calendar.
  • Review your Program Guide for specific housing and meal payment details. Are they paid all at once or monthly?

Example: How much can I spend on rent? Divide the room amount in your program budget by the number of months. This will be your U.S. dollar monthly budget for rent. You can figure out the local currency using a currency conversion calculator online.

You can do this for every expense you will encounter abroad. One-time costs, such as airfare or visa fees are typically paid before departure or at the beginning of the program.

10 Ways to Save for Study Abroad

1. Review the UCEAP Program Budget and set money-saving goals. Review what’s included and excluded from UCEAP budgets to anticipate your expenses. Ask a returnee what they spent on items that were not already budgeted by UCEAP, such as recreation, travel, and clothing.

2. Many enterprising students are finding success with crowdfunding—a method of raising money online. We’ve partnered with the largest global crowdfunding platform to help UC students raise funds towards their study abroad experience.

3. Schedule a meeting with a campus Financial Aid advisor who is familiar with paying for UCEAP and request an estimate of aid you’ll receive for studying on our program.

4. Attend a financial workshop on your campus to learn more about financing study abroad, financial aid, and scholarships. These workshops are intended for everyone, not just for financial aid recipients.

5. Apply for study abroad scholarships from $1,000–$8,000.

6. Share this information with your parents and family so that they are informed about the wide range of important financial issues (budgets, billing, direct deposit options, etc.).

7. Check out our FAQs​ for answers about your UCEAP account, Student Budget, payments, and financial aid.

8. Read the Program Guide for information about the different housing options, and money-saving ideas regarding activities that may not be covered by the UCEAP Student Budget.

9. Discuss with your home bank and credit card company so you know about using cards abroad and the associated fees.

10. Read the UCEAP Blog for tips on stretching your dollar and ways to make study abroad more affordable.

Warning! If you are pricing a non-UCEAP study abroad program, make sure you understand what is not included in their estimates. Often, they have non-disclosed fees that can make a big impact on your study abroad budget.​​​​​​​


See also:
Funding your study abroad