How to fund your year abroad

Fundraising for your year abroad by Olds College

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 18th November 2011 and has been read 23458 times.

Funding your year abroad is a big step to finalising your plans, making sure you can afford your city and enabling you to really make the most of your time there, without worrying too much about money. Many grants and schemes are available, as well as the chance to get to grips with various other forms of money-saving ideas. Here is our definitive list of what you should keep an eye out before you whisk yourself off to other countries:

1. Study and Work Abroad Grants

Make sure you read up on our Money Matters section to see if you can apply for Erasmus funding, whether you plan on studying or working abroad. If you plan on studying abroad at any one of the Universitas 21 universities, you could be eligible for an international scholarship to help you pull through. Direct Gov also gives students the chance to benefit from their ALF (Access to Learning Fund), to find out more visit their website to see if you can apply (and don't forget you can still take out your Maintenance and Tuition Fee loans!)

2. Work as a Language Assistant

If teaching is your passion, you can choose to work as a Language Assistant or Comenius Assistant, you will receive a monthly salary to help support your expenses abroad. This can vary from country to country, so get in touch with the British Council first. Erasmus students also get monthly grantsto support them abroad.

3. Get a part-time job

Over your first two years at university, it might be a good idea to get a part-time job if you are dead set on leaving the country for a semester or year, as part of your course. We recommend working less than 10 hours a week, as you also need to focus on your studies. Although there are a variety of student jobs available, if you have a particular skill, such as proficiency in languages or know a thing or two about computers for example, you could give private tuition classes with less chance of facing competition. If working during term-time will prove too stressful for you, keep an eye out for temporary work over the holidaysas you may end up earning more (staying at home will give you the chance to save all those pennies!).

4. Speak to family and friends and fundraise your way abroad

When students are off to uni, parents and friends often give a gift to their loved ones to help them settle in. Why should you jetting off for foreign soil be any different? As opposed to getting presents, you could ask for financial contributions...As Tesco says, every little helps! Propose to wear a fake moustache for a week at uni, dress up or dress down at uni, throw a party at your house with a little entry fee or bake cakes for a little profit to help you set off for farther places.

5. Auction your stuff on ebay or hold a jumble sale

If you have any spare items at home you don’t plan on using or clothes you haven’t worn in a few years, now is a good idea to sell them to make a little dinero! Everyone hoards items they don’t use, clothes that aren’t really ‘you’ anymore etc, and you never know, you might make a bob or two! Jumble sales only cover a minimal fee (a tenner at most) and, as they say, one man’s loss is another man’s treasure and so on...

6. Get a savings account

Many options are available to students, from saving accounts at high street banks and building societies, to bonds and investments, to ISAs, it’s a good idea to check out what your options are before you leave to make your pounds and pennies work best for you. Check out websites such as Direct Gov’s section on saving money and Moneysupermarket.co.uk to see what you can cut back on, how to save and more.

If you're preparing to spend time abroad, it's worth considering a Fair FX currency card instead of setting up a foreign bank account. Find out more!

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