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Study Abroad on a Budget

Studying abroad in another country, especially one with a different currency, can require you to save a lot prior to even arriving in the study abroad country. Luckily, this Cork Writing Workshop program has helped me to save money, but there are still ways in which you can save more. The Cork Writing Workshop program does provide a list suggesting what to pack and to purchase before arriving in Cork, however, here are some of the items that are not mentioned on the list. By packing a lot of the necessities in your suitcase you have the ability to spend more money on activities during the study abroad program.

The program offers lunch tickets that work for every class day however, class days are only 3 or 4 days out of the entire week (if there is a planned excursion during the weekend, classes will be 3 days). My first piece of advice for saving money is to buy a container to pack leftover food from lunch. The lunch vouchers allow you to buy 10 Euros worth of food which results in quite a lot of food so why waste it? Buy containers to put the leftover food into and it can be dinner for later that night. This also allows you to only worry about food during the weekends which means that you wouldn’t have to buy as much food in the grocery store as you would have if you were meal prepping for a full week. Furthermore, there are snacks and drinks available to buy in the cafeteria but save some of those 10 euros and buy a refillable water bottle. Although there are recycling bins everywhere in Cork and on campus, it is more financially efficient and environmentally safe to buy a refillable water bottle; better yet, to bring a refillable water bottle from home.

As stated earlier, this study abroad program does help you to save money by providing bedding and towels. However, you will still need toiletries for your stay here. I personally found it beneficial to pack and bring my bottles of lotion, soap, and hair products from home not only just because it was cost efficient, but also because you never know if you can find the products you use when you’re in a different country. Although the program provides towels, they don’t provide washcloths so packing a washcloth or loofa would be advised along with a laundry bag for your dirty clothes. Also, since it is a study abroad and you will be in school, it would be best to pack your school supplies that you’ve already had from the academic year.

One thing that you should buy when in Cork is a fan for your dorm. There are no air conditioner units in the any of the rooms (just heaters) so the only option for cool air is opening the window. The dorm rooms tend to be hot, especially when it’s raining outside, and you have to keep your window closed so a fan, even a small one, is very useful and makes a difference. The second item that I bought when arriving in Cork was a large light blanket. Due to how hot the dorm room already was, the addition of comforter made it hard to sleep at night, so a lighter blanket is advisable.

Along with packing wisely for the study abroad program, there’s something you can do during the study abroad process to help with cost. Drexel University allows students to apply for study abroad scholarships which can lower the cost of the program tremendously. Although the study abroad office are the ones who decide who gets the scholarships, it is still a great achievement to say that you even applied for a scholarship to help with your study abroad experience. Who’s to say that you won’t earn a scholarship. You never know until you try.

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