Think about the old brain teaser, if a tree falls in the middle of the forest and there is no one around to hear it, it does not really makes a sound. Now if we try to apply that to people we could say, if a person spends his/her entire life indoors and never went out to interact with the rest of the world, did they even exist? The answer is no. The more you put yourself out there and expose yourself to different situations, different people, and different cultures, the greater your presence in the global community will be. I have spent almost five years studying abroad, two years in Canada and three others in Germany. Experiencing new cultures, meeting new peoples and learning new things are just some of the things that you as a student abroad will face during your “Golden Years” as my professor usually say about the youth generation. Going to an unknown country without even knowing the language and the culture of that country can put you in tough situation. On this article, I’ll try to explain and share my experiences and give some tips to save money and find a good accommodation.
Firstly, after you have chosen the right country to study abroad, it is time to search and learn more about their culture, learn some basic words and sentences of their language, and of course ask other students who have studied on that country about their experiences and any advice’s that they could give to you. Going in a complete unknown country or even if you have some knowledge about the culture and the country it still would be a little bit hard in the beginning of your journey. Finding the right place to live, controlling your finances, and finding the right friendship are just some of the issues that may occur. Remember anywhere you go, you should understand that you are going there to learn and not to play,travel and enjoy the night life. I’m not saying that you have to leave out completely your night life or things like that, no, i’m just saying that you need to have a work schedule. For example, when you go to the library, silent your phone and do not let the ringtones distriburt you. Not saying at all that you should not have ringtones, but always try to silent your phone in order to be more concentrated while you study.
While I was part of the University of Alberta in Canada I was finding it hard to find a place for accommodation. I was confused on making a decision about what kind of place would be the best for accommodation. Living in a dorm, in a hotel, apartment or in a shared room? That was the real dilemma. I firstly was located in the city of Banff, which is a stunningly beautiful town high up in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains that gives you all the fun and excitement of a major resort town surrounded by pristine Canadian wilderness. Banff was a friendly and welcoming town and white Snowy Streets offer an endless variety of shops, bars and restaurants which will make your life easier as a student.
- Where ever you go, if you do not achieve to find an accommodation, try to search online. Google sometimes can be your best friend.
- When you choose your accommodation, remember there are only two rules, cheap and noisy or expensive and quite.
- If your finances are low, dorms and shared rooms are the best options.
Remember, it is always recommended to find a place before going to the country where you will study as when you go there, you will have a place to stay and time to find a better accommodation.
Even though I was finding it hard to find a place for accommodation in Canada, after I found the right place everything went well and was one of my best experiences. After finishing my bachelor degree in Canada, it was time for Germany, which was another great experience.
If in Canada I have gained experience in finding the right place for accommodation, in Germany I gained experience in saving money, being disciplined and managing my time in the right way. Even if you have a high budget, your expenses can be low in Germany. Germany and Europe are not expensive. Europe is cheaper than USA and Canada. But even though it is cheap to live in Germany, you still can save money while you are a student there.
- Use Buss Cards – Travel around the city with Buss cards (Low expenses)
- Discount Cards – In Germany stores give discount cards to students (Get a Discount Card)
- Use Coupon Codes,
- Buy Used Books – Save money by finding used books for cheap
- ATM’s – ATM’s should not be used often as the bank gets a fee every time you get money from ATM’s.
- Don’t go out to often (night clubs)
One of the biggest problems that students face while they are studying abroad is to find a job while they are studying. Finding a job in an unknown country sometimes can be a very stressful task. If you do not know the language in some countries it will be harder to find a job. It all depends on the profession that you are trying to work. If it is something related to Technology than the German Language in Germany will not be required, but if you want to work in a grocery store than you have to know the language in order to work. So it is a little bit complicated when it comes to working abroad, especially if you do not know the language of that country. If you suffering to find a job, than you have to try to find a job online, like writing, doing minor things for some companies or even opening your own blog. You will not have to pay or invest online, for example you open a blog, write about something that you love to and monetize with some type of online ads and you make money. It is important to have a domain and hosting, finding coupons will help you to save on investing. In the third year of my studies, i haven’t work offline, i had a blog and with that i had achieved to cover most of my expenses like: Food, Rent and Clothes.
These are just some tips to save money while you are studying abroad. Remember, if your finances are low, you must start saving money because in the end you may end finding difficulties on paying your rent, tuition fees and other primary things. So it is important to priories your expenses.
Along this journey I have lived in moments, taking advantages of these moments allowed me to gain the tools and inside needs to make a difference in my life. Studying abroad is one of those moments, so try to take full advantage to this experience to build a better tomorrow, not only for yourself but for your community and for the world.