There are a number of costs that come with studying abroad. From program prices to hidden fees,

 it’s essential you understand the total cost you’ll pay when planning your school term or year overseas.

Don’t let costs deter you from enjoying the experience, though. There are plenty of ways you can study abroad on a budget without sacrificing fun. Here are tips on how to live and study abroad on a budget and still have a blast.

Avoid the Tourist Routes

This is a given but still needs to be reminded: get off the beaten path!

Tourists undoubtedly spend more money than locals in any destination — you’re on “vacation” after all, right? Well, if you want to truly feel like you live there while studying abroad (and save some money) switch up your daily routine and mimic the spending habits of your fellow local students. You’ll find your daily expenditures decrease dramatically and you get to know the country on a deeper level.

From shopping at local markets and grocery stores instead of tourist-friendly shops, to enjoying an at-home dinner party with local classmates instead of booking a night out on a popular tourist route, living the local life will help you better connect with cultures and traditions, learn a few words in a new language, and provide useful resources for your study abroad experience.

Become an Expert Researcher

Put your research skills to the test while overseas. If you’re an investigative expert at home (like when finding the best price for that jacket you really wanted) then you can totally be one abroad.

Look for tours that provide the best bang for your buck or go on a lowest-price hunt for hotels that offer best price guarantees.

Get Involved with the Community

If you are going to be in a new destination for a while, why not get involved on a local level? Don’t just follow the national tourism board’s marketing events though, check out your new home’s neighborhood calendar and community board.

Find out what’s happening in nearby churches, museums, schools, and community centers. Usually, these events are free, donation-based, or low-cost and your study abroad program may be connected with it. If the weather is right, stop by local parks and gardens too. There are often farmer’s markets, concerts, and festivals you can enjoy.

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