Studying abroad doesn’t need to break the bank. If you’re interested in studying abroad but are worried about finances, here are our top tips to save money during your semester or summer session abroad:
- Apply for study abroad scholarships. John Cabot University offers both merit and need-based scholarships to study abroad students each semester, and there are numerous government agencies and private organizations that offer additional scholarship funds. All you need to do is research and apply!
- Meet with your home university’s financial aid office to learn about transferring your existing financial aid. Many students do not realize that you can transfer your existing financial aid to cover your semester abroad, and in many cases you can actually receive additional funds if the cost of your program exceeds that of your home university. Contact your financial aid office or email ours at [email protected] to learn more.
- Ask your bank about international banking. Most US banks offer some international banking options, although some plans include hidden fees. Make sure to ask if your bank or credit card charges you foreign ATM fees, foreign transaction fees (which can be up to 5% of your entire purchase), or international banking support. You may be best off opening a new account or applying for a credit card with added perks for travelers, such as airline miles.
- Budget and track your daily living expenses. Your daily cappuccino and cornetto from your local café may seem cheap, but these daily expenses add up over time. Track your spending during your first few weeks in Rome to determine where you can save.
- Get an Italian SIM card over using your current phone company’s international plan. Italian rechargeable (ricaricabile) plans can be as cheap as €5/month, and communicate with your family and friends back home using Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime, or iMessage. Visit one of Rome’s phone company shops (Vodafone, Wind, Tim, or Tre) and choose the best plan for your needs.
- Opt for cooking with your roommates over dining out. While Roman restaurants are certainly tempting, grocery shopping in Rome is often even less expensive than it is in the US. JCU housing comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, which will allow you to save money and hone your cooking skills with your roommates and new friends. Plus, you’ll impress your family and friends upon returning home!
- Take advantage of train and flight promotions and inexpensive accommodation options for your weekend trips. Italy’s two train companies, TrenItalia and Italo, each offer numerous discounts throughout the year, and discount airlines such as RyanAir and Easyjet offer cheap tickets if you buy in advance. Sign up for their email lists to be the first to know when they are offering cheap tickets, and book your hostel or rent a room using a website that allows you to compare prices and ratings, such as booking.com, airbnb.com, or tripadvisor.com.
Our financial office is here to help you plan your finances for your semester in Rome. Learn more about how you can make studying abroad a reality!