The question on all foreign language students’ lips is ‘How much should I budget?’ and what a good question it is! Unless you have pots of money put away you’re going to have a spending limit, but what should that spending limit be, and what will you have to pay for. We aim to answer all your budget questions here!
First, we’d like to point out that we can’t give you an exact budget to work to as there are so many variables to bear in mind that what one language travel student needs to spend could be completely different to the next! What we can do is to tell you about all the costs you’re going to incur; that way you can do some research yourself and hopefully come up with a more accurate idea of your costs.
A big chunk of your budget will go on travel expenses, i.e. getting to your language travel destination! It is very rare that a foreign language school would organise this for you, so it’s your responsibility to organise and pay for flights. What the language school will do is arrange transfers from the airport for you (often for a fee).
Another large chunk of your study abroad budget will go to the foreign language school to pay for your course fees. How much these course fees are depends on many different factors – your course start date, course duration, level of course and the school. Some schools will charge much more for a course than another, perhaps due to the fact that they have a very good reputation.
When calculating your budget you should find out whether the language schools give you all of the course materials you will need, such as books, free of charge. With some foreign language schools, language travel students have to purchase all of their course materials, and this can become costly. Others may offer materials at a reduced cost, and others still may loan you the materials so that you don’t have to buy any at all.
There are usually several different options available to you when it comes to choosing what type of accommodation you want to stay in for the duration of your language travel course. These different types can significantly vary in price, so which one you choose may be dependent on your budget. Not sure what options you have for your accommodation? See our Study Abroad Accommodation article.
How much you’ll need to spend on living expenses will vary too. If you’re staying in accommodation where meals are provided then your expenses will be significantly less, though you might like to set some money aside to go out for the occasional meal with some of your new language travel friends! You’ll also want to budget for going out on day trips, maybe some shopping and souvenirs, plus nights out. The best thing is to decide on a budget and stick to it! Remember that these different expenses will vary depending on your study abroad destination; some countries will be much cheaper than others and this will impact your budget.
In addition to all of the above it’s really a good idea to have some money set aside in case of emergency or just for unforeseen circumstances as there are bound to be some things you’ve forgotten to take into consideration or something you need to replace because you left it at home. Whatever the circumstances, set a little aside just in case!