Haggle when you can- Many international cultures not only allow shoppers to haggle for lower prices but actually expect them to. Check if this behavior is acceptable and try out your negotiation skills. Save money by talking down the price or getting a discount by buying multiple items.

 

Track non-essential spending- It's easy to overspend when there are so many cool knick-knacks that remind you of your travels. Instead of buying gifts in the beginning of your study abroad semester, plan ahead on who you need to buy gifts for and how much you plan on spending.

 

Always bring your student ID- America isn't the only country that readily offers discounts to students. Get in the habit of showing your ID at every shop, restaurant, and museum you visit to save extra money, as not every student deal will be advertised.

 

Ditch the dorms for a home stay- Instead of paying hefty fees for dormitory housing or a flat rental, consider living with a host family. These volunteer households help visitors get a more authentic taste of local culture and most offer home cooked meals too.

 

Go as a volunteer- In order to help pay for travel before or after your semester abroad, look into a paying volunteer program to help earn some money. Check web sites such Idealist and WWOOF for available opportunities before or after your study abroad semester.

 

Pay attention to packages- Pre-set packages offered by universities and other organizations can be hit or miss. Sometimes these deals offer massive savings, while other times you'd do better to orchestrate a weekend trip or tour on your own. Examine the fine print and make sure to budget enough money for a semester’s worth of trips.

 

Make dinner at home- Of course you'll want to sample the local cuisine as part of your abroad experience -- but consider by going out lunch for instead of dinner you’ll save more. Plan to make dinner at home using local ingredients. Shopping in foreign grocery stores can sometimes be an experience in itself. You can even take turns in you group cooking big meals and splitting the cost.

 

Avoid huge cell phone bills- Avoid expensive international calling charges by using a low cost internet calling service like Skype to make calls. To make local calls, get a cheap international phone when you get to Europe and use a pre-paid SIM card. Text messages are usually cheaper so coordinate as much in person or online so you won’t have to make a call when you’re in town.

 

Stretch your legs- While you will certainly want to get acquainted with the local transportation methods, keep in mind that the most intimate and cheap way to learn most cities is by foot. Save a bit of money by savoring what's local; make time for wandering and stumbling upon unique, nearby offerings.

 

Ask the locals- Longtime residents have the dish on what's good locally and offer more valuable information than any tourist guide book ever could. While your study abroad program surely offers lots of great resources, the local residents you meet in your neighborhood will offer unique tips to places off the beaten path.

 

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