Budgeting & Saving

31 March 2016

Studying abroad: is it a challenge for you?

Do you want to discover other cultures by studying abroad? Is Erasmus the only option? Could you get a grant? A departure is on the horizon.

Why studying abroad?

Of course, a room with an ocean view or a jaunt down the Rambla in Barcelona is tempting. But above all, studying abroad offers you the chance to have an enriching educational, linguistic, cultural and personal experience. And as a bonus, it's a great big asset for your resumé.

It needs preparation

The ideal solution is to put in the ground work 12 to 18 months in advance. The 2 most urgent steps: look for an exchange programme, Erasmus for example, and apply. Set yourself a budget, taking into account any grants that you could obtain and the cost of living in your destination. For example, a sandwich in Norway is 84% more expensive than in Belgium. In Macedonia, you pay 59% less than here.
Next step: you have to go through the selection process. Have you been chosen? Well done. You can now take the next steps on your journey: the administrative formalities, finding housing, and of course learning the basics of the language.

The unavoidable Erasmus

Everybody knows about Erasmus. This programme of inter-university cooperation is THE benchmark in Europe. From Glasgow to Rome, it opens the way to many universities, and more importantly, provides a grant to cover part of your fees. How much is this grant? It varies according to your parents' incomes and your destination country. It is generally in the range of 200 to 500 euros per month. But Erasmus isn't the only option. Other exchange programmes and forms of financial help are available, including universities, public bodies and private grants.

Be imaginative in your choice of destination: you don't just have to go to London to learn English. How about sharing a reindeer meat pizza in Seinäjoki, Finland?