How to Make Money During a Semester Abroad

Studying abroad can be a wonderful experience that expands your horizons and gives your new and exciting perspectives on the world. However, studying abroad can really stretch the budget, especially for a student that has a limited about of money. In order to afford a study abroad program, you may need to find new and creative ways of making money while there. This could include getting a paid position, getting an online job, or finding other ways to raise funds. If you are planning on studying abroad but really need to make some money while you are gone, there are ways to do it.


EditFinding Paid Opportunities

  1. Apply for a paid internship. While most internships are not paid, there are some that will give you a stipend to help pay your bills or offset the cost of traveling abroad. There are even internships that provide housing, which can be a huge help financially. These positions are usually highly sought after but are applied for just as unpaid internships are, so if you are highly qualified a paid internship may be right for you.[1]
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    • If you are interested in getting a paid internship you will need to find some to apply for. You can do an internet search for internships that are available to you but you may also be able to consult with your school’s study abroad program to see if they know of any that are available.
    • A paid internship may require a work visa, but these programs usually make that arrangement.
  2. Sign up for a work-abroad program. If you do not have the financial ability to pay for a traditional study abroad program, you may be able to find a work abroad program instead. These programs are usually seasonal, so they can be great for making money and getting an experience abroad during summer break.[2]
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    • Some common jobs that are offered in a work abroad program include being an au pair or teaching English.[3]
    • A work-abroad program will require a work visa but programs designed for foreigners usually make those arrangements.
  3. Apply for a work visa. There are some countries that will allow you to work while studying abroad if you apply for a work visa. Whether or not you are granted a work visa will depend on the country you are going to, the study program you are doing, and the length of time you are staying, which in most cases needs to be at least six months. [4]
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    • Some countries that do grant work visas include the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, and Spain. However, there are a lot of limitations placed on the amount and type of work you can do while a study abroad student.
    • Work visas require a fee and an application process. Do some research about how much a work visa costs in the country you are going to and assess whether you meet their requirements. For instance, in the UK you will need to pay a fee of £328 to apply for a Tier 4 student visa. In the application you will need to guarantee that you can write, read, and speak english, that you can afford to stay in the country without a job, and that you are enrolled in approved courses.[5]
    • Once you get a work visa, you will still need to apply for and get a job once you are abroad.

EditFinding New Ways to Make Money

  1. Find an online job. While you are abroad it may be a good idea to find some income by doing work online. There are many jobs these days that you can do from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. With an online job you can both make money while abroad and you can usually create your own schedule, which works well with a student’s schedule.[6]
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    • Some jobs that can be done online exclusively include writing, graphic design, virtual assistant, and creating your own online business.
    • In order to find an online job you should do an online search for jobs in your desired field. Try going to websites that are specifically designed to list part-time and flexible jobs.[7]
  2. Work as a tutor. If you are planning on studying abroad you may be able to work at the school you are going to. This could include working for the actual school as a tutor or working under the table as a tutor for other students who need some assistance.[8]
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    • In many cases, there will be people in the community that you are moving into that may be interested in getting English tutoring or lessons.
  3. Consider personal fundraising. When studying abroad, you may need to rely on others to help you financially. This could be in the form of fundraising from family and friends, or going to organizations or individuals in your community that would want to invest in your particular study program or schooling outcome. [9]
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    • One way to let others know that you need their financial help and what you will use any funds they give you for is to create an online fundraising campaign. With an online fundraising campaign you can make a video that will outline why you are studying abroad and why you think others should support you financially.
    • If you are doing a study abroad program with a clear educational or job goal at the end of it, you may be able to find an organization or individual that is willing to invest in your future. For example, your local chamber of commerce or city hall may be willing to invest in your future if you have been an active part of your community.

EditReducing Your Spending

  1. Make a budget. Before you go on a semester abroad you should make a budget for the amount of money you have and how long you will be gone. Making a budget requires that you have a general understanding of costs in the country you are going to and that you know what will, and won’t, be covered by the tuition costs you pay upfront.
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    • When making a budget it is a good idea to leave a little bit of wiggle room by allocating emergency funds, if you can. If you budget down to the last penny, you may end up with unexpected costs that you can’t cover.
  2. Take location into consideration. In many cases, you will be able to live on less than you do at home. This is especially true if you are doing a study abroad program in a smaller city or a country with a low cost of living. If you are coming from a country that has a high standard of living and the money has a high value, then you may be able to live on less when you are abroad.[10]
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    • However, the opposite can be true as well. If you are used to a low cost of living and you are going to a place with a high cost of living, such as London, then you will need to take that into consideration. Your money will not go as far as it would at home.
    • One thing to do while preparing for your trip is to look at the exchange rate for currency between your home and where you are visiting. If your currency is strong compared to the currency you are exchanging for, then it will help you financially while you travel because your money will go further.[11]
  3. Reduce your costs. Making changes to your individual habits, preferences, and travel choices while you are abroad can dramatically decrease the cost of living abroad. Consider abandoning your normal luxuries while you are abroad and instead try to live frugally.
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    • For example, this could include avoiding buying new clothes or accessories, eating homemade food more often, or traveling via the cheapest methods.
    • If you cut down on your costs, then you can cut down on your need to make money while abroad.

EditSources and Citations

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