How to Fund for Exchange?

Ronda Spain streets

Funding for exchange can be burdensome for students since they have no income.  If you’re looking for ways to earn money while studying, you should read How Do You Get To Travel So Much As A Student? That post details many different ways you can earn money part-time while studying full-time.

Whether you are well on your way to a school exchange or study abroad programme in the coming months, or are contemplating whether you should bother spending a bomb on a semester abroad, you’ve stumbled on the right page. In various posts, I share why travelling as a student presents some of the best opportunities to travel.

There are many ways you can fund for exchange, from saving up prior to your big trip, to sourcing good travel websites that offer amazing discounts and even little ways that can help you save along the way during your trip.

Read: To Outbound Exchange Students

Below shows 4 other ways that make funding for exchange more manageable.

4 ways to fund for exchange

Bruges, Belgium
Exploring Bruges, Belgium

1. Go for cheap ticket deals.

So I took a shot at Malaysia Airlines on my flight from Singapore, at the peak of recovering from their crisis blow about the missing plane in 2014 (which is still missing). Seriously. The flight tickets were half the price of the second cheapest airline ticket available then. This amounted to less than SGD500 for a one-way ticket.

Not only was my flight so smooth I was in deep sleep most of the journey to Paris, I had a whole row of seat to myself (which also explained why I slept so well.)

Read: How To Save on Accommodation and Transport While Travelling!

2. Apply for your school’s exchange scholarships!

You never know your chances of obtaining one, even if your grades are mediocre. I tried, and just when I least I expected it, I received a scholarship valued at $5,000 by an anonymous donor! I am so beyond thankful on so many levels. This just goes to show that you shouldn’t assume, and you shouldn’t stop trying.

3. Record your expenses.

I keep a record of my expenses – every single one of it. By classifying your expenditure, this provides an overview of where and what you are spending on, allowing you to better regulate your expenses.

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4. Cook your own meals!

I was really looking forward to cooking my meals because I have never had the chance to take full control of the kitchen (Mum’s territory) while I was at home, living with my family. Now that I’m on exchange, grocery shopping and cooking are under my purview. Through the first few weeks of living in my dorm, I realised that I can cover the meals in a day at a mere cost of SGD2-4. That is 3 meals under SGD5 PER DAY!

Because of this, I’ve researched quite a number of recipe hacks, such as one that can allow me to throw all my ingredients into a pot, or 5-minute meals. I could even prepare my meals in advance to bring to school, and that’s money saved from spending on school food again.

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Update: For more of ways you can save up during your exchange or study abroad programme, or how you can take steps to fund for your exchange, check out my Student Travel tab.

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