Studying abroad was something I had previously not considered doing because I thought it would have cost me a lot. And lets be honest, university is expensive enough as it is, we don’t want to feel any poorer or in any more debt. So how did I fund my study abroad? Because of course, you need money to be able to experience the country and city you’re staying in…
- Erasmus grant
The number one thing that helped me fund my year abroad was the Erasmus grant. You are given this grant to help cover the costs of living abroad thus the amount varies depending on the country you are in. You receive 70% of it within the first month and the remaining 30% when you finish – to help with summer rent I assume.
2. Student loans
Of course, the main way most of us fund university – you are still entitled to your regular student loans which I was concerned you weren’t! So i’m happy to say that you receive these and the erasmus grant!
3. Getting a job
I didn’t work for the entire year, just three months towards the end but it helped me save up some money to be able to fund summer!
4. Shopping cheap
Where my accommodation was located, I had the supermarkets ‘Jumbo’ and ‘Albert Heijn’ which aren’t at all the cheapest! Instead, I cycled a bit further out once a week to do a shop at LIDL. I even found a little green grocers next to LIDL that sold fruit far cheaper than even LIDL, as I did find that fruit in the Netherlands was fairly pricey.
5. Stop buying clothes and make up.
In england, it is so easy to just buy something from Amazon, ASOS or Boohoo for example – in the Netherlands it definitely isn’t. Amazon doesn’t really exist except for (Dutch) books and you never get free delivery from Boohoo. Not only this, but make up isn’t as ‘big’ as it is in the UK so I didn’t have much choice of things to buy. I decided to simply stop buying unnecessary items – leaving that money to actually use on fun experiences within the city and country!
6. Buying a railcard (‘Dal Voordel’)
I was lucky enough that my partner was also doing a year abroad in the Netherlands but not in Amsterdam, in Maastricht, so it meant that I would be using the train more than others. The card cost 50 euros, although it was on sale for 30 euros just after I bought it (typical!) It means you can get 40% off during off peak hours on the trains and saved me a lot of money visiting my parntner. However, I also used it just to visit other cities in the NL and when picking up people from the airport – it saved me a lot more than I even thought it would!
A year abroad may seem costly, but if you’re smart about it, it really isn’t. I’d say what cost me most were my plane tickets but I only went home once over Christmas and then the final time of course. It’s very doable!