Study Abroad on a Shoestring

Emma Grant Senior Student Services Officer


January 12, 2017

During your first few weeks of studying abroad it may feel that your spending is out of control. There's bed sheets, home stuff and in country phones to sort out. As well as all the extra social events and exploring that you’ll be doing while getting to know your new friends and your new home.

But don’t fret! You will find that once you’ve got yourself set up and are starting to establish a routine, it becomes much easier to start managing your money and the advice below should help your pennies go further this semester.

Be a savvy shopper

First off, get yourself an NUS Extra Student Card, then get used to asking the question “Do you offer a student discount here?” From independent cafes to high street stores like Topshop, your NUS Extra card will get you anything from 10% up to 40% off! You will also get a free ISIC card when you purchase your NUS extra card. This can be used internationally and offers some great discounts on travel and accommodation across Europe.

Eat on a budget

Most student housing in the UK is self catering, which means that you can control your own food costs. Supermarkets are very competitive and constantly try to outdo each other. You will hear that Waitrose is a high end supermarket and Lidl a low end. But even Waitrose has it’s own brand value ‘Waitrose Essentials’ items. (Although as Buzzfeed was quick to point out, this middle class supermarket may have a slightly skewed view on what essential actually means).

You also might want to consider doing your food shopping online. Not only will this save the hassle of lugging shopping bags back to your housing, but there are also some great deals out there to get you started, such as Ocado’s £20 off your first shop.

When that food shop arrives, BBC goodfood have tons of excellent budget friendly recipes. And when times get really hard, remember there’s always beans on toast to fall back on. (which by the way IS delicious and perfectly acceptable as breakfast, lunch and/or dinner).

For a night off from cooking, you can find plenty of restaurant vouchers at VoucherCodes that will offer you 241 and half price meals at most of the chain restaurants.

Join Student Events

Each semester we put together a program of subsidized events, which include both day trips and weekends away. Arcadia pays towards the cost of these events, meaning we are able to offer them to you at the lowest possible price. This semester opportunities include places such as Stonehenge, Dublin and Sky & The Highlands. Sign up is still available for all students via Passport.

If you are studying at a British University then you will quickly get to know about your Students Union (SU). As well as organising clubs, societies and volunteering for students, the SU will also usually have a bar or even a club, where they will run lots of seriously cheap events.

There are also plenty of free events run from The London Center which all Arcadia Students are welcome to join. From clubs and societies to Talk of the Town!

Keep your eyes on the Spring 17 Facebook group to be up to date with all the happenings this semester and more money saving tips in our weekly FREE London posts.