Life Abroad Panels: Finance Issues

In April of 2023, The Champlain Abroad office hosted the Life Abroad Panels with the aim of providing valuable insights and support to students preparing for or interested in studying abroad. These panels cover several different topics such as Wellness, Identity (with WGC), Food Issues, Academic Issues, Social Interaction, Finances, and Homesickness. These panels will serve as a way to share experiences, tips, and guidance from both staff members and former students who studied and lived in different countries. We recognize that these are not the only concerns students may have when it comes to studying abroad, therefore we urge students to fill out the Life Abroad Questionnaire that is provided to them on TerraDotta after they are accepted into our programs. Here, students will be able to list their concerns and they are encouraged to reach out to our office to discuss them further. Our study abroad coordinators are always willing to meet with students to answer questions and address concerns. The office also hosts various events and activities that can help students ease the transition of going abroad. To stay updated on the events and/or to book an appointment with our coordinators, check out our Events page. Ultimately, the life abroad panels served as a useful tool to empower and prepare students for their international experiences and ensure a successful and enriching time abroad. Here is the recording of the panel discussing how to deal with finance issues while being abroad (closed-captioning available).

Below you can find a brief outline of the panel which was held on Zoom.

I. Introductions

  • Elin Melchior, Study Abroad Coordinator. Studied abroad at the University of Warwick.
  • Martha Moreno Linares, Study Abroad Coordinator. Originally from Venezuela, studied abroad in Canada and the US.
  • Quincy Gomes-CedeƱo, 3rd-year Game Programming major. Studying abroad in Montreal, Canada.
  • Abbey Berger-Knorr, 3rd-year Communication major. Studying abroad at AUT in New Zealand.
  • Katherine Taddeo, 4th-year Degree Design Lab (DDL) major. Studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland.

II. Worries Before Going Abroad

  • Martha starts the conversation by asking what they were worried about before they went abroad.
  • Abbey was worried about everyday living expenses and being able to fund her additional travel plans and adventures.
  • Katherine worried about immigration and how to prove that they had enough money in their bank account.
  • Quincy was worried about basic finances. He didn’t know if he was gonna have a source of income, he thought he was probably going to be living off the money he had saved.

III. Budgeting and Saving Money

  • Martha emphasizes the importance of creating a budget and tracking expenses.
  • Quincy shares his experience of using a budgeting app and finding ways to save money.
  • Katherine suggests cooking meals at home and taking advantage of student discounts.

IV. Topic: Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Martha discusses various scholarship opportunities and encourages students to apply.
  • Quincy shares his experience of receiving a scholarship and the impact it had on his finances.
  • Elin mentions the availability of financial aid through exchange programs.

V. Part-time Jobs and Income Sources

  • Martha highlights the possibility of finding part-time jobs while studying abroad.
  • Quincy talks about his job as an office assistant and how it helped with his finances.
  • Katherine mentions freelance work as another income source.

VI. Managing Expenses and Prioritizing Spending

  • Elin discusses the importance of distinguishing between needs and wants.
  • Martha suggests researching affordable options for housing, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Quincy shares his strategy of setting spending limits and avoiding unnecessary expenses.

VII. Dealing with Emergencies and Unexpected Expenses

  • Katherine emphasizes the need for an emergency fund and having backup resources.
  • Elin shares her experience of dealing with unexpected medical expenses and seeking assistance.
  • Martha mentions the support and resources available through exchange programs.

VIII. Advice: Final Tips and Tricks

  • Martha encourages students to take advantage of free or cheap activities and events.
  • Quincy advises reaching out to local staff or resources for help in case of hardships.
  • Katherine suggests being mindful of personal safety and keeping valuable belongings secure.
  • Elin emphasizes the understanding of other students’ budget limitations and the availability of budget-friendly activities.

Conclusion

  • Martha thanks the participants for their insights and valuable advice.
  • The panel concludes with a reminder to communicate and seek help when needed.
  • The importance of finding joy and making the most of the study abroad experience within a budget is emphasized.

Links to Other Life Abroad Panels

More General Advice
Packing for Abroad
Montreal Culture Differences
Life Abroad Panels: Homesickness