Getting the Most Out of Your Study Abroad Experience While Living on a Budget

As many of us know, studying abroad has historically been a luxury for the rich. However, times are changing, allowing for a more financially diverse group of people to pursue an education abroad. Studying abroad is one of the most fulfilling experiences of one’s life, and it is important for as many people as possible to take the leap into a crazy adventure on the opposite side of the Earth from everything they know.

While studying abroad there is a heavy pressure to travel… everywhere. Many students see these 4 months as their only time to see Europe. Friends and family back home are expecting you to travel every weekend to a new and exciting destination, but there are many small and cheap weekend getaways you can plan so you don’t break the bank while still fulfilling the need to see the world.

Start by exploring Lithuania. There are many beautiful destinations in your host country to explore. Popular destinations include:

-Vilnius

-Kaunas

-Hill of Crosses (Siauliai)

It is very easy to take a train from Klaipeda to these three cities, and you get ½ off your ticket with your ISIC Card! Lodging for the weekend is also extremely cheap in these three cities. You can use the apps HostelWorld and Airbnb to find the best accommodations for you or your group. A hostel is usually best for 1-3 people, but Airbnbs in Lithuania are super cheap, so if you have a group of 4 or more it is usually better to split the cost of an apartment with everyone.

It is also easy to visit neighboring countries for a very low price point. Poland and Latvia are two very nice countries to explore that are not expensive or too far. We have found that it is easiest to rent a car in Akropolis when visiting neighboring countries. Having a rental car offers more flexibility in where you can go and at what times which is very nice if you aren’t very good at keeping to a strict schedule.

Traveling doesn’t have to be extravagant, and it shouldn’t be for a college student. This is our time to bask in the messiness of travel. It is important to embrace the fact that not everything will be pretty, and that you might get locked out of your Airbnb in Poland forcing you to sleep 7 people in a minivan for a night (yes, this happened to us, but it was honestly a great bonding experience and gives a good laugh now). Learning to let go and embrace the people and culture surrounding you is how you’ll get the most out of your experience abroad.

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