There are many factors to consider before deciding to study abroad, but none are more important (and possibly more stressful) than living costs. While there are many other important factors to consider like cultural differences and living standards, the “living cost” factor is the most crucial one to get right, because it’s the element that can make or break a decision to make the leap to move to a different country to study abroad.
There are different elements to consider when you take any “living costs” into account for studying abroad. The first one to consider is the cost of education of the considered program. Earning any kind of degree will take a couple of years to obtain, so it is very important to understand the program’s completion length to start thinking ahead of how much money to save up for the program. Depending on the kind of school you go (private or public), there may or may not be available financial aid to cover some of the costs. So, it’s very important to keep that information in consideration when making the budget.
Once the cost of a program is taken in consideration, the most important factor comes in: housing expenses. These expenses have different factors to consider. The first factor is understanding the cost of the apartment/house/loft/etc. you will be staying at. Depending on the country you do any study abroad, that expense can be very exorbitant or very affordable. In Europe however, there are 7 countries that are considered to have affordable living places.
In Spain (and Barcelona in particular), an apartment can be as cheap as 350 EUR a month for a small but decent apartment, or it can net from 600 EUR to a 1000 EUR for something bigger or more luxurious.
Apartments in different locations of a city can play a factor on the cost of the place, so it is a good idea to scout the area to find something that you can afford, as well as something that will be of great convenience to you when it comes to distance of the school attended as well as what surrounds it. Keep in mind, that it can be easier to shoulder any apartment cost if you are able to find likely roommates.
Like mentioned above, there is more to living expenses than just housing. You also have to consider expenses like food and groceries and miscellaneous expenses. As you continue to grow as you pursue higher education, you also start learning about how to properly manage a budget of different things that’ll help with your daily lives. Part of those things is keeping a budget of food and groceries. It is important to have an idea of what is the minimum you need to be able to go by. When you know what the minimum is, the easier it is to have an idea of the ideal budget you need for groceries week in and week out.
Also important to budget is different miscellaneous elements like books and notepads needed for school. While those are sometimes one-time purchases, it is good to have them in consideration still. To top it all off, it is good to also have a “social budget” in mind. Life is not just about going to school or buying groceries for the supermarket. You’ll need a social life once in a while to keep things fresh in your life, so it is good to section off some of your budget for those occasions. In short, it is important to consider everything in your budget, and your life will be much easier.
At C3S, we like to ensure all our students have the most optimal experience possible for their needs. We do our best to help our students find a living place that will suit their budget needs the best, as well as also connect our students with great internships that can help them develop their skills in their designated careers, as well as helping them make some money that will help offset some of the costs mentioned above. For everyone that wants to come to study abroad in Barcelona and is worried about some of the costs mentioned above, we can assure them that at C3S, we’ll help them in every step of the way for this experience to go as smooth as possible.
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