How to Study Abroad in France and Not Go Broke

09 December 2012

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” -Oscar Wilde

This is the saying I live by. One of my goals during my time studying abroad in Le Havre, France was to travel as much as possible but that can get costly. Here were a couple ways that I saved money in my everyday life so I could afford to see the rest of Europe:
  • For a couple euros I could buy enough ingredients to make a big pot of soup and then eat that for dinner for the rest of the week. In general, I paid attention to how much I paid for food and tried not to exceed 20 euros a week. I cooked at home a lot because it’s cheaper than eating out.
  • I hung my laundry to dry rather than pay the money to use the electric dryer. When it got cold out, I hung my laundry inside.
  • Food banks! France is great in supporting students and offers a lot of aid. Every other week, students can go to the food bank and get a bunch of food for only two euros. It may be near expiration but it’s still edible!
  • Resist temptation. If you're like me and looooove shopping, avoid situations that may prompt you to spend. How about doing some homework instead of perusing the mall, hmm?
  • It’s 30 euros a month for a bus pass so instead I biked everywhere, even when it was cold and rainy. Luckily, Le Havre lends bikes for free to anyone who wants one. Biking was really handy since I lived so far from campus and it also really toned my legs!
  • When it comes to traveling, I tried to find the cheapest means possible. Carpooling is a great way to get around and meet new people.

So those are a couple things I did in my daily life. Some may seem ridiculous (like using my space heaters to heat up left over food) but it was worth it if it meant a trip to another beautiful country!

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