Interning Abroad on a budget

Dreaming of a summer interning abroad but unsure how you’d financially afford it when you’re there? Have no fear; Capital Placement is here to help. With nine years of experience assisting students with their internship abroad, we know a thing or two about interning abroad on a budget. 

Here are our top 5 ways to interning abroad without breaking the bank. 

Create a Budget & Stick To It

The best way to kick off your internship in a financially affordable way is to create a budget before you arrive at your destination. Make a list of what you’ll need to cover during your time abroad, like accommodation, food, travel, transportation etc. It will also help to know what is covered during your internship so you can budget accordingly. 

Once you know what you’ll need to cover, you can break down how much you realistically have to spend in each area. If you’re unsure of how much everything will cost, do some research into estimates and add 10% to each area to be on the safe side. Once you’ve landed and have a better idea of costs – you can update your budget. 

But it doesn’t just stop at creating an impressive budget spreadsheet; you’ll need actually to stick to it. This may mean eating in a few times a week instead of order uber eats every night. However, by sticking to your budget in some areas means you can spend more in other areas like sightseeing or going out to local restaurants on the weekends.

Source Scholarships or Grants

Scholarships and grants can help reduce the financial burden off your shoulders significantly. Before going abroad, reach out to your university advisor, family, friends or even 3rd party companies to apply for scholarships. In addition, many providers like ourselves can offer scholarships to students for their internships abroad. It’s always worth investing some time into researching what funding is available to you. 

Secure a Paid Internship

One of the downsides of international internships is that they are often unpaid, making interning abroad on a budget challenging. To overcome this, look into paid internships opportunities abroad. 

Though they may seem few and far between, international paid internships do exist. Research out to your university advisor to see if they know of any paid opportunities available or to be a little cheeky – give us a shout. We offered paid opportunities in locations such as London, New York or Singapore

Choose Public Transport 

In big cities, taking public transport is pretty standard and sometimes faster than an uber or taxi. Invest in a weekly or monthly travel card to help save you a few coins instead of paying as you go. Be sure to also check for fare discounts, passes, and free-ride days. You can also carpool with friends, fellow interns or even coworkers. Lastly, you can walk or even bike to work if you’re pretty close to your company. 

Eat-in A Few Times

To eat out or not to eat out is the question. Though you may be keen to try as many new foods as possible, it’s a sure-fire way to burn a hole through your budget. To avoid this, consider buying groceries from your local grocery store and eating in a few times a week. You can even invite some friends over and cook a meal together to make it more enjoyable. 

Cooking in a few times a week will help lower the overall costs of interning abroad and help you maintain your budget for a more extended amount of time.

Final Thoughts 

Interning abroad on a budget can sound challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. The key to success is to spend time researching the average costs in your location, speaking to others who might have lived or interned abroad there, securing a scholarship or grant and creating a budget and sticking to it. 

Doing the key steps above will lift some of the anxiety you may have while you’re abroad and allow you to enjoy the best of your international internship experience: exploring a new place, working in a new environment and meeting new people. 

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Julia Hurtado

Julia Hurtado

Having spent an entire summer dedicated to travelling abroad, Julia now focuses on helping other students experience life outside their home country. As an American now working in London, Julia enjoys sharing advice on interning abroad, sipping tea (with 2 sugars, 1 milk please) and reading in her spare time.
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