Students Staff

Budgeting for your time abroad

Budgeting workshops

Upcoming briefings are available on Essex Abroad EventBrite page where you can book your place. Please note places are limited and only available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Budgeting guide

If you can't attend the workshop, you can use the information on this page to help you.

Please note that all information on this page is subject to change. Prices and exchange rates fluctuate and the information regarding funding is subject to change from year to year. If you have specific questions or need information about funding for the current academic year, please contact us.

Analysis of tuition fees, accommodation, the cost of travel, living costs and language learning produced by HSBC shows that the cost of studying abroad is up to £13,404 cheaper than staying in the UK.

Cut the costs

There are many ways that you can save money while abroad:

  • open an overseas bank account
  • buy a local SIM card
  • smart food shopping
  • savvy socialising
  • thrifty travel
  • make cut-price visits to other cities

The Guardian published an article on how to live abroad on a low budget.

Get funding and earn money

Read our funding information carefully and check that you've applied for any funding that you may be eligible for.

You can also look at your host university's scholarships information to see if they offer funding opportunities for incoming study abroad students.

Depending on the country you're living in, you may be able to work. You'll need to research visa issues and the documents you'll need to have with you in order to get a job. Ensure your CV is up-to-date before you go.

Budget templates

After reading the information above, use our blank budget template to work out how much you currently spend at Essex and the country-specific template for your destination to calculate your budget.

  • Blank budget template

    PDF document

    Use the blank budget template in conjunction with your country-specific template to plan your budget.


You are strongly advised to have comprehensive travel and health insurance cover when you go abroad. Hospital and medical bills can be a significant cost, even for minor problems, so it is essential that you get adequate and appropriate cover. You should tell us what your insurance arrangements are.

Some host universities have compulsory policies which may seem expensive but will cover all items relevant to the country. If your host institution doesn't have a compulsory policy you should purchase a comprehensive policy designed for the country you are visiting.

We can't recommend specific insurers but suggest you include specialist student insurance companies in your research, alongside any of your existing policy issuers. You should also make sure that the policy covers the whole period you are away, including any additional travel plans you have.

University of Essex may provide a comprehensive medical and travel cover and we will inform you about this cover once you have been allocated a place for your year or term abroad.