6 Tips for International Freshmen to Save Money at U.S. Colleges
A little planning can go a long way in building a successful budget.
If you’re like many international students, you probably want to pursue your college studies in the U.S. After all, the country is home to many of the world’s top universities, and you naturally want only the best in higher education. At the same time, however, U.S. colleges can be expensive. Here are a few tips to help international students work their way around that challenge.
- Earn extra cash on the side:When you have a source of income other than an allowance, it’s much easier to save money. For example, if you’re good at math or science, you can tutor fellow students struggling with these subjects by working as a tutor through your university. You can also apply to work at the library, computer lab or student centers. Applying for a campus job would be a great way for you to make new friends and also get a Social Security card. It’s a win-win!
- Plan for expenses:Textbooks, class supplies and other school-related expenses won’t be your only costs. You also need to account for groceries, transportation, dorm-related expenses and the like. Download budgeting apps like Spendbook, Wally, You Need a Budget and Budgt to help you with this.
有计划的消费：你要知道，你的日常开销，不仅只有教材、学习用品以及其他学杂费用等。你还需要考虑生活用品、交通、住宿等类似的花费。一些像是Spendbook, Wally, You Need a Budget 和 Budget等预算App可以帮助你节省日常开销。
- Keep an eye out for on-campus events:These events are usually a good source of freebies. For example, there might be food, school supplies and even T-shirts. If you sign up for a campus organization, you can get even more of these and boost your extracurricularsin the process.
- Use affordable ways to stay connected:The first thing you probably want to do when starting school in the U.S. is to immediately get a SIM card and a phone plan. It may seem absolutely urgent for you to sign up with the first place you hear about, but it’s important to shop around first.
Research the networks that offer the best coverage for your area. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t feel like you need to shell out $80 or more dollars a month just to use your smartphone. There are so many other affordable options out there that doesn’t require a hefty deposit fee or a multiyear contract.
When contacting your family and friends back home, there are a lot of apps and services you can use at a minimal cost. If technology fails you, you can even buy a prepaid international phone card that offers discounted rates.
- Plan for quick getaways:Shorter breaks like Thanksgiving, spring break or even three-day weekends might not be realistic or cheap enough for you to fly back home. After all, you’ll probably only have a few days at most to stay with your family. That’s where good planning comes in.
Talking to your friends early on and making plans for a getaway will help you determine a budget while staying organized. If your dorms are closed during breaks, see if you can tag along to spend your break with your American friends at their homes. Or take advantage of the fact that you’re studying abroad and explore the neighboring states on a fun road trip. If your college offers travel grants for international students, make use of them to save on expenses.
- Apply for scholarships and discounts:If you think it’s too late to apply for scholarships, think again. You have the easy, last-minute scholarships for those who weren’t able to submit their applications on time. Also, there are scholarships for academic achievers, as well as special discounts for members of campus organizations. Take advantage of them whenever possible.
申请奖学金和减免： 如果你认为现在申请奖学金已经太晚了，请再好好考虑一下吧。对于那些未能够及时提交奖学金申请的同学，其实仍不难有机会可以申请到最后的奖学金。而且，学校通常也会提供奖学金给那些品学兼优的学生，针对校园组织的成员也有特殊的学费减免。所以只要有机会， 就应当好好利用。
Studying in the U.S. doesn’t have to break your bank. As long as you plan your finances early, and maintain good spending and saving habits throughout college, you’ll be fine.