What they do not tell you about studying abroad

By Meghan A.

March 2, 2020

The endless opportunities to travel is one of the reasons I wanted to study abroad. England was always my top choice when looking at programs. Since being here, I have felt a sort of frustration with the expectations I had going into my time abroad. When doing my research, I found that traveling in and outside the United Kingdom was going to be cheap. This has been proven wrong as the cost of traveling has made it harder to go to the places I thought it would be easier studying in the U.K. Traveling within the country is hard to get anywhere for less than 30 pounds, even when the place you are wanting to go is just a two-hour train ride away. This has limited me in picking places to travel. I want to explore the country I am in, but it makes it hard when going outside the country is about 20 pounds more. This pricing only counts for travel fare and not the cost of hostels or food, which varies in each place and makes it hard to budget out traveling.

I would see the social media posts of my friends studying in Central Europe and see them going from place to place every weekend. This made me feel like I was failing at studying abroad. This February I traveled to Brussels, Belgium and Berlin, Germany. While these places were amazing to explore and learn the history of, it put into perspective everything a person has to look at when traveling to a foreign country. Being from the states, I am privileged in having my own car to drive or using cheap Uber fares to get to places. Traveling to a new place, I need to do more research on getting from the airport, walking to the place I am staying, travel within the city and back to the airport. Transportation has been the biggest dip in my budget since being abroad because I was thinking like an American that has the needs for independent travel. My advice for students looking to study abroad is to weigh the cost of traveling in the country they are looking to study in and compare it to other places. While this is a minor detail, it is overlooked the most.

Learn more about this blogger’s study abroad program: University of Manchester