While preparing to go on my study abroad, I found it difficult to find updated or recent YouTube videos or blog posts about study abroad. Well, after a wonderful time in Spain, I think it is time to share some tips that made my study abroad experience less stressful.
Money is very important during the exchange experience. In some cases like mine you have to convert money and look for ways to avoid fees associated with that. I was able to successfully live in Spain without a Spanish account and not pay foreign fees once.
1.Get a travel card from your home country
Try to find cards that come with great points for traveling next time. Go for cards that do not charge a service fee. Also stick to Visa or MasterCard as they are more internationally accepted than other types of cards.
2. Get a Currency Card
This was a life saver! I simply cannot over emphasize this. A currency card is like a debit card. You just buy whatever currency you need and you have fixed conversion rates. They are also affiliated with a lot of banks so I had no problem with ATM fees. Another wonderful thing about the currency card is that you can load up many currencies. It truly was my magical wand in Spain.
Now this maybe particularly tailored to Spain. Although many stores and restaurants have card readers it is so much easier to pay with cash, especially when going out you will need cash. With that being said, please do not carry large amount of money around for your safety and peace of mind. Just carry what will be sufficient for the day.
4.Download a Payment App
For some reason most of the places my friends went to made us pay as a group. That becomes a problem when you do not have the exact change to pay for your share. There are many apps on the apple or google app store that lets you immediately transfer money to a friend’ account. This will save you lot’s of trouble.
5.Download a currency converter
You will be tempted to spend money and live like there is no tomorrow. Your control will be a currency converter. Going to Spain, the Euro is more than the US dollar. So it was good to see the true price of what I was paying for. Warning; do not get too attached to it, and convert everything.
6.Have emergency cash
It is always a good idea to hide emergency money in a safe place, in case of any emergencies like a stolen wallet or hacked account.
7. Be safe with your money and cards
Make sure you have a secure wallet to keep your cash and cards.