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Ol`gita
Major: International Economic Relations
Status: Workygirl

I am fond of chocolates, flowers, friends, loud music, watching movies, taking pictures and traveling!!!

Wise Way to Spend Money Abroad
Olya Bezvushko

Before going abroad for studying you have to think over such issues:

     1. The main question to be addressed in selection of an appropriate program is this: does it help contribute to a sustainable future in some way and, if so, can it continue to remain sustainable for the long-term as more students opt for such an experience in an ever-shrinking world? Do the likely positive outcomes of the experience for you and the host community outweigh any negative impacts? Make an analysis of economic factors, socio/cultural issues, and environmental impacts.

     2. How much it will cost? There appears to be a misconception that studying abroad will cost significantly more than staying at home. This is usually dispirited with the fact that program fees are typically one impressive sum that may include housing, food, tuition, program travel, insurance, and many other expenses, while nobody take into consideration all living and studying at home country expenses.  In some places, costs can be comparable or even cheaper, although students may not realize it because they are making smaller payments over time when they are at their home college. This is particularly true with programs that are at least a semester in length.

     3. The supports of local environmentally conscious businesses and socially responsible projects by your school or program, when making purchases for such things as lodgings, field site visits, or guest speakers. Similar criteria should be used when trying to decide on a service-learning or volunteer program.

     4. Socio-cultural issues. For example, for host families and communities, social issues may include substantial personal sacrifice and cultural challenges. Such challenges, though perhaps inevitable to some degree due to cultural differences, can be minimized through conscious effort. Universities and program providers often assist participants in this way through advanced preparation (e.g. orientation), on-going support during the program (e.g., monitoring and check-in sessions), and assistance with re-entry upon completion. You should be sure that the program you select provides this type of support, and take full advantage of it.

     5. It is very likely, that the the most critical decision you will make regarding sustainability in study abroad is which program you select. But, regardless of which program you participate in there are innumerable things you can do personally to minimize your negative impact abroad. In the economic arena, you can encourage programs to incorporate environmental and social concerns into purchasing decisions and do the same with your own purchases. This can have a direct and immediate positive impact on the country of study.

     Through immersing as much as possible into the host community, you can make a significant difference by breaking down cultural barriers, sharing your personal beliefs, and serving as a role-model for other individuals and families. There are a lot of ways you can lend a hand to your host community.


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