A few days ago

How Much Spending/Travel Money Should I Have While Studying Abroad?

I am going to study in Madrid next fall and am trying to save some money before i go abroad. But no one will seem to tell me how much money I will need for groceries and travel to different European countries. I am planning on taking about 7 trips throughout Europe, all of the major cities. Realistically, how much is it going to cost for airfare/train/bus, food, hostels, enterance into museums and attractions, and souviners(cheap ones)? And as far as eating in Madrid, the obvious cheap way to go is groceries, but how much is that all going to cost and also eating out and going to bars…basically, what should my whole food budget be per month?

And are there any more “unexpected” costs that i should look out for…ones that aren’t always listed in budgeting for the study abroad programs?

Top 3 Answers
A few days ago

Favorite Answer


I hope you have fun on your exchange.

Right now, Europe is EXTREMELY expensive for Americans, making one of your “unexpected costs” the exchange rate. When last I looked the Euro was quickly approaching $1.50! And of course this will affect EVERY thing you do!

For short and moderate distances I recommend train travel. It’s more comfortable and more convenient and many times cheaper than even the advertised “cheap” air fares. You find when you look into a $25 fare, by the time you get all the taxes applied, it can quickly become $100!

We just returned from a three week trip through Europe. We are generally not into the “souvenir” thing, I make a huge scrapbook of all our photos when I return! But you can count on high prices in any “touristy” part of Europe. I don’t know what the prices will be in Madrid, but in Switzerland and Southern Germany, we saw meal prices ranging from about 15 euros for a cheap lunch to 50 euros for an expensive lunch.

About 15-20 percent higher in Sweden and Finland. We were staying with friends and family, so didn’t do a lot of restaurant things. We generally liked to stop in a grocery store for bread, cheese, and some meat and make sandwiches along the way and we’d pay about 10-15 euros for three or four people that way. Add another 5 or so for drinks.

As to museums and such … some things are still pretty reasonable,

For example, the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart Germany is 8 euros, 4 for students.

The Ludwigsburg palace (also Germany) 6 Euros, 3 for students

You get the idea. One thing that’s very helpful in Europe is to have a student ID card, you save LOTS of money that way!

Good luck and have fun!


4 years ago
Madrid is just a enjoyable town with hundreds of cinema reveals, chrome, dancing and countless other kinds of nightlife and if you wish to learn it then here is the place hotelbye . In Madrid you will also find the absolute most fascinating areas to choose a night to keep in mind and can be the newest home of Flamenco since Madrid is living with audio and passion. The countless beautiful areas and gardens offer tranquil areas and areas like: Royal Palace, Royal Theater, Almudena Cathedral, Plaza Mayor Square, Prado Museum, Queen Sofía Museum, Gran Vía Avenue and Puerta del Sol reminds you why you choose that town for your vacation.

A few days ago
I did a semester in Paris a couple of years ago and on average I spent about $600 per month of my own money. I am not sure what your study abroad program covers. When I went my school gave us about $160 every two weeks for food. So in total I spent about $900 per month for everything including groceries, travel, shopping, hanging out, etc. I made dinner about 5x per week, but the other two days I ate out. I also ate out for breakfast/lunch most days. You can really enjoy yourself inexpensively in Europe, but it depends on you style and budgeting skills.

As for traveling to other countries, I went to Switzerland (Geneva and Lausanne), London, Madrid and Belgium (Brussels and Brugge). The have many student travel agency that do trips cheaply (most of them are bus rides). Because you are in Spain, you will probably have to fly to cities like Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, etc. The student travel agencies also offer flight package that are somewhat reasonably priced, but many times you can book your own travel on the internet for less. I went to Madrid for 5 days and I spent about 300 for transportation and accommodations. (I spent about $150 on Iberia Airlines for a roundtrip ticket that I booked through expedia.com.) I found the hostel in one the the European travel guides that you find at Barnes and Noble, that lists hostels/hotels in the back. I called the hostel myself and made arrangements. I would suggest pricing the flights for the places you want to go now, to give yourself a better idea of how much you will spend on travel. One tip I can give you is to bring your student ID and driver’s license because many times you can get into museums for discounted prices.

I really can’t think of any unexpected cost except that sometimes the weather is not the norm and you have to be prepared to purchase clothing that you did not bring. Should you have any other questions feel free to email me or post them here. I hope this was helpful.


5 years ago
I would open up a U.K. bank account with any local bank such as Halifax, HSBC, Barclays etc. This will be much easier for a number of reasons but the the two main ones are; it will elimate the risk of your U.S. bank card being declined and canceled by the your U.S. bank and more importantly, it will not cost you anything in fees to withdraw money or to use it in a credit transaction. It will also be much easier for you to manage you account, since it will be based in the United Kingdom, instead of long and expensive international call rates.