The financial aspect of studying abroad can be the part which brings some students back down to earth. After all, we would all like to go abroad while we’re young and without many commitments, to learn about a new culture; but sometimes we have to be realistic with what we can afford.
If you have made it this far and are preparing to leave soon, then fortunately you have proved to the admissions office and immigration authorities that you can sufficiently support yourself while studying; this might be through your parents, or a scholarship. This is a step in the right direction, but being able to just about support yourself and living more than comfortably can be two different things. While you can still live on a certain budget, it’s always useful to have a little extra money in the bank for those unexpected expenditures that crop up. These may include:
Laptop or technology repairs necessary for your work
Sudden medical expenses
Deposits for accommodation
Trips and entertainment
Emergency flights home
This way you can enjoy your time abroad without counting pennies. So below we list a few ways to make some extra money before you leave. After all the summer may be long for you if you finish early, so you might as well be productive:
With small children also on holiday from school, stressed parents will need a break and may not be able to afford professional babysitting services. You can find out about possible vacancies in the local community from people who know you already, so you can build a respectable reputation for yourself. If you’re planning to work with children in the future, whether as a teacher, nurse or carer, babysitting can tell you whether you have the tolerance and manner to look after them for substantial periods of time.
Temp in an office
It doesn’t matter what kind of organisation you work for, office temping introduces you to a lot of key skills for when you do end up working for a large company. This includes tasks such as mastering the copy/scanner, researching material you have no previous knowledge of, and time-management – they may not seem too difficult, but if you can master these, you’ll find it easy to slip into most office environments in the future. You’ll also learn about office culture, such as the art of small talk and email etiquette with colleagues which you won’t have been exposed to before. Generally, it’s a good all-round post to have on your CV as there is little that you can do wrong, but you can still show good initiative. If you can get a role in an organisation or field you may pursue as a career, temping is a way to get your foot in the door for later, and make contacts.
If you’re a strong and creative writer, don’t underestimate your skills – many places are always on the lookout to update content on their websites. Since fresh content is considered an important factor by search engines, companies are always looking for someone to do this for them, though they may not be keen in hiring someone full-time. It could also be snippets for new parts of their website – it may not sound like much, but someone needs to do it. This is a great way to demonstrate flexibility, as well being able to adhere to certain guidelines if you are looking to enter the Journalism profession, or some area which involves writing and being creative (e.g. Advertising).
Depending on the company or field of work, this can be a thankless job. However, there are likely a lot of call centres near you which you don’t know about, and you can usually pick your own hours to plan around holidays or trips (so you can still have some fun this summer). Telephone interviewing really is a crash-course in responding to new situations, dealing with complaints and queries, honing your telephone manner/communication skills and persuasion (e.g. to get a reluctant respondent to take part in a survey). All of these qualities are used daily by those in the Travel and Hospitality industry, as well as those in Sales etc. In fact any role which requires you to present information to strangers will benefit from this kind of experience. Plus, if it’s a charity you work for, while the work can be more difficult, it will look admirable on a CV.