How to be a Financially Responsible Traveler

It’s no secret that studying abroad is expensive. Tuition, housing, text books, meal plans, and airline tickets are just the beginning of the amenities you’ll be paying for. Once you arrive at the university, additional funds will be needed for groceries, transportation, souvenirs, etc. Here are some tips (that I’ve learned during my time in Ireland) on how to make your money last:


•Research the international fees that your bank charges for debit card usage. Capital One 360, what I am currently using, has no international ATM or foreign charge fees.

•Buy groceries and snacks. Not every meal needs to be eaten at a restaurant! Plus, this will come in handy if you get hungry late night in the dorms.

•Share supplies (and split costs) with your friends and roommates. Tide pods, dish soap, and toilet paper can go a long way when split between people. Plus, sharing is caring!

•Doing laundry can be expensive in some countries. If you don’t have a full load to do, consider splitting the cost and load with a friend. If you only have a few items, hand wash and hang to dry.

•Avoid taxis by using public transportation when available. When I was studying abroad, a cab to the airport was €50 ($58). Although a longer commute, using public transportation for the same route was only €11 ($12).

•When using ATMs, it’s better to take out a few large sums rather than many small sums. Most ATMs charge a service fee for each withdraw.

•If your bank allows, choose to pay in the country’s currency (rather than USD) when using a debit card. Normally a conversation fee will be applied if you pay in USD.


Studying abroad should be fun and stress free, but it’s still important to be responsible with your money. Be aware where your purse/wallet is at all times and let your bank know you’re traveling internationally before you leave.

Happy travels!

Advice for the new Study Abroad Student

I am finishing up my first week at Maynooth University in Maynooth, Ireland. While I still have three more weeks to go, I’ve already learned a lot about the do’s, don’ts, and everything in between when studying abroad.

1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Drink enough water, get enough sleep, eat healthy foods. Flying can cause dehydration and put major stress on the body. After landing in a new country, you’ll want to take advantage of every opportunity, causing even more physical and mental wear. Here are a few things that can help you maintain your health:

  • Purchase a water bottle, keep it filled, bring it everywhere with you! (Just make sure the tap water is safe to drink.)
  • Drink orange juice, eat fruits and veggies, and take vitamin C if needed.
  • Keep in contact with your loved ones at home! Homesickness and culture shock can be hard, but just remember that there is a group of people that love you and are so proud of you.

2. Do not compare yourself to the others in your study abroad program. Some people like to drink, party, smoke, etc. Just because they do doesn’t mean you have to as an attempt to fit in. Like at UofL, there will be a variety of individuals you’ll meet and study with. You’ll find true friends with values similar to your own.

3. Don’t forget the main reason you’re traveling: to study abroad. Don’t neglect your homework and studies. Go to class, pay attention, get to know your lecturers (professors), and bring home some newfound knowledge!

4. Be open to new experiences! While taking care of yourself is the priority, take advantages of all the opportunities you have while abroad! There will be new foods to try, locals to meet, adventures to go on! Live in the moment, take a few photos, and never forget the memories!


Happy travels!







Breaking Irish Stereotypes

After just a few days in Maynooth, Ireland, I’ve learned that the individuals making up Ireland’s population are more than the assumed stereotypes. Below are some of my findings:

  • Not all Irish people are redheads! In fact, most of the individuals I’ve met have had a shade other than red.
  • The people eat much, much more than potatoes. In fact, Ireland is full of McDonalds (which they pronounce MacDonalds), Starbucks, and Subway restaurants along with plenty of pizza and pasta options.
  • Some Irish individuals don’t like Guniess beer at all. Both my campus coordinator and Marketing lecturer avoid it, choosing other draft choices at the pubs.
  • The Irish accent has many differences compared to the typical US accents. For example, the letter O is pronounced “oar”, while the H in a TH syllable is not pronounced – making the word “three” sound like “tree”.
  • There are many common Irish slang terms:
    • “Having a good crack” – Having a good time/ having fun
    • “Cheers!” – A greeting, goodbye, thank you, etc.
    • “Yurt” – Yes
    • “Crisps” – Chips

There is one stereotype, though, that the Irish hold to be true – they are extremely kind and friendly. They hold doors open, help with directions, apologize when passing by you, and so much more!

If you have the opportunity to visit Ireland (specifically Maynooth), please do it! It’s so beautiful and quaint and I know you’ll love every second of your visit!