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Avoiding Debt as an International Student

Think about these questions before you start listening and then find the answers in the recording:
  1. How can students avoid getting into debt that might affect their studies abroad?
  2. What is one way students can increase their income overseas?
  3. What Websites can you find that give you tips on how to avoid debt and manage your money?

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Getting into debt and loss of income are probably two of the things international students often do not consider when preparing to live overseas. However, without a full understanding of potential issues resulting from debt, students often have to drop out of school and return to their countries without fulfilling their dream of an education abroad.

First of all, to avoid debt while overseas, be sure you have enough savings for an entire year to cover not only tuition, books, and room and board, but also to pay for unexpected expenses like medical bills. Too often, students come with the bare minimum, and then get into financial problems when they get sick or have an accident. Also, you should add in car expenses (e.g., gas, insurance, regular maintenance, etc.) and perhaps travel to your list. Just plan on spending more than you anticipate, and if you don't, then you'll have money left over to pay for future school expenses.

In addition to avoiding debt, students need to consider the reliability of income that will support them overseas. In other words, many students are supported by parents and family while they are studying abroad; however, even parents can lose their jobs due to changes in economic conditions, and this will leave students to fend for themselves. Thus, when and where possible, student may want to consider finding a part-time job to supplement their income, putting a reasonable share of it in savings for a "rainy day." However, students need to follow the national and local laws of the country to determine if they are eligible to work.

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