Switzerland is one of the best countries in Europe, with state of the art universities that offer high standard education at a relatively low fee. For most students, studying in Switzerland is a dream come true. However, it’s also one of the most expensive countries in terms of living standards. Budgeting effectively is, therefore, a prerequisite for any student studying in Switzerland. With accommodation taking up a huge chunk of a student’s expenses, there is still more to budget for, including food, textbooks, transportation, and health insurance. If you intend to study in Switzerland, here are some of the most effective budgeting tips that can guarantee you a wonderful experience:
Opt for university-based accommodation
In comparison to renting apartments away from the university, school-owned accommodation is your best bet as it comes at a subsidized cost. Apartments outside the school in Switzerland are likely to cost twice as much as in-house accommodation. Additionally, you will incur other significant costs like transport, especially if you stay quite a distance from the school. School amenities are also regularly maintained, and there are other added advantages like internet connection, which you would only get at an extra fee if you lived outside.
Consider eating in the School Cafeteria
In most areas, food can get quite pricey. Bearing this in mind, it’s prudent to make a one-off payment for all the meals you wish to have all through the semester at the school cafeteria. This way, you will only use your pocket money to buy food outside the school occasionally. Moreover, you can concentrate on your studies and other school activities without worrying about where the next meal will come from. You also get to save money from grocery shopping and food wastage that is synonymous with a household set up. If you like to drink, take advantage of the happy hours at greatly discounted prices.
Trim your textbook expenses
Quality education costs money and sometimes a lot of it. University textbooks are no exception as they come at a high cost. Amazon prices for books are, however friendlier than the prices you are likely to find in a school bookshop. This is one of the ways where you can save some money.
Second-hand textbooks are also cheaper as long as they are current and recommended for your ongoing coursework. At the end of the semester, you can resell them and recoup some money for other expenses.
Photocopying handouts is also another way to keep your budget low on books.
Take advantage of public and on-campus entertainment
Entertainment is a very important aspect of any student's life, and hence the need to budget for it as well. The good news is that you can trim your entertainment budget. If swimming is one of your hobbies, take full advantage of the public swimming pool, which can either be free or attracts a minimum fee.
The other option is the on-campus entertainment, including the school theatre, which is likely to charge pocket-friendly fees. Events and concerts hosted within the school environment are also good deals for students when compared to the ones outside the school. Remember that spending sparingly on entertainment is a good way to manage your budget and still have fun.
Student discounts also come in handy. Although there aren’t many discounts in Switzerland, you can still get some good deals, especially when moving around the different cities during the holidays. For example, some museums may offer free entry to students on certain days, so you can be on the lookout for that. Note that student discounts are not always advertised, but it never hurts to ask. Therefore, whenever you visit a store, make a point of asking if they have any discounts to help you save some money.
If you want to be well aware of your spending, consider installing a software application to record your expenses and help you improve your budget and understand how and where most of your money is going. Besides that, school activities can keep you busy making it hard for you to write down all your expenses in a notebook, which makes these applications even more useful.