No one ever says “I saved money by traveling!” Yet, that is what I am saying now. I will be living as an expat in Bordeaux, France next year and it is cheaper than staying home.
My Gap Year in France is Cheaper than Normal Postgraduate Routes
I have an extra year on my hands after graduating from my university early. Instead of going straight to grad school or to the work force, I will be living in France for a gap year.
How is the Gap Year Saving me Money?
Other traditional postgraduate routes include joining the workforce or continuing to graduate school right away. By taking a gap year, I am stepping into what is increasingly becoming a third option for many millennials. It is not uncommon for one to take a gap year before moving further into the traditional routine. (Here is an example of someone who has turned their gap year into 4 years of expat living).
Effective Personal Budgeting
- Saving so much money wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t graduated early. Thankfully, many 4 year degrees can be finished in less time thanks to duel credit programs. By planning my program of study carefully, I was able to finish school before my scholarships ran out.
- Thankfully, I have no student loans for my undergraduate degree. Because of this, a gap year abroad is affordable because of my budget and savings. Effective saving strategies are important for all travelers. (Check out some great saving stratagies here!)
Studying French in Bordeaux is my personal dream come true. I will be a part of the DEFLE program at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne. And I can’t believe it is one of the least expensive routes I could have taken!
I will be saving $6,000 on tuition in one year. This is because tuition is so high in the United States as compared to most European schools.
Reasonable Living Expenses
Living abroad doesn’t have to be synonyms with expensive. However, cities like London or Paris will obviously have higher costs of living. Gap year opportunities are all over the world, though.
Some countries with a lower cost of living than your home will allow you to save more money. Like the expats of the lost generation, one can easily find oneself saving money by moving abroad.
After living for just two months in France one year ago, I already have enough connections to feel comfortable moving back. Imagine the connections built after a year!
Postgraduate life is all about finding the life you imagine for yourself.
Finding a place in the workforce is not the hard part. It is finding a place you love. Rushing into a position will likely yield unhappiness in the long run.
What kind of connections do you want to build? By moving to Bordeaux, I will exercise my French skills and build connections through language. Teaching connections are achievable through by teaching English abroad. Build artistry connections through positions in museums or galleries around the world. Build researching connections on sight and in person around the world. This goes on.
Follow the things you love and your life will expand around them. Plus, you might get a killer position out of it.