Monday, May 30, 2011

Saving Money While Abroad: Which Programs Damage your Pocketbook

It seems, unsurprisingly, that studying abroad in First World countries, such as those in Europe, Australia, Israel and Japan will put a serious dent in your pocket. Based on a random sample of 91 students, a recent survey that examined spending for Kalamazoo College students who studied abroad in the last year found that statistically speaking, students who study abroad in First World countries spend significantly more than students who study in Third World Countries.
The study found that average spending in First World countries was $3832.65 while spending for students studying abroad in Third World countries was only $1735.48. Even though there was a lot of variance and difference in the spending of all the individuals surveyed, this difference was still large enough to be statistically significant.
In the study, First World countries were defined as countries with a per capita GDP of over $19,000. The First World country programs tested in the study included Japan, Israel, Australia, and all the European programs. The third World countries tested had GDP per capita’s between $1,600 (Kenya) and $15,500 (Chile). The Kalamazoo College programs located in Third World countries were all the Latin and South American programs, the African programs, and the Thailand and Chinese programs.
The finding that students studying in First World countries are spending more than students studying in Third World countries is not surprising, given the fact that cost of living was found to be significantly related to both total spending abroad and vacation spending abroad. This study found that as the cost of living of a country increases compared to the United States, so does total and vacation spending.
Overall, this study seems to indicate that if you want to spend minimal personal money abroad, it might be a good idea to look at the programs in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, rather than the more expensive European programs.

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