The overall cost of living in your Duke Immerse travel location can sometimes be higher than in Durham due to a number of factors. Major cities in the U.S. and abroad may be more expensive than Durham. Depending on your program site, you may be confronted with an almost endless array of entertainment possibilities and attractions. If you are traveling in an unfamiliar environment making transactions with unfamiliar currency, it may be easier to overspend. A go-slow approach to buying makes sense. It also makes sense to try to live within a prudent budget, which will allow you to keep to your budget. Little is more dismaying than to run out of funds with no easy or quick means of replenishment. The following suggestions may prove helpful.
- Budget around US $250 for an emergency fund.
- Learn the exchange rate of the money (i.e. in relation to the currency of the US dollar) wherever you are and as quickly as possible.
- Be consistently alert to special student rates and discounts wherever you go, and know what is available through the use of your International Student Identity Card (if you choose to purchase one).
- Plan your entertainment and recreation around the availability of free, inexpensive, or discounted events on campus or in the surrounding community.
- Whenever possible, shop at street markets or major chain supermarkets, and avoid specialty shops and convenience stores. Put off making major purchases until you have learned the range of available selections and prices, or learned that you do not really need that expensive item after all.
- Take care of your belongings and safeguard your credit/debit card and cash. Loss of personal possessions is upsetting at any time, but even more troubling and inconvenient away from home.