Hopefully last week's rant convinced the world that living in Paris will not cause you to fail your degree. This week we explain why a placement abroad will not ruin your bank balance. Obviously no-one should study abroad to make money. Nevertheless second behind "I don't want to fail my degree" comes "I can't afford it" in the big list of shoddy excuses.
Given that your bank balance has been squished like a tiny labour backbencher shaped pancake under an enormous education minister shaped hippopotamus, you will be pleased to hear that, after London, living anywhere is cheap.
Of course you will wish to have fun whilst you are abroad. Think of all those extra pastries you will have to eat. Skiing and sightseeing are expensive too. Therefore it is a wise choice to make someone else pay. If those people are Belgian, West Bromwich Albion supporters or any other type of retrograde miscreant then so much the better.
Luckily the people who thought up student exchanges realised the expense involved and found a large number of people with either too much money or an insufficient audit trail to support you. On an Erasmus year abroad in France you could receive money from the Student Loan Company, the French Government and the European Union.
There are also savings to be made. Many Erasmus students do not pay tuition fees (read the very small print for details). Comically, the French government can provide up to £200 housing benefit per month to students. These savings should, of course, be offset against the cost of travel and relocation.
The most important thing is to be clued up on where you can get money from. For information contact our old friend Adrian Hawksworth.
Mostly you will have to spend extra money on travel. This varies enormously. How often you intend to return, for vacations, job interviews or just an evening in the bar should be taken into consideration when you pick your destination. Obviously finding somewhere to live will be your biggest budgeting headache. Apply early and you are likely to find a place in a hall of residence. If not then get in touch with some other students (try to avoid just English speaking ones if you want to learn a foreign language) and rent an apartment. In some parts of Western Europe you can rent a small palace for about £40 per person, per week. In Paris or Stockholm you can expect to pay similar rent to London.
In any case no city in Europe is more expensive than London. Take an exchange and you won't be left out of pocket. Read the last three articles? Good, now you know where you can go and why you have no excuse not to.
Next week - how to get yourself the perfect exchange.