If it is your dream to study English in Washington DC, then don’t let money stand in your way. Yes, it is expensive whenever you want to study in a different country. But it is worth it! Choosing to attend one of the excellent language schools in DC to learn English is a choice you will never regret. You will be learning English in the country where it is spoken and used in daily life by those who have spoken it all their lives. And, as we will show you today, there are many ways to cut costs while studying abroad in Washington DC.
Create a Sustainable Budget
The first thing you want to do is create a sustainable budget. This means the budget must be one that you can actually follow and stick to – not one you wish you could. You will need to factor in these things first: rent (or room and board), utilities (i.e., electric), food, and transportation. Price out the cost of your English class in DC and then price out all the things we just listed. Whatever leftover money should go either to savings or entertainment (or both if you have enough leftover). Many students find apps like Mint to be helpful.
DC Has Tons of Free Things for Students to Do
Those of you who choose to study English in DC are in luck. There are tons (and tons) of free things for students to do in DC! DC is home to several national monuments, which are all free to visit. Plus, it is also home to many free Smithsonian museums. As if that is not enough, DC also has a lot of free entertainment, such as festivals, concerts, and outdoor movies in the summer.
Look for Student Discounts
And, if something is not free, you should be sure to look for student discounts. With your student id card, you can find discounts to movie theaters, salons, gyms, and more. Additionally, many restaurants offer student discounts. Our previous blog Need to Save Money? Check Out These Washington DC Student Discounts! has several discounts listed.
Note – inlingua does offer limited-time discounts or promotions for certain classes, schedules, countries, groups, ages, or times of the year.
Participate in the Student Activities Program at Your DC Language School
If you have made the wise decision to attend the Washington language school, inlingua, then you have another great way to cut costs as a student. The school combines learning English with fun social activities around the city like visiting the National Zoo, going bowling, and holiday parties. You get to practice your English with your fellow inlingua classmates in real-world settings. Best of all, most of events on inlingua’s student activity calendar are free!
Choose Cheap Transportation
Another benefit of studying English in DC is that you do not need a car, which means you will save on gas and car repairs. Also, DC is a city for walkers. You will soon discover that it is common for people to walk to get to their destinations. When the walk is too far, many in DC rely on public transportation, which includes buses and the metro system. However, if you rely solely on public transportation, it will eat up a lot of your budget. Instead, use it sparingly and try to walk or bike whenever possible.
Buy Secondhand or Use Hand-Me-Down Travel Necessities
Before you begin your English courses in Washington DC, ask friends and relatives if you can borrow some of the travel essentials rather than buying things. For instance, instead of buying luggage, borrow luggage from someone you know. Likewise, instead of buying clothing that is appropriate for the weather in DC, see if you can borrow clothing from a friend who wears the same size.
If you find you cannot borrow someone else’s hand-me-downs, then try to buy secondhand rather than brand new. Buying secondhand can save you a lot of money, and you really do not need brand-new things to learn English.
Choose Memories Over Mementos
If this is your first time in DC or America, you may feel very tempted to a bunch of American memorabilia or souvenirs. This is a poor choice. Often, these mementos that tourists purchase are not well-made, so they might not last very long. Instead, take lots of pictures and videos. You will appreciate these things much more in the future than a George Washington bobblehead doll.
Use Coupon Apps
A great way to cut costs as a student is to make a goal to never pay full price for anything during your time in DC. With coupon apps, that is possible! These apps allow you to scan barcodes or search items and places to see which coupons are currently available. Check out this list of The 9 Best Coupon Apps of 2019.
Consider Different Living Accommodations
If possible, opt to participate in a Homestay. This means rather than paying more for an apartment or a dorm, you can find cheaper accommodations in a home with an American family. Not only is it a budget-friendly option, but it is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in American culture and learn English.
Take Advantage of Free Wi-Fi
International phone calls are expensive, but if you use telecommunication services like Skype, you can call friends and family back home using the internet. But, again, you don’t want to have to pay for internet if you don’t have to. And, in DC, there are several places that offer free Wi-Fi, which means you can connect to the Wi-Fi in these locations and contact your long-distance loved ones.
Finally, it is important to make friends while you study abroad for many reasons. But one reason is that with friends you don’t have to spend money to have fun. You can spend time talking and getting to know one another. Plus, if you become friends with your inlingua classmates, then you can experience DC together and practice your English at the same time.