by Jon Sender | Back to Guide

The Study Abroad Master Plan Template, which is an Excel spreadsheet, has eleven tabs:

1. To Do – Sixty important things you’ll need to tackle. Check them off as you go by typing “Yes” or placing a checkmark under the “Done” category.

2. Application – Keep track of all submissions to the university abroad as well as components of the application. There are places to put down deadlines, contact information, and also login information.

3. Course Approvals – For each class you need credit for at home, find appropriate courses at your university abroad that can transfer.

4. Finances – Project how much the semester will cost overall, including tuition, room and board, and a variety of other expenses. Include scholarships and count purchases against them. Expenses are organized by where the money will go: to your home university, scholarship fund, university abroad, or external account.

5. Scholarships – Keep track of scholarships you find and apply for. Potential value is the total you can possibly earn, while value awarded is the amount you actually earn.

6. Contacts – Store information about your host country contacts, including what type of contact they are, how you found them, where they’re located, and whether or not they can offer you a place to stay.

7. Itinerary – Keep track of your flight information. Definitely use this for the flight to and from your host country, but you can also include plane-hopping flights once you book them later on.

8. Logins – Keep track of logins for websites related to your trip. You should definitely do this for STEP, but you might also include things like Expedia, your student information portal, etc.

9. Main $ – Itemize your spending in your host country, putting down information about your charges and ATM withdrawals. You can include whether each charge is pending or has been paid, which payment method you used, and which budget category your charge belongs to. It helps to keep receipts in your wallet and transfer them to this chart once a week or so.

10. Travel $ – Itemize your spending away from your host country, if you’ll be traveling around. Everything else is the same.

11. BUDGET – Using figures from the “Finances” tab as well as estimations of how much extra you intend to spend, project how much you expect to spend on various expense categories. This spreadsheet compares projections to actual spending, for as you fill in itemized charges on “Main $” and “Travel $,” categories will auto-update. You can also set a maximum spending goal for money coming out of your bank account.

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