Is it worth it to pay for a study abroad????? AKA I went to Eurussia on the cheaps

Gordy Yates had the big fat dream of going to Eurussia and having a cray cray vacay.**** So, he bought a plane ticket to Russia and started saving his money (lol — really he just stopped going out to eat and buying deodorant). He left, traversed all across the Eurussian wilds for 24 blissful days, and returned a happy and fulfilled young gentleman. Do you want to make your cray cray dreams come true?

Looking so happy and so fly in Moscow.

If you want to make your cray cray dreams come true and want to get a small itsy-bitsy baby idea of what it might cost, here’s a little break down:

  • Multi-city (aka open-jaw) ticket to Eurussia (San Diego –> Moscow, Dublin –> Salt Lake) (United Airlines/Lufthansa): $903.26
  • Traveler’s insurance (probably a smart idea even though I don’t know what it’s for): $49.95
  • Russian visa (Thanks, Obama/Putin): $351.90 (I got it through Travel Broker, which is a company that basically does all the paperwork for you and you pay them $100ish. So I could have gotten the visa for cheaper, but I really don’t know how, so it was worth it in my oponion.)
  • Flight from Moscow (Domodedovo) to London (Gatwick) (EasyJet): $158.53 (could’ve gotten it for, like, $50 if I’d bought it a month or two sooner :(((((( )
  • Flight from London (Standsted) to Oslo (Rygge) (Ryanair): $24.51 (#unbelievablycheap)
  • Flight from Oslo (Rygge) to Milan (Bergamo) (Ryanair): $21.09
  • Bus from Austria/Germany back to Milan: $25.58
  • Flight from Milan (Bergamo) to Dublin (Ryanair): $29.43

I bought all this (minus the bus ticket) BEFORE going to Europe.

Total pre-Euro costs: $1,564.25

Once I got to Eurussia, my bank charged me $5 every time I withdrew money at an ATM or 3% every time I used my debit card to pay for things. I always withdrew cash and avoided using my card. Some countries, like Norway, have chip cards instead of magnetic strip cards, so American cards don’t always work, so I used cash 99.99% of the time. At the start of my trip, I withdrew in increments of $50ish, but by the end of trip, it was increments of $150ish.

A harbor in Norwegia. Literally so pritt.

The total amount I withdrew while in Europe was $1,295.15, which combined with $55 in withdrawal fees, is $1,350.15.

What did I spend all that $$$$ on? I didn’t keep an exact record, but according to what I remember/train tickets and phone cards I saved (none of this is exact, y’all):

  • Food and chocolate: $388.43
  • Intercity transport (long train and bus rides): $189.56
  • SIM cards and data: $186.50
  • Housing: $160.50
  • Public transport (short train and bus rides): $101.64
  • “Cultural experiences” (museums and junk): $100.50
  • “Souvenirs” (pants, sweater, hat, socks, and an extra bag): $81

 

So, in total, it cost this little boy $2,914.40 to make his dreams come true for 24 days in Eurussia. He thinks he’s a winner.

A sample of the exotic cuisine this little boy sampled in the Eurussian wilds.

I went to BYU’s Kennedy Center website and compared this to what it costs to do a study abroad in Europe. I always thought, “Why pay tuition AND pay to travel? That must be a crap-ton expensive!” but I never knew for sure if I was right.

Well, after a quick survey, I found out that I’m right. A study abroad that’s 33-days-long and visits 8 countries (I went to 9) is $5,200-5,600 NOT INCLUDING airfare, public transport, museums, and most meals. So, crap, that’d probably be, like, three times more expensive than what I did in the long run.

Of course, there are other study abroad options that are cheaper/might be more worth it (like a water study that’s only $2,200-2,400 in Belgium and The Netherlands INCLUDING airfare and museum entry) and if you have a scholarship, it would be cheaper for sure. BUT if you’re like me, you’ve never had any luck getting a scholarship (#BaveragestudentatBYU) and you love figuring things out for yourself without The Man interfering (we all know I like to avoid hanging out with The Man).

So, yeah, I’m a major … I mean Gordy’s … a major winner. Go Gordy, right? And I coulda done it cheaper!!!! (keep an eye out for those blogs l8r)

Joy that cannot be contained. Honestly, my eyes creep me out in this pic.

And the adventure’s not over yet! Maybe some Taiwan or South Amricka this summer? And keep an eye out for #EURUSSIACRAYCRAYVAYCAY2016 next March. And give me money maybe so I can go?

****Urban Dictionary spells it both “vaycay” and “vacay,” just FYI. Not sure which I prefer — vote below!

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