Thankfully, unpaid internships are now illegal in the UK- so the likelihood is that you will be compensated for your time when you undertake an internship as a student. However, if your internship is in London and you have no family or friends living in London, you will still need to save up the cash to live there for a month or two.
It’s difficult, but not impossible to support yourself whilst interning. Before you undertake your internship (and perhaps even before you’ve had confirmation of your placement) you might want to save up some money to help pay for the cost of interning.
Run The Numbers
Work out how much it’s going to cost you to live in the city or town that your placement is in. You can do this by researching how much it might cost to rent a room, how much your travel is going to cost, and how much money you need for general living costs like food and socialising.
Once you’ve got your numbers straight- figure out how much compensation you are likely to get from your internship. It can be hard to know an exact figure, but do your research online to try and get the most accurate figure.
After that, deduct your costs from your income to see how much you need to save in order to support yourself during your placement. You will then have a concrete figure to work towards.
Stick To A Budget
Once you have a figure in mind, you will need to set a budget that dictates how much extra money you need to save each month to get to your goal. Check out this post on how to save money on groceries as a student to get some inspiration.
There are several different budgeting methods that you could use to do this, but as long as you are hitting your savings goal, the method you use to get there doesn’t matter.
Check If There Is Any Financial Help Available
At some universities and colleges there will be help available for those who need it for internships and placements.
Check if your university offers such grants and make an application- it could save you a lot of hard work if the amount that you need to cover the cost of your placement is high.
A grant could also save you from getting into debt for the purposes of doing an internship- something that you want to avoid if possible!
Also remember to ensure that you are getting a good interest rate on your savings– switch to a bank account that will offer you a higher rate if necessary.
Earn Some Extra Money
If you’re really stuck and can’t see how you are going to be able to save enough money for your internship, you could consider earning some extra money on the side.
There are lots of ways to earn extra money as a student- and it doesn’t have to be bartending or waiting on tables.
As well as the usual part-time student jobs, there is also the possibility to earn an extra income online, which will be more flexible around your studies. You can also earn money online from the comfort of your room- no more 2am shifts at the student union!
Some ideas are… becoming a virtual assistant, freelance writing, offering freelance design services, proofreading, editing, transcribing and ghost writing.