Plan ahead when using cash.
Even when studying abroad, cash is still king. But give yourself "time to plan for possible exchange rate movements," Padilla said. "When you need the money right away you need to take whatever the exchange rate is at the time and have no choices. With more time to plan, you may be able to monitor for a more favorable exchange rate."
Lori Citti, Johns Hopkins University's director of study abroad, advises students to take out enough cash to live on for a few weeks. Though you'll need to carry small amounts day-to-day and store the rest with your valuables, having cash on hand will decrease your dependency on ATMs and limit transaction fees.
And the savings generated by minimizing those fees can help to stretch a studying abroad budget even further.