Article published by : Abhyank on Sunday, November 01, 2020

Category : College

6 Ways To Finance Your Study Abroad

Studying in a foreign country is a dream of the masses. In the current age of globalization with companies expanding all over the world, the hunt for candidates with valuable international experience is at an all-time high. There are countless charms to studying abroad. From the dream of roaming through the halls of esteemed universities such as Oxford, MIT or St. Gallen to getting a world-class education that would increase your skill set and worthiness in the job market by tenfold. We all are aware of the perks of getting a degree abroad.

And even though the charms of a study abroad program are strong and varied, there is always a big deterrent that shatters our fantasies- the financial constraint! For generations, getting an education abroad has been considered an option reserved for the rich and privileged, but that’s not the entire truth of the situation. With universities launching internationalization initiatives to a host of financing options offered in the present time, Studying abroad has definitely become affordable if not pocket-friendly.

So if you fantasize about studying in a beautiful foreign country, then check out these six ways through which you can realize those dreams without hurting your pockets.

1. Education loans
Education loans, no matter how scary you might find them, are the best way to finance your studies without having to settle for a lesser option. Moreover, it is a much more structured approach to raising funds that guarantees the entire tuition fees along with other educational costs such as dorm fees, laptops, miscellaneous fees etc. Student loans have gained a bad reputation but most mishaps happen due to the inability to make a good use out of them.

Due to the lack of financial knowledge, a lot of people use their student loans incorrectly and end up accounting for more money than they actually required. Moreover, a lot of students don’t analyze the risk and responsibilities of a student loan properly and end up getting into crippling debt and repayment defaults. To make sure such situations don’t dampen your study abroad experience, it is imperative to ensure that you choose your student loan options wisely and have a budgeting and loan repayment plan even before the start of the term. Education loans are also a long-term responsibility, hence taking professional guidance to gain a clear understanding of the process would also help you make better financial decisions so that you can reap the full benefits of your study abroad experience.

2. Scholarships
Scholarships are financial awards offered to students to help them pay for their education. For the longest time, people have had this misconception that scholarships are awarded only to prodigal and highly meritorious students. But in reality, there are various kinds of scholarships available to students such as minority scholarships, women scholarships, need-based scholarships etc. which are awarded on a criteria that is not restricted only to high academic performance.

Scholarships do have a cut-throat competition though, and therefore the acceptance rate of scholarships is quite low. But with a holistically developed profile and key skills and qualities such as great academic performance, relevant work experience, community development activities, leadership acumen and participation in extracurricular activities can boost your chances of getting a scholarship exponentially.

3. Graduate Assistantships
Graduate Assistantships is a supportive role given to students to complement and assist the teachings of the professors in universities. In simple terms, an Assistantship is a form of funding where a student is compensated for providing assistance to professors in their lectures and other teaching activities. This is a great opportunity to gain partial or full funding of your tuition fee while also gaining valuable professional experience and teaching skills. There are three types of Graduate Assistantships: Research Assistantships, Teaching assistantships and Administrative assistantships.

One of the biggest advantages of Graduate Assistantships is that not only does it provide you with tuition fees exemption, it also gives ample time to focus on your studies. As they are provided by the educational institutions themselves, the work demands and requirements are not excessively stern, leaving you with enough time to focus on your academic work. The main criteria for securing a Graduate Assistantship is to have good grades and stellar academic performance. Hence, this is a great way to fund your studies while gaining some invaluable experience.

4. Part-time Jobs and Paid Internships
Part-time jobs and internships are a fool-proof way to earn money while gaining relevant work experience. A part-time job or internship not only allows you to earn money to ease some financial burden but also provides you with great opportunities for skill development. In fact, having a part-time job can often lead to a pre-placement program even before the completion of your degree.

From being an English tutor or a translator to a barista at a local coffee shop or staff in the campus offices. There is no shortage of avenues one can explore in their study abroad experience, all it depends on your current skills and the ability to capitalize on them. One important thing that students must be aware of while planning their part-time jobs is to check the working guidelines of the host country and terms and stipulations associated with them.

5. Freelancing
Freelancers are independent contractors who provide their services to clients and companies and manage multiple clients at a time. Freelancing is a great way to earn money and finance your studies as it allows you to work from any part of the world and manage projects based on your own schedule. Moreover, it lets you gain an in-depth understanding of the field while also developing a professional and diverse portfolio.

One of the biggest challenges students face while getting into freelancing is a lack of proper knowledge and skill set. To solve this problem, you can first finalize what kind of services you wish to provide whether it be financial advice, UI/UX development, Art prints etc and then build your skills in the field using resources such as Udemy, Coursera, EdX etc. After developing a thorough understanding of the market place and building a substantial skill set, you can get into the world of freelancing and earning money on your own terms.

6. Budgeting Tips
Studying abroad, even though affordable, is not exactly a pocket-friendly experience. And keeping up with the fluctuating exchange rates and day to day expenses of your stay abroad is the most challenging part. Budgeting is an extremely important skill that must be in the arsenal of every student. Getting a student identity card is the first and foremost way to getting your budget in good shape. A student identity card is a universally recognized card that lets students enjoy discounts and other benefits on their transactions.

Another way to make big savings in your budget is to seek cheaper living options. School dorms are the most common form of residency opted by the students. But they also result in a big financial strain due to how expensive they are. A better alternative is to go for studio apartments or shared apartments that are much cheaper and would cut the monthly expenses substantially.

Studying abroad is a life changing experience and a great opportunity to discover yourself and your talents. Moreover, the broadened perspective and invaluable experience gained by living in a foreign country is unmatched. Although pursuing a degree abroad is a financially expensive decision, the pay-off and job opportunities one gets after the completion of their degree makes it all worth it.

So if you wish to spread your wings and soar high in the sky to pursue your academic dreams in a foreign land and are only held to the ground by the shackles of economic constraints, then use these tips and chalk out the best course of action to make your study abroad dream a reality!

If you wish to learn about more actionable ways to fund your study abroad then check out this comprehensive guide book-


Keywords: education, study abroad

By: Abhyank

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