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8 Ways to ease the burden of financing your overseas education

Have you always dreamt of studying abroad or pursuing higher education overseas? Of course, you have. 

Well, what’s stopping you from achieving it? You don't have to answer, because we know it already. 

Most students drop their dream of studying abroad due to financial constraints or believe that they cannot afford it without even trying. 

I understand that coming from a lower-middle-income country like India, it is difficult to pursue overseas education. However, with more and more number of Indian students choosing to study abroad every year, we believe that it is feasible to study abroad in spite of financial limitations. All it takes is to realize the number of resources and opportunities available in today's world. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

Before we dive into the options available to lessen financing your abroad education burden, let us first look at the Return on Investment of it, and if it is worth the expense we have to shell out. The simple answer is a resounding YES! 

According to an infographic, studies say that it is worth studying abroad and positively impacts your career goals, marketable skills, and employability. It goes on to say that a whopping 73% of employers have cited that studying abroad determined job candidature and over 90% of employers believe that students with education abroad are highly desirable as they possess skills like technical knowledge of their primary field of business, managerial ability, strategic international understanding, and cross-cultural experience. 

Also, given the present post-study work visa scenario, and how many top countries are forwarding their welcoming hands to international students, it is logical to study abroad now. International students are given more time to stay back in the country to find work after graduation. With this, the students can easily gain valuable and relevant work experience while being able to clear their education loans. 

Now that you understand that studying abroad is worth the trouble, let us look at a few ways to ease the burden of financing your abroad education. 

1. Scholarships-the most common and popular funding option

Applying to universities that provide students with beneficial scholarships is one of the most common funding options. However, not all scholarships cover a student’s complete tuition and other expenses. That being said, receiving even a $2000 award can also lessen your financial burden and make things easier to some extent.  

While it is a common option and there are wide-ranging and innumerable scholarships available for international students, most students do not take the time out to check the availability of scholarships before applying to a university. It might be out of laziness, ignorance or being overwhelmed, but do apply for scholarships while applying for admissions as few universities award scholarships based on a simple essay you might be asked to write. 

There are a few universities that take the required details from your application and if eligible automatically sanction a scholarship to the students. However, most universities do not follow this procedure and the student should manually fill out a form and apply for a particular scholarship. 

There is a common misconception that a scholarship is awarded solely based on merit. However, it is not true, as there are many types of scholarships you can apply to. Below are a few types. 

  • Fellowships (Merit-based)
  • Academic Scholarships 
  • University Scholarships
  • Program-based Scholarships 
  • Athletic Scholarships
  • Specific Scholarships (others)

While a simple search can yield a plethora of scholarship options, the fact that you have to go through more forms and applications might discourage or overwhelm you. That being said, if you are unsure of your scholarship options and would like to know the process or more details, you can always contact an overseas adviser

2. Grants or Bursaries-based on your needs

Grants or bursaries is another option similar to scholarships. However, these are granted based on need. Depending on your financial situations like no or low-income source, Universities provides grants. 

While the amount of grants provided varies from university to university with few offering as low as $200 and as high as $1500. 

3. Education/Student Loans-easiest of all options

Unlike scholarships and grants, a student/education loan is a financial aid provided by banks and other financial institutions. It needs to be repaid with interest after an agreed period of time. Which means you will have to repay more than the amount you took. However, most students choose this option as it is an easily available option and is not based on their merit or performance. 

The best education loan offers are provided by government institutions which either provide a flat or low-interest rate. Taking up an educational loan provides you with flexible repayment options. Few financial institutions provide up to 30 years of time after graduation to repay the debt amount. 

4. Family/Relatives-because they are your family

While this option might not be available for everyone, you owe it to yourself to give it a try before disregarding the idea. If your parents cannot afford to send you abroad for higher education and if you so badly want to pursue it, then reach out to other family members of yours like your relatives or siblings to sponsor your education. 

5. Work part-time-support yourself to ease the burden

Studying abroad does not only constitute to taking care of your admission and tuition expenses but also to have enough funds for your living and other expenses throughout the course of your studies. One easy way is to take up work while studying. Most countries allow international students with a valid student permit to work part-time for 20 hours per week in either on or off-campus jobs. While a student cannot completely depend on this option to fund all their expenses, it is a way to lessen the financial burden. 

If you have computer or other creative skills, you can also do freelancing during your free time to earn some extra bucks. 

6. Local sponsors-funding agencies or organizations

Apart from universities, there are many private organizations and trusts which provide funding and sponsorships to students looking to study abroad based on both merit and need. These organizations provide funding solely based on their philanthropic ideology and to provide deserving students an opportunity to get the best education from around the world. Few of these trusts also provide loans at very low or even zero interest. 

7. Affordable destinations-choose countries with low tuition fee and cost of living

If studying abroad is your dream and believe that it will burn a hole through your pockets, you can always choose to study in countries which will cost you comparatively lesser. For instance, you can choose a country like Germany where the universities charge low/no tuition fees. In this case, the majority of your study abroad budget is sorted. All you will need is to arrange money for your daily survival. 

Another option to lessen your study abroad financial burden is to choose a city based on its cost of living. If you choose to stay in lesser-known cities, then your daily expenses will be considerably lesser than if you choose cities like New York, London, Toronto, Melbourne, etc. 

8. Crowdfunding: raise funds to reinforce your finances

Another lesser-known option to fund your overseas education is to crowd-fund your dream. Crowd-funding on the internet has been a trend of sorts these days. However, it is a genuinely smart way of gathering small funds to lessen your financial burden. 

You can easily start a fundraiser online by using online platforms to reach out to potential donors or supporters. 

These are just a few but important ways to ease your financial burden of studying abroad. However, do remember that if it is your dream to study abroad, you shouldn't let any barrier, even a monetary barrier be a hindrance. Find your own way to achieve that dream. That being said, if you require further assistance on your funding options, you can always contact our Student Support Team for more details. 

For all those SMART Ubergrads who would let the experts do what they do the best!

Ubergrad.com is a D-I-Y (Do-It-Yourself) study abroad platform that is democratizing the way students APPLY and ENROLL at top universities overseas for graduate studies. You don't need to go to any person/agency for help. You can do it all by yourself from the comfort of your home !!

  • PREPARE - You can prepare and ace the mandatory tests like GRE, IELTS, etc. using our AI-enabled personalized adaptive learning platform and mock tests, at your own pace and comfort.
  • CHECK - Using our proprietary advanced Data Science-backed Machine Learning algorithms (U-SURE & U-SURE PRO), you can get best-fit courses and universities based on your profile parameters - CGPA, Bachelor's degree, Test scores, etc (up to 42 parameters).
  • SEARCH - You can then research these universities and get all the required information/data like required test scores, GPA, tuition fees, global and national rankings, WES evaluation, scholarships, etc., all in one place.
  • SELECT - Using our advanced filters like Tuition Fees, GRE Waiver, Duolingo acceptance, etc., you can shortlist and finalize the universities you want to apply to.
  • APPLY & ENROLL - You can apply to the universities finalized by using our step-by-step self-help resources (guides, videos, blogs, etc.) along with unique samples for SOPs, LORs, Transcripts, University Sample Applications, Admit Letters, Financial Documents, I20/COA/CAS, etc. You will also be getting WhatsApp/Email alerts to track the progress all along the process when you use our proprietary 'Application Tracking' feature.
  • VISA - Now that you have your I-20/CAS/COA, you can find step-by-step resources (guides, videos, blogs, etc.) along with samples for Visa Documents (DS-160 filling), etc as well as mock-visa drills to complete the most critical step of the entire process.
  • TRAVEL - You can find options/resources to book your flight tickets, buy forex/forex cards, international SIM cards, pay tuition fees, etc., all on our website.

In case, you need help at any stage of the process – from ‘shortlisting’ universities to finally ‘enrolling’ at your chosen university abroad, Ubergrad's Expert Counsellors are always available and are just a phone call away (Book a call by clicking on "Talk to Ubergrad Counsellor" button).