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8 Ways to Finance Your Study Abroad Dreams

Funding Your Global Education: Practical Strategies to Fulfill Your Study Abroad Aspirations

Whether you have the funds to study abroad or not, it is always a good idea to find more avenues that can help you bear the cost of funding your overseas education. Studying abroad can become surprisingly affordable if you plan right and are smart about the funding options available.

But are you wondering whether you should even attempt to fund your overseas education? Let’s start from there.

Before we dive into the options available to manage the cost of studying abroad, let us first look at the Return on Investment of it. Is studying abroad worth the lakhs of rupees you end up paying?  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 welcoming 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 dream of studying abroad. 

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 reduce your costs and make things easier to some extent.  

While scholarships are widely available for international students, most students do not take the time out to check the availability of scholarships before applying to a university. This could turn out to be a mistake. Some universities award scholarships on merit, while some require just a simple essay to determine whether to award you a scholarship or not. A few hours of effort could help you save thousands of dollars in tuition. 

Some universities automatically sanction a scholarship to students based on whether they meet some predefined criteria. However, most universities do not follow this procedure and the student should manually fill out a form and apply for a particular scholarship. 

Besides merit based scholarships, 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. If you are unsure of your scholarship options and would like to know the process or more details, you can always talk to an Ubergrad Counsellor

Grants or Bursaries – based on your needs

Grants or bursaries are similar to scholarships but are granted based on need. Universities provide grants to students depending on their financial situations like no or low-income source.

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

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.

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 have close relatives who could, then reach out to them to partly or fully sponsor your education.

Work Part-Time – support yourself to ease the burden

The cost of studying abroad is not limited to funding your admission and tuition expenses. You will also need adequate funds to cover your living and other expenses during 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 creative skills that can be done remotely, you can also do freelance for businesses during your free time to earn some extra cash.

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.

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.

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 one, hinder you. 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's Expert Counsellors shall help you choose your Best-Fit Universities based on your profile and guide you through your entire study abroad journey, thus making it a cake-walk for you.

  • Profile Evaluation - suggest a customised & personalised “Best-Fit” University shortlist matching your profile (considering more than 42 parameters).
  • SoPs, LoRs, Resumes - proofreading, sharing samples, etc.
  • Information on Application Fee waivers, GRE / IELTS waivers, deadlines, etc.
  • University Applications - help with documentation, application form filling, special requirements, etc.
  • Tracking and follow-up with University Partners for Offer/Admit, I-20, CAS, COE, etc.
  • Visa Process - help with documentation, application form filling, mock one-on-one sessions, etc.
  • Education Loans - connect with our Loan partners and help you secure required financial resources.

Your 'Dedicated Counsellor' would help you in the entire process - from 'shortlisting' universities to finally 'enrolling' at your dream university (just a Phone call / WhatsApp / Email / SMS away).