The euphoria of studying abroad is something everyone should experience. But, it can also be one of the most financially stressful phases of your life. However, if you plan everything well in advance and execute everything in an organized way, you can easily avoid stress. In this post, guest blogger Shiv Nanda, a financial analyst, shares his tips on ways to fund higher studies abroad and hacks to save money while studying abroad.
How to Finance Your Education and Save Money While Studying Abroad
By Shiv Nanda
Studying abroad can be a very rewarding experience, even though it’s usually more expensive than heading to a local school or college. You get to learn in a new and exciting environment, travel and explore different cultures, and perhaps even enjoy greater independence and freedom than you would at home.
To do all this without breaking the bank, however, you need to efficiently plan your finances and choose the right funding options! Here are 5 basic ways to fund your higher studies abroad.
5 Basic Ways to Fund Higher Studies Abroad:
1. Financial Aid – Many educational institutions and third-party organizations offer sports, merit-based or need-based scholarships, study grants, fellowships and other financial aid opportunities for international students. Even a partial scholarship can reduce the cost of studying abroad, so apply to every program for which you’re eligible. Also, ask about scholarship options through the study program you’ve selected.
2. Student Loans – These are the most common option for funding higher education, but consider all your options carefully before taking one. An education loan provided by a government institution may have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than one taken through a bank or private financial institution. Check eligibility criteria, interest rates, and payment terms before applying for a loan.
3. Work Options – You can always consider working part-time to help pay for education fees and living expenses while studying abroad. Your earnings may not be high enough to cover all your costs, but they will reduce the financial load to some degree. Make sure to check resident permit or visa eligibility rules for working part-time as a student, and choose options that leave you time for studies.
4. Personal Loans – A line of credit or a personal loan for education can also help cover some of the costs associated with higher education. A revolving line of credit is usually more flexible than student loans, and you’re only charged interest on the amount used. Parents can also take a higher education loan to help their child with financial emergencies, travel, and living expenses, etc.
5. Family Bank – You can also ask parents, siblings and other relatives to help out with financing your study abroad. The “family bank” isn’t ideal if you’re looking to retain your independence or avoid putting financial pressure on your loved ones, but think of it as an investment if no other source of funding is available. After all, a higher education degree will help you get a good job and pay them back!
Planning the finances ahead is obviously crucial. Additionally, saving money while studying abroad will also help you to bring down the total expenses in a foreign country. Here are some additional tips to help you save money while studying abroad.
Hacks to Save Money While Studying Abroad:
1. Select the Right Program – Rather than setting your heart on one program, look for the most affordable options. You can study overseas for a shorter duration with some programs, or consider cheaper locations around the world. In some cases, a more expensive but inclusive program that provides housing, travel, meals, and insurance may actually help you save money.
2. Plan Your Finances – To keep spending under control, force yourself to stick to a budget. List and review basic necessities such as fees, accommodation, travel, and food, as well as any funding or income sources. Use this information to create a budget, including an emergency fund for medical expenses, and set aside a little for activities you would really like to explore.
3. Call Your Bank – Before you set off on your journey, check with your bank or credit card provider about international fees and charges. Let them know where you’re going and when you will leave, so your card doesn’t get blocked for suspicious or unusual activity. Look for credit cards that don’t charge extra when you use them abroad, and carry some cash for convenience.
4. Use Your Discounts – International students may be provided with an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) as part of the program, but buy one if it isn’t included. With an ISIC, you can take advantage of deals and discounts available to students on numerous activities, products, and services. Make the most of these, especially while shopping, traveling, and exploring.
With enough planning and preparation, studying abroad without piling up debt is an easily achievable dream. Start your planning now!
Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who works with MoneyTap. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters, and when they want to get a loan. He has made it his life’s mission to help and educate people on various financial topics.
Featured Image Credit: choice.com.au
You might also like the following articles: