Study Abroad— Make Your Dream and Aim Come True!
The number of international students who choose to obtain their degrees abroad is growing fast, as more and more students, universities and employers understand the importance of global education. There are many cities in the world where studying at a top, reliable college enhance career prospects. Pursuing education abroad has become an ambitious benchmark for anyone looking to stand out in any sector or industry. To get a certificate of excellence from a well-known overseas university is not just a feather in one’s academic cap, but also conveys the tag of ‘international experience’, which is definitely an advantage at the workplace. Not everyone, however, can manage to pay for the high fee that comes with studying abroad. But don’t worry – insufficiency of money need not be an obstacle for anyone who wishes to study abroad to achieve their higher education qualifications.
Your planning to study abroad basically starts with these two steps—
Determining the major costs
To find out if you can really afford to study abroad, the most crucial step is to research, and accordingly make a plan for the major expenses that you would probably deal with. Usually, the three main costs that should be considered are—
- Tuition fees
- Living costs
- Accommodation expenses
Ways of funding
To save money wisely is the simplest way to fund your foreign education; however, the amount one collects this way usually won’t be enough. There are still, many ways that can be fused with your savings to lead to an overseas degree within your reach.
How to Get Financial Support to Study Abroad?
Although you take advantage of low tuition fees or sometimes don’t even have to pay a single penny for fees when studying abroad, you still need all the possible financial support in order to finance your monthly living costs and accommodation.
The scholarships are the most common and well-known financial forms of support you can apply for.
There are many different types of scholarships, and they include:
Merit-Based Scholarships (Fellowships)
This type of scholarships is awarded depending on several criteria including, achievements, academics, talents, hobbies, affiliations with numerous groups or career objectives. Merit-based scholarships are usually offered, local businesses, large corporations, universities or professional organizations.
You can utilize some or all of your financial support for a semester or year-long programmes.
Each scholarship has its own different eligibility criteria which should be fulfilled.
Scholarships offered by universities
The universities’ scholarships criteria are usually based on academic excellence, and there is a specific age limit for the students. Furthermore, you will notice that there are special scholarship offered for different levels of degrees.
Some universities offer less scholarships for a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree and more for a PhD degree. In some international universities, costs of health insurance and accommodation are included in the scholarship.
In some countries the scholarship-holders get a monthly allowance and the scholarship also include other expenses, such as health insurance, return trip, and cultural activities, but it doesn’t include tuition fees.
Scholarships offered by the government
Generally, the scholarship holders are exempted from paying the university tuition fees. Most of these scholarships are provided for between three to nine months.
Some of the criteria to obtain this scholarship are:
- Educational qualification required by the chosen college or university
- Proficiency and knowledge of a specific foreign language
Most of the times, there is also a certain age limit for the students.
In the United Kingdom, some of the government scholarships include the following—
- A monthly living allowances
- Tuition fees
- An economy class return airfare to and from the United Kingdom
- Additional allowances and grants to cover basic expenditure
Most of the specific scholarships are often offered to the students with family affiliations or a specific ethnic background. This type of scholarships is generally designed to benefit gender or ethnic subgroups.
In some countries, local governments provide scholarships to students coming from specific countries. Such programmes are also designed to help minority students in completing their education in fields in which they have been usually under- exemplified.
Some organisations offer scholarships for students with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and destabilising health conditions.
Need-Based Scholarships (Grants)
Grants are generally called “gift aid” since they are money-free. Mostly, they are a kind of financial aid that need not to be repaid. As compared to scholarships which are generally merit-based, grants (which in few countries are known as bursaries) are typically need-based.
Bursaries or grants are typically depended on financial situations but may also other factors, such as personal circumstances, may also be considered.
The need-based grants are available for students with disabilities and/or those with a low personal/family income.
Student loans are funds that you have to pay back. You can get a student loan from a private bank or the government; it can be a bank from your own home country or even a foreign bank, in the country you want to pursue your higher education, or high school. Co-signing (accompanied by legal tutor or parents) is very popular for private student loans because most teenagers don’t have the credit history for getting a loan of such a big amount.
However, student loans offered by the government are likely to be more beneficial, as the rates are generally lower. Some loans are given based on one’s financial need, while others are more similar to any other type of loan and depend on your credit score.
Repayment of the student loan
The repayment of the student loan generally starts within six months after completing the graduation, also known as the grace period. Depending on how much amount of the loan you have taken, it is requested to repay the loan between five to ten years, however in some European countries, you can pay back it within 15 to 30 years.
If the student loan is taken for tuition fees, you don’t have to pay it off until after you complete the studies and start earning over a specified amount per year, which is known as the ‘repayment threshold’.
Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in Your Study Abroad
Remember that you are acquiring an outstanding education at your college, and many organizations will be ready to hire you after completing your studies. Graduating abroad will give you great talking points and a competitive edge during your interviews.
This will eventually help you in securing an internship or full-time job. So, don’t be afraid of investing a little money upfront. You are assured of reaping more from studying abroad than you would have spent on it!
Semester Study Abroad Programs
Whether you are a high school student looking to expand your horizons or a college student ready to stand up to the world, several amazing experiences and opportunities are awaiting when you decide to study abroad for a year.
Summer study abroad programmes are a brilliant opportunity to travel, experience another culture and obtain academic credit in a short period of time rather than a full semester. There are many summer programmes available, suitable for students with demanding academic schedules and restricted budgets.
Sometimes to spend a semester abroad isn’t enough. Often students choosing to do summer study programs end up studying abroad longer for a second summer, a semester or full-year. Obviously, you will need student visas for study and internship in a foreign country.
Ready to Study Abroad?
A study abroad experience will benefit you in many ways beyond your expectations and imagination.
When you choose to study in London, living and studying there will open the door to unique customs, cultural experiences, new languages, networking with international students, and unfamiliar traditions.
When all’s said and done, the most vital thing to remember is to put in the effort and time when applying to study abroad scholarships or other ways to find funding, just as much as you would put for any other academic scholarship, and you will surely see the results.
Working hard and staying organized and following the tips mentioned above will lead you to achieve the much-needed scholarship, and will eventually lead you to attain your goal and dream of studying abroad.
One final tip on studying abroad with scholarship or funding
Try not to get slowed down in all the money matters and overlook the real reason for all the work— the extraordinarily life-changing experience of immersing yourself into another culture, away from your comfort zone.