12 Jul 2022 | How to Study Abroad Without Breaking the Bank
Study Abroad Programs: Tips and Resources
Higher Ed is about 3 things, courage, confidence, and the right calculations. Today, we are talking about a few realistic calculations and the key to financing one’s education and getting scholarships for studying abroad.
Is there a way to manage a budget for your university expenses and still aspire to study abroad? There are many ways to obtain financial aid and acquiring scholarships for studying abroad is one of the best options to go about it. Here, we give you a list of the various ways you can support your education all by yourself.
The US education system is always eager to help bright young minds and hence offer merit-based scholarships. In this article, we offer you some of the best advice about how to get a scholarship to Study in USA and lessen the strain on your bank account.
Studying abroad is a dream for many students, offering a chance to explore new cultures, gain international exposure, and receive a top-notch education. However, concerns about financial constraints often deter students from pursuing this enriching experience. If you're wondering how to study abroad without breaking the bank, you're in the right place. In this guide, we'll walk you through practical tips, money-saving strategies, and resources to make your dream of studying abroad a reality.
How to Study Abroad Without Breaking the Bank
Studying abroad doesn't have to drain your bank account. By being smart about your financial decisions and making informed choices, you can have a fulfilling international experience without overspending.
Research Affordable Destinations: When considering where to study abroad, research destinations that offer a lower cost of living and tuition fees. Look beyond the well-known cities and explore hidden gems that provide quality education without the hefty price tag.
Plan Your Budget Carefully: Creating a realistic budget is crucial for a successful study abroad experience. Consider all potential expenses, including tuition, accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment. Use budgeting tools or apps to keep track of your spending.
Seek Scholarships and Grants: Numerous scholarships and grants are available to support students who want to study abroad. Research and apply for these opportunities early to increase your chances of receiving financial aid.
Choose Short-Term Programs: If a full semester or year abroad seems financially challenging, consider short-term study programs. These programs offer immersive experiences without the extended financial commitment.
Explore Part-Time Work Opportunities: Many countries allow international students to work part-time while studying. This can help you cover some of your expenses and gain valuable work experience.
Utilize Student Discounts: As a student, you can enjoy various discounts on transportation, museums, theaters, and more. Always carry your student ID and inquire about available discounts.
Opt for Homestays or Shared Housing: Accommodation costs can be a significant portion of your expenses. Consider staying with a host family or sharing housing with other students to reduce costs.
Cook Your Own Meals: Eating out frequently can quickly add up. Learn to cook simple meals and shop at local markets to save money on food.
Use Public Transportation: Public transportation is often more affordable than taxis or ride-sharing services. Familiarize yourself with the local transit system to get around without overspending.
Buy Secondhand Items: For items like furniture, electronics, and clothing, consider buying secondhand. You'll save money and reduce your environmental impact.
Stay Mindful of Currency Exchange Rates: Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can affect your budget. Keep an eye on rates and consider exchanging money when rates are favorable.
Network and Share Resources: Connect with fellow students and explore opportunities to share resources. You could share textbooks, travel expenses, or even cooking responsibilities.
Look for Free or Low-Cost Activities: Entertainment doesn't have to be expensive. Look for free events, cultural festivals, and student activities to enjoy your time abroad without overspending.
Stay Healthy and Insured: Healthcare expenses can catch you off guard. Make sure you have comprehensive health insurance to avoid unexpected medical costs.
Don’t fall prey to the myths around scholarships: study abroad Scholarships are merit-based financial incentives that are judiciously allocated to encourage students to continue their education further. Many students lose out on these scholarships for studying abroad due to a misconception that only the most brilliant of all students qualify for them, and that it is futile to try otherwise. While you need to prove your mettle to obtain these scholarships, it is not impossible. Here are a few study abroad scholarships that are given by Indian Foundations that you may qualify for-
- S.N Bose Scholars Program
- Nehru Full-bright scholarship
- Tata Scholarship for Cornell University
- Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
- Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship
Apart from these consider requesting for a scholarship to the University your applying for. Most Universities have resources allocated to aid students in need. If you’re looking for that, read into the next section below.
Financial aid from universities: Tuition fees for non-resident students is a lot higher than those for the local residents. Having said that, various Universities offer financial aid and full scholarships for studying abroad to hundreds of foreign students. Schools such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Scholarships worth $39,339), Johns Hopkins University (Scholarships worth $35,195), Northwestern University (Scholarships worth $34,882), and many more offer the aforementioned aid. To know about each school’s profile or about other Institutions head over to our website.
Employment: Did you know, as a full-time student, you can apply for the position of a Graduate Assistant or a Teaching Assistant and receive wages or stipend for it? Another lesser-known alternative is Co-Operative education. This program allows you to integrate your education with supervised work. There are also various Internships and Apprenticeships that are run part-time during the semester in the US. These may be a bit low paying, but they allow you to obtain valuable hands-on experience in your field of choice and help you shave off some amount from your total list of expenses.
Choose your University wisely: Let’s face it, Higher study abroad education in the USA even with all the grants and scholarships you acquire is going to be expensive. Therefore, choosing a well-ranked university with slightly lower tuition fees will definitely help your bank account in the grand scheme of things. Schools such as the University of Pennsylvania($20,144), Iowa State University($20,856), Florida State University($21,673) and many others have lesser tuition fees than other universities whose tuition’s can go as high as $53,000. We are not saying aim low but aim with strong foresight. After all, studying is a massive investment that should balance out the returns once you finish your study abroad program.
Student Loans: Even if you are unable to find grants or scholarships that will help you with your higher education funding, worry not! Student loans are a widespread option that is definitely worth considering. Both government-based institutes and private financial institutions offer monetary funding for studying abroad.
Look for a loan basis parameters such as Interest rate, waiting period after the course has been completed to initiate pay off and the like. Not to mention, an indirect benefit of higher education is the tax benefits.
Keep Communication Costs in Check: International communication can be costly. Use messaging apps and Wi-Fi calling to stay connected with family and friends back home.
Research Banking and Financial Services: Understand the local banking system to avoid unnecessary fees. Look for banks that offer accounts tailored to students' needs.
Embrace Minimalism: Resist the urge to accumulate unnecessary belongings while abroad. Embracing a minimalist lifestyle can help you save money and simplify your experience.
Attend Orientation Sessions: Most universities offer orientation sessions for international students. These sessions often include valuable information about managing finances and finding cost-effective solutions.
Monitor Your Spending: Regularly review your expenses to identify areas where you can cut back. Small adjustments can add up over time.
Explore Work-Study Opportunities: Some universities offer work-study programs that allow you to earn money while gaining valuable skills related to your field of study.
Stay Flexible with Travel Plans: If you plan to travel during breaks, be flexible with your itinerary. Booking flights and accommodations well in advance can lead to significant savings.
Connect with Alumni: Reach out to former students who have studied abroad in the same location. They can provide insights into managing finances and enjoying the experience without overspending.
Emphasize Experiential Learning: Focus on the experiences and cultural immersion rather than material possessions. Embracing the local culture can lead to fulfilling experiences without breaking the bank.
Take Advantage of High-Quality, Low-Cost Education: Many countries offer top-notch education at a fraction of the cost compared to other nations. Research universities that provide excellent academic programs without the hefty price tag.
We hope this article helped you believe in the possibility of striking a balance between your finances and studying abroad.
For more tips and information on scholarships for studying abroad, you can also check out our blog about the different types of scholarships for studying abroad.