Studying abroad is a dream of many but only a few achieve it, given the various factors that act as a barrier. The biggest one being – Finance.
Basil Ali, Co-founder and COO, Edumpus, says, “There is a way to break through this barrier and now, everyone has an equal chance to fulfil their aspiration to study abroad. The dream of studying abroad should no longer be bogged down by the heavy costs attached.”
Here are some ways to raise money without disruption;
Financial preparation and role of education fund
Consider studying abroad as an investment that you make in yourself and not as a cost. Start saving in small amounts and create an education fund, an SIP for your higher education.
Ali says, “To start the fund, set a goal for it, that is achievable considering the time you have to save for it. If you are planning to take an educational loan, then your goal for the fund changes accordingly. Account for living expenses as well that depends on the country, the duration of the course, your lifestyle etc.”
Financial planning will help reduce the financial burden and eliminate the stress that comes with it. However, it is very important that you follow the plan strictly and do not prioritize temporary fun for a life-changing ambition.
Research about scholarships
Most universities have scholarship programs for international students. Ali explains, “While you make the list of colleges you would like to apply to make sure to analyze each of your options based on their scholarship programs.”
Check the eligibility criteria for the scholarship and its reliability. These scholarships range from a thousand dollars, to complete exemption from the tuition fees.
Consult education counsellors
Consulting an education counsellor is wrongfully considered as an expense. The experts know in and out about the industry- countries to consider, different programs, scholarships offered by the colleges and they can help you with all that was mentioned plus, strengthening your college and visa application and more.
Industry experts say counsellors help one make the right choices by assessing one’s academic, cultural and financial background. They can also support you in financial planning and suggest ways to cut down costs wherever possible.
Take up part-time jobs
Take up a part-time job during your course or a full-time job during the summer break which will help you earn extra money and some experience.
Ali points out, “The extra cash can help fund your study abroad program and the experience gained can prove useful when you look for your dream job. A full-time or part-time job is difficult to find in the initial period of your time abroad. However, be patient and build connections in the meanwhile that you can leverage once you are done with your studies.”
Seek government’s help
Even before you consider an education loan, check the central and state governments’ schemes to fund overseas education. The Indian government, on its own and in collaboration with many international organizations and universities, offers scholarships for study abroad programs. “Do some research whether your state government has any such scheme to fund overseas education,” adds Ali.
Consider an education loan
Holding back on the optimum quality of education because of insufficient funds is not a good excuse when you have the option of education loans. After analyzing your university’s course and fee structure, plan for a loan that will cover your expenses and allow you to study peacefully.
Ali adds, “Consider a loan only from formal and reliable sources. They will assess the institutions’ authenticity, approved programs, mortgage requirements, repayment terms, etc. and also offer a competitive rate of interest.”