If you are a student planning to study abroad, get ready for a rewarding and exciting experience. However, managing your finances is crucial if you plan to pursue an international education.
When planning an education abroad, every student must consider a variety of factors including tuition, housing costs, and living expenses. It takes skill and extensive research to control your budget, but it will make a positive difference.
Tip 1 – RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Doing some research or talking to someone who has studied in the destination you intend to move to is a fundamental step in the planning process. Tuition fees are not the only factor to consider; you should also budget for things like living expenses, such as food, cell phones, transportation, and clothing. It is important to choose the destination carefully because the expenses differ depending on where you are going.
There are also academic expenses such as textbooks, subscriptions, and other education-related costs that depend on the type of program and field of study you choose. The duration of the program and the overall academic degree you obtain are also factored into your overall cost.
Once you’ve decided on your field of study and study destination, consider your many financing options, including personal loans and student loans. The next step is to research banks and other financial institutions, as you will need to open a new bank account. Another important consideration is the exchange rate.
Each currency is unique and impacts the overall cost of an education anywhere. The exchange rate may also change several times before and during your trip to study abroad. It is worth starting to carefully monitor exchange rates.
Tip 2 – GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
It is important for students to consider all of the financial options available to them when choosing to study abroad. There are plenty of opportunities, so make a plan to identify the grants and scholarships you qualify for to make your life abroad a little easier.
A number of universities and institutions offer scholarships to international students who excel in their studies. Merit-based scholarships, athletic scholarships, college scholarships, and government scholarships are some of the potential options a student may consider.
Even if you did not receive a scholarship in your first year of study, this does not always indicate that you will not receive one in the future. Stay curious and ask your higher education institution for guidance
to a list of resources, or ask former international students what scholarships or grants they were eligible for as a starting point.
Tip 3 – BUDGET MAPPING
A daily, weekly or monthly budget can be a useful tool for a student to plan their finances. You can start by listing all your monthly expenses as well as your total income. This can include your recurring expenses such as rent, transportation, groceries and food, phone and internet bills.
There are many online calculator tools you can use to help you budget your expenses. To get started, you can view a cost of living assessment here.
Students should also consider investing in reasonably priced items and purchases. For example, research cheaper groceries, consider shopping at thrift stores, calculate your living expenses, and if things start to get too expensive, explore other possibilities like sharing a room or moving to another location.
When choosing a place to live, be sure to check the cost of transportation and connectivity. After setting aside money for savings and emergencies, make sure your expenses stay within your overall income.
Tip 4 – MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR STUDENT EXPERIENCE
If you are a full-time student abroad, you may be allowed to work a specific number of part-time hours per week. In Canada, for example, full-time students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week off campus. It could be a great option to help you earn money and improve your study abroad experience.
Depending on the study abroad destination, students may also seek on-campus employment, including opportunities to help professors and other students. Be sure to cross-check with the study permit guidelines for your study destination.
By choosing the right study abroad program, creatively managing your expenses, and taking advantage of deals and specials, you can plan an effective study abroad experience.
Written by Karunn Kandoi, Country Head India, ApplyBoard
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