Tips to Ensure a Stress-Free Study Abroad Process
The risk of financial burden deters many from applying to foreign colleges. Fortunately, there are many ways to fund your study abroad plans. Here are some options:
Scholarships: These are scholarships given to a student based on different factors such as merit, sports and others. Consider it your first port of call for financing, as it comes with no obligation to repay the money.
Student loans: Generally, loans are taken from banks and lenders, but this may require a guarantee or guarantor. While some new platforms follow other models, student loans involve a substantial amount. Therefore, one should research and evaluate various options keeping in mind the pros and cons of each.
Part-time work: While studying abroad, a part-time job can help pay extra bills. Students can easily spare a few hours/week of their university schedules and take on various jobs (teaching/research assistants to university professors) to cover living expenses or tuition fees.
Student prices: Many universities have awards for best academic performer, best dissertation, and other such criteria. Depending on the university and the currency, the amount may vary, but it will help relieve financially.
Internships: Higher education programs such as an MBA allow students to pursue internships between the first and second year. These are often well paid and will help defray a substantial part of the second year’s living expenses/tuition. A good performance in the internship could also lead to a job offer.
Avoid the traps
While the points above help you plan your finances, you also need to make sure you don’t fall victim to scams. Here are a few tips :
Undisclosed additional cost: A respected lender will only include interest and principal in the repayment terms. However, a fraudster will add unnecessary costs or services to the process.
Speak to the Registrar: Many lenders proudly list the schools they work with on their websites. Confirm this with the enrollment officer of the school to which you are applying.
Talk to others: Lenders will have customer reviews on their websites. But connect with seniors or other students to learn more and confirm authenticity.
Money flow: With the increase in money laundering cases, a student may need transparency from a lender to understand their loan process. Ideally, the money should be paid directly to the school, which will keep the tuition fees and pass the balance on to the student for living and other expenses.
The author is India Country Manager, Prodigy Finance