Prateek Gujral, Principal Advisor (South Asia), Augustana University, South Dakota, US

Currently engaged as Principal Advisor to various International Universities, Prateek Gujral travels widely for recruitment and market development. Prateek is an authoritative and a resourceful voice in the International Education industry in South Asia. Prateek has a sharp flare for mobile technology and serves as Liaison Admin on XDA Developers (a mobile software development site) and a Senior Administrator on Swappa (a mobile trading site). A keen traveller, Prateek enjoys watching movies in his spare time. 


Are you a student who dreams to study overseas? Have you thought about how would you pay for your international education?

The prospect of studying abroad could be both thrilling and terrifying, especially for those for whom paying fees is a concern. Well thankfully, the time has changed now and new opportunities have emerged. So, no need to worry as financing education is no longer an issue.

However, it is important to consider the expenses one would incur including tuition, housing, transportation, food, clothing, and other necessities when living overseas.

Let’s understand a few routes to cope with study abroad funding; the following are a few options:

  1. Scholarships are the first option

Scholarships are the most terrific way to pay for tuition and living expenses while studying abroad. Those with great academic qualifications, who come from a low-income family, or working in a specialised field and are meritorious ones, can find a multitude of opportunities depending on the university, country, and course.

If you want to study in the United States or Germany, the countries offer abundant funding for both undergraduate and postgraduate education. However, the United Kingdom provides a vast majority of scholarships for postgraduate programmes rather than undergraduate programmes.

Scholarships from the government: Every year, the Indian government offers youngsters scholarships to study overseas. The Department of Higher Education, a part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, is responsible for handling the scholarship application and approval process.

Students can apply for the government funding programme on their official website, which is freely accessible online and most of them are at the master’s or research level.

A few of such scholarships include Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships (for US universities), National Overseas Scholarship for SC Students, Dr. Ambedkar Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loan for Overseas Studies. 

The Indian government has established several standards that must be followed by any student asking for a scholarship to study abroad. Government funding pays practically the whole cost of an Indian student’s study abroad vacation.

Besides, aspirants can also explore some of the private-run scholarships and fellowship programmes run by private organizations for international students aimed at helping them with study fees and other expenses. 

For instance, the JN Tata Endowment for the Higher Education of Indians, is available for Indian students for Ph.D. or Postdoctoral studies overseas in countries like the USA, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Ireland, and other European countries. 

Besides most of the universities at the individual level offer scholarships, waiving off a minimum of 20% to even 100% tuition fees at times, depending upon the student, his merit, and need. 

  1. Loans

 Loans are undoubtedly one of the most prevalent ways for students to finance their studies abroad. Because some courses are not supported by banks, you may need to look for a different sort of financing for your higher education. Some of your financing alternatives for studying abroad are listed here:

  •    Loans for Students

Student loans are available from a variety of banks to pay basic expenses. Student loans are designed to help students pay for their higher education costs. The bank agrees to fund approximately 90% of the expenses, with the remaining 10% expected to be covered by the applicant. Student loans also have a low-interest rate, which is a good deal for students. Other advantages of applying for a student loan include receiving expenditures for a prolonged stay in a foreign country, which is frequently offered to job seekers.

Students must provide the documentation, including proof of identity, proof of address, and proof of academic achievement, to obtain a study loan to study abroad.

For obtaining student loans from banks, there are also some eligibility criteria; read about the complete method and requirements.

  •    Loans for Individuals: Personal loans are only given to people who are employed, thus to apply for one, you must be employed or be able to approach your parents or a guardian. Personal loans have a higher interest rate than other types of loans. One can choose a loan repayment plan that appears the most convenient.
  •    International Student Loans– International students may apply for international student loans. This sort of financing is very common in the United States. Foreign students are given international loans, which are proven to be a viable source of funding for many Indian students. The loan is frequently used to pay for tuition, housing, insurance, and stationery. The more we research, the more options we find and it’s always advisable to check with students who have had availed loans in the recent past.
  1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a type of fundraising that is used to raise funds for a focused and cause-creating purpose. It can be availed by aspirants coming from a low financial background, or those who lost their parents due to natural disasters/covid. Students can use online crowdfunding portals to raise money or finances for their education overseas. For many candidates, crowdfunding for education has proven to be fruitful. By registering on crowdsourcing for education portals and sharing them on social media, you can help to raise awareness. Strangers, family, and friends are all known to be potential crowdfunding sources.

By describing the specifics of your motivation, you can convey your narrative and desire to study abroad. You can raise a significant sum of money to pay for your study overseas by reaching the largest possible audience.

  1. Working part-time

This may seem self-evident, but it’s always advisable to put your focus on your studies first. You may generally work at least part-time while attending university.

Although visa laws differ by country, most international students with a student residence permit are permitted to work. Working part-time may assist pay some of your living expenses, but it will not cover your tuition. It is better to combine work with another source of money.

  1. Programmes of exchange

Studying abroad in conjunction with a home university can be the most cost-effective method to gain important international study experience.

Exchange programmes, mostly provided by your current institution/organisation, are diverse and well-funded, and they frequently provide opportunities to spend time overseas. They do, however, differ based on where you live and the connections between your university and overseas universities.

Many American colleges have great foreign connections for semesters or years abroad, which should be checked at the individual institutional level through the administration office or HR department.

  1. Sponsorships

It is possible to have your costs sponsored by a corporation, firm, or institution depending on your degree of specialisation. Sponsorships can take three different forms:

  •    Corporate sponsorship-Corporate sponsorship is when a firm with which you have a relationship, covers your expenses (for example, if you work for them and wish to continue working for them while you study or after graduation). This is highly dependent on the company, so you’ll have to contact them to see if it’s possible.
  •    Sponsored degree-This is a little different in that you don’t need to know anyone at the company. This type of sponsorship is typically employed by businesses to attract new talent to their company. In most cases, in exchange for the corporation covering your education fees, you commit to working for them once you graduate for a set length of time.
  •    Company scholarship-This is a cost subsidy granted by a corporation in exchange for you finishing a specific degree, usually with added job experience and mentoring.
  1. Savings 

Savings are the most promising source of study abroad funding. You are most suitable for this option if you have a consistent income. You can apply for bank-sponsored initiatives that promise to assist you in saving. Savings is also an excellent approach to learning about budgeting. Individuals are encouraged to set a goal and employ direct approaches to assist them to achieve it by Indian institutions such as ICICI, SBI, HDFC, and Axis Bank. Individuals must, however, save for at least 2 to 5 years to cover their study abroad costs.

So, your time starts now! Start looking into courses, applying to universities, obtaining financial aid, and preparing for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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