Do you want to study abroad but don’t really know how to finance your studies? What if I told you there are plenty of ways you could do to fund your education abroad? Read my complete guide below to find some strategies you could use to make your dream to study abroad come true!
Education can cost a fortune and unfortunately, not everyone is able to pay for it, especially when you live in a country where education is somewhat a luxury because of its hefty price tag.
Wanting to continue your education as an adult student, and as a young parent will be even more difficult, now that you have responsibilities and extra mouth(s) to feed. Wanting to do it abroad as an international student could be extremely hard to obtain.
But it doesn’t mean that your dream of having an international experience will be out of reach. Stay tuned to get information on the best ways to finance your study abroad as an adult student/student mom and dad.
Living and studying abroad will be an experience that will give you advantages and set you apart from the pack. Being able to bring your family with you guaranteed an adventure of a lifetime for you and your family.
But most likely it will come with a hefty price tag. Reasonably speaking, studying abroad is expensive, even if you go alone as a young student. Studying abroad by bringing your family with you will be even more costly.
So, what are the possible options that you could do to pay for your study abroad, which in the end, will allow you to reside in a foreign country, continue your degree as well as raise your child in the best way possible?
Here are some of them :
1. Personal Savings
Personally, this is the route I was taking to finance my study abroad. I’ve been wanting to study abroad since I was young.
I was well aware that my parent could never afford to send me to study abroad, therefore, I’ve been saving money for my education practically since I got my first paycheck.
Every month for almost 10 years (yep, it took me that long to finally manage to continue my education abroad), I set aside some money for my education that I made a vow to never touch, not even for an emergency since I’d already allocated some portion of my salary for emergency purpose.
By the time I felt like the timing was perfect and that I was mentally ready to finally take the leap and enroll, my financial situation was ready too.
But, although starting early and doing long-term savings is an ideal way to fund education, this option might not be practical for everyone.
If you’ve been wanting to study abroad but don’t have enough money to do it, don’t despair. You could start saving now. Allocate some budget every month, as much as you can for the sole purpose to finance your education, and don’t touch it for whatever reasons.
There will be plenty of things to prepare for studying abroad, especially if you wish to bring your family with you. It will take time to prepare yourself mentally, to apply for the programs, to prepare your documents, and so on until you could finally move abroad.
It will give you ample time to keep saving money. If you think your personal savings will not going to be sufficient enough to finance your study and support your family to live abroad with you throughout your study period, consider these other options below as your source of funding.
2. Personal Loans
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help from your family. You have a legit purpose to use the money you want to borrow, for an investment in education that will bring you and your family a better future.
When they see how serious you are about continuing your education and improving the quality of your life, and how serious you are in paying them back, hopefully (if they have the ability to provide), they will not be going to ignore your genuine request and willing to help you by giving you the loan.
You could also apply for personal loans from a bank for the purpose of your study. They will ask for certain eligibility requirements such as proof of income and your ability to pay the loan back.
The interest rates can vary depending on the length of the loan, and the loan amount might depend on your credit profile. Some banks also offer some type of advantages or flexibility if you are an existing customer.
I’m not an expert on this, nor have I had experience in applying for personal loans to the bank since I use my personal savings and look for scholarships to finance my study abroad.
If you are interested in this option, do your research as much as you can. Compare the rules and regulations, as well as the requirements in several banks before deciding which loan at what bank to apply to finance your study abroad.
3. Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants, and Bursaries
The most coveted way to finance your study abroad is to win scholarships. There are several types of scholarships available to finance your study abroad such as need-based scholarships, merit-based scholarships, government scholarships, or specific types of scholarships focused on specific criteria such as scholarships for single mothers, for students from developing countries et cetera.
They might be offered by a number of different organizations with a variety of different requirements for eligibility.
Do your research to see which ones are you eligible to apply to and prepare the documents, as well as prepare yourself for the interviews and other selection processes.
The university abroad of your choice might also offer scholarships, grants, or bursaries for their future students.
Reach out to the university’s financial aid department if you are eligible to apply, the requirements, and ask for advice on how to increase your chance of getting the fund.
Expand your search, surf the internet and most likely you’ll find plenty of scholarships that’ll be eligible to you, based on your nationality, your major, your gender, and even the ones available with the most “absurd” requirements.
Scholarships do require a lot of paperwork, and this can be a hassle that discourages many people. But it’s worth the trouble since there’s no limit to how many scholarships you can apply to and it can be a great way to pay for your school.
But bear in mind that the process will take time. If you need to know more about the scholarship selection process, check out my little guide here.
Keep close attention to the application deadlines of each of the scholarships you apply to. Don’t exceed the deadline. Some universities even have a first-come, first-served basis, so you’ll need to apply as soon as you can.
Most likely you will apply for as many scholarships, grants, and bursaries as many as you can to increase your chances of getting awarded.
Often, even though you win funding, either a scholarship, grant, or bursaries, the program or the university is not your first choice. Think about it carefully before making any decision.
Will you take the funding and study at a major that is not your first choice (well, you got yourself funding and the program is still aligned with your educational background and work experience anyway) or choose the program or university of your first choice and look for another way to fund your education?
4. Student Loans
If you receive a grant or scholarship, you are not borrowing that money. That is money that has been given to you as a gift and doesn’t need to be repaid. While a loan, needs to be repaid, and with interest.
A student loan or education loans typically have lower interest rates than personal loans, and the lender usually waits until after your graduation before you have to start paying it back.
There are two main types of lenders that offer student loans, such as a bank, credit unions, and other financial institution which offers private student loans as we talked about before, or federal student loans that offer by the US. Government.
I’m not going to talk much about it since honestly, having finished my undergraduate school in Asia and my graduate school in Europe, I’m not familiar at all with student loans. The tuition fees were low and as a result, I managed to graduate debt-free on both occasions.
5. Study Abroad Program Payment Plans
Some international program that welcomes student from all over the globe offers payment plans, which allows you to pay for your study abroad experience in several installments throughout your study period instead of one-time payment upfront.
This can be a valuable option for you, especially if your financial situation makes it difficult for you to pay a large sum of money at once.
But, while these payment plans may allow you to make several payments at a more manageable size, make sure that the plan offered by the university does not include additional interest or fees you are not aware of.
Each university has a different payment plan, usually, they don’t offer more than three installments. But anyway, always check with your chancellor or anyone from your intended study abroad program for any details and requirements and choose the best plan for you.
Crowdfunding is the concept of fundraising which is used to raise money for a particular objective. Although at first it was aimed for many other purposes such as funding independent projects, lately, crowdfunding for education has successfully worked for many aspirants
The crowdfunding portals are available online to help students collect money or funds for their education abroad.
If you are interested in using this type of method to fund your education, you can try to spread awareness by registering on crowdfunding for education portals and sharing them on social media by spreading the word.
To register for crowdfunding, you will have to provide authentic documents that show your need for financial assistance. You can share your story and desire to study abroad by mentioning the details of your motive of why you want to study abroad, and surely, why they should help you achieve your dreams by parting with some amount of their money.
Ideally, you could get the audience of strangers, family, and friends to help you donate some money to help you finance your study, as they are known to be potential sources for crowdfunding.
After you reach a certain number of audiences you can acquire a good amount of money to fund your education abroad. Hollywood celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Jay Z, etc. are popular donors of crowdfunding.
7. Combination of Several Different Types of Funds
Bear in mind that you could always combine several different types of funds. This is important because, unfortunately, full-ride scholarships are scarce, especially for international students, so it’s going to be extremely competitive. Therefore, you need to prepare some type of alternative funding to cover the rest of your living expenses.
For adult students and student moms and dads who wish to bring their families with them while studying abroad, finding scholarships that will also cover the living expenses of their families will even be more difficult.
Most likely, even if the students get some type of scholarship, they will have to make do and try to survive with whatever amount provided for them, which, unfortunately, will only be enough to cover the living expenses of a single person.
Therefore, you need to start calculating your budget. Make an estimation on how much you need to finance your study, starting all the way from beginning to the end when you finally finish your study and get your degree.
If you need some extra help to figure out what kind of expenses you need to cover throughout your study, check out my Back-to-School Budget Tracker above.
From there, you could have a rough estimation of how much money you need to prepare and act accordingly.
Calculate how much time you’ll need to save the money needed, the amount of time you need to prepare for your scholarship applications, the number of loans you need should you choose to apply for one, and so on.
Set a realistic goal. If you think you will not be going to be able to collect the fund you need by the next fall semester, for example, be prepared to postpone your application until the next year.
Study all the options to finance your study carefully before making any decision. If you apply for scholarships or loans, read all the terms and conditions thoroughly.
Some scholarships might be okay if you win another scholarship, but others might withdraw and prefer to give the funding to someone else. If you apply for a loan, make sure you know all about the requirements and are confident that you will have the ability to repay them.
In the end, ideally, you will have several sources of funding, such as a scholarship or a loan to finance the major chunk of your education, and your savings to cover the rest.
Or a little help from the university by using their payment plans where you can pay in installments, combined with a more unconventional way to finance your study such as crowdfunding, and so on.
Over to You…
Studying abroad is expensive, especially for an adult student and a student’s mom and dad who wish to bring their family with them abroad.
But luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to finance your study abroad, such as using your personal savings, asking for personal loans from your families and relatives as well as applying for personal loans from a bank and other financial institutions.
You could also apply for scholarships, grants, and bursaries, or apply for a student loan. Don’t forget to check with your intended school program abroad if they have payment plans that are more suitable for your financial situation, since there is an opportunity for you to pay in installments if they do have payment plans.
You might also try the non-traditional way to fund your education such as crowdfunding.
On top of that, you’re not limited to just one option. You might find that you need to mix and match several different options for funding your study abroad.
Using some of your personal savings, combined with scholarship money or federal student loan, or some other combination might be the best strategy for you to finance your study abroad and bring your family with you.
Whatever your strategy is, make sure you check out several different programs to find one that suits you financially and personally and get yourself one step closer to reaching your future goals.
So, how will you finance your study abroad? Do you have any ideas to add? Share them in the comment section down below! Pin this for later and share them on your social media and help spread the info
Thanks so much and till next time!!!
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