How to Finance
Your Study Abroad Program
With Workplaces going global, companies are looking for employees who understand international markets and can lead teams in diverse cultural settings. The study abroad programs are a significant step for students to transform themselves into culturally sensitive employees with the understanding to deal with international challenges.
It is not surprising that the popularity of these programs has been cumulatively growing every year. In fact, according to UNESCO, the number of international students abroad has been increasing by roughly 12 per cent each year in the 21st century.
An international degree can be one of your most prized professional assets in the current economy. Yet, most students are apprehensive about taking up this option due to monetary constraints.
Indeed, study abroad programs are not exactly pocket-friendly, but with the host of available funding options, they are affordable. Unfortunately, more than half the students give up studying abroad just because the whole research process of funding options is too comprehensive and tedious.
This guidebook aims to present extensive research on various student funding options in a structured format to weigh your study abroad chances realistically.
Part-Time Jobs & Internships
New & Upcoming ways to finance your studies
Money-saving techniques while studying abroad
Education Loans – A Smart Investment, Not Student Debt
The primary benefit of student loans is that they make education accessible to all so that you do not have to settle for a lesser option.
It is also a more structured and credible format of raising funds than other alternatives like selling assets and borrowing from friends & family.
Moreover, once you are financially secure, you can quickly pay back your debt. However, student loans do have their own set of contingencies & one must do a thorough study before jumping right into it.
The below analysis will help you in understanding the utility of education loans better:
PROS & CONS OF EDUCATION LOANS
An education loan can be your passport to your dream career, but there are certain things you need to weigh before you reach out for a loan form.
A loan structure depends upon your purchasing power and plans; hence a student loan is a highly personalized decision. You cannot just pick a plan based on your friend or relative’s suggestions.
Since it will have long-term implications on your paycheck, consider the following pros and cons of an education loan to make an informed decision.
Many countries provide tax benefits against student loans, although the clauses may vary with each country.
Schemes For Minority Communities
Women and minority communities often get the benefits of subsidies & special condition on their education loans. This move is adopted worldwide to encourage under-represented sections of the society.
Gets you closer to securing your future
An education degree can literally change your life – it provides you a chance to live your dream career, secure your future and increase your standard of living. A student loan can be used to not just cover the tuition costs but also the ancillary expenses involved like laptop and study material, supplies, etc.
Flexible Payment Period
Banks offer several repayment packages in terms of collateral and tenure. Education loans have better and more straightforward terms & conditions than their traditional counterparts like home loans & vehicle loans. In addition, most nationalized banks do not charge a security deposit as in other cases.
They are designed to include lower interest rates and flexible repayment periods. Deferment of repayments is a key benefit here. It implies that students are not required to start the repayment during the tenure of their studies. The payback process generally starts after a stipulated period of acquiring a job.
Dependence on degree completion
An education loan can prove to be a massive pressure if the student is unable to complete his/her education due to some unanticipated circumstance. However, this is an exceptional situation and rarely occurs.
Inability to analyze the risks
Due to insufficient knowledge about loan procedures and finance jargons, a student may not be able to fully comprehend the risks and the responsibilities involved.
Many students prepare an optimistic budget of their education expenses and end up accounting for more money than what they actually need. Once a student starts college, it is hard to monitor the surplus money which in turn adds up to the debt amount.
Professional life also has its own share of expenses. It can be anything ranging from contribution to household expenses, conveyance charges or even a co-worker’s birthday present. Since a percentage of your paycheck will go into the re-payment scheme, many of you are under-prepared for managing their day-to-day finances.
Recurring payment defaults in your education loan will lead to penalty charges or graver consequences if the defaults are not fixed.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EDUCATION LOANS BETTER?
A study abroad program means hectic schedules. Apart from your coursework, you will find yourself occupied with extra-curriculars and internships.
In such a scenario, it is very easy to lose track of your budgeting and the loan repayment plans that you might be diligently made at the beginning of your term.
Below are some tested tips that will ensure that you have a strong hold over your money even amidst your busy schedule.
Use Technology To Manage Your Finances
There are many applications like Mint and Pocket Budget & check that help you keep track of your budget.
As they are specially designed for students, most are free!
Have someone to help you stick to a budget
Be accountable to a family member or a trusted person while attending college.
Since the repayment period commences after completing the degree, you might tend to be a little reckless with money during your student years.
Having someone to monitor your expenses will help you avoid unnecessary splurges that will only add to your debt.
A Balanced Budget
Account for each & every expense involved during your study tenure, however minor or major they might be.
Account for all your savings and allowances you might receive during your study tenure.
Compare both the figures and decide a realistic amount you will need in debt.
This will help you apply for only the amount of loan you require to be provided with sufficient funds to get you through college without burdening you with debt.
Plan your Re-payment schedule before sitting for placements
Once you have an idea about the amount and the number of installments that you need to make to clear off your debt, you will have an idea of what your earning capacity should be after you graduate.
This will motivate you to push your grades up and perform well, which will ultimately help you to relish on lucrative salary packages.
EDUCATION LOANS CHECKLIST
What to look out for while applying for an education loan:
Before you sign off on the loan form, remember that Education loans are a long-term responsibility. An over-looked factor can result into years of liability. Use this checklist to make sure that you are not missing in on any important aspect of managing your student loans.
The Lending Bank’ Credibility
Make sure that the lending bank, be it government or private, is credible, legitimate & fully recognized.
Do not fall into the trap of ‘new & upcoming’ banks who try to lure in customers with unrealistic benefits.
It is one of the most critical factors to consider while applying for a loan.
Since the loan amount increases cumulatively, even a point difference in the interest rate will make a huge difference to your final repayment amount.
There is an online service like BankRate in almost every country that compares bank interest rates online.
In addition, it is also important to check whether the interest rate will remain constant throughout the repayment period or will it change with the market trends.
The interest rate of student loans in BankBazaar starts from 6.75% per annum.
Terms & Conditions
Thoroughly analyze the repayment terms & conditions, including the clauses for prepayments, missed payments and consideration for exigent circumstances.
Earlier, a few Asian banks used to charge a penalty on prepayment, but that has been debunked to encourage more student loans.
So, confirm with your lending bank where you stand on the subject.
Check for what kind of course of action the bank adopts if the student cannot pay as per schedule due to any demanding circumstances like non-placement.
Collateral is required to mitigate the risk involved in the loan.
Most nationalized banks have set a limit on the maximum amount against which no collateral is required.
In all other cases, a third-party (usually the student’s parents) are the joint borrowers in the credit.
Make a note of what collaterals are required and what kind of rate of interest is offered against them.
The above pointers will help you make an informed decision about taking an education loan as you will be equipped with complete knowledge about the benefits and responsibilities associated with it.
Here are few more resources that will supplement the above pointers:
- Forbes: 2022 Student Loan Forecast
- Student loans in the United States
- Topyaps: Top 10 benefits of education loans
- Benefits of Paying Off Student Loans Early
- Here’s How Long It’ll Take You to Pay Off Your Loans
- 10 Golden Rules to Follow When Taking a Loan
Actionable Tips To Get Scholarships
What are Scholarships and why are they awarded
Scholarships are financial awards designed to help students pay for their education. They are awarded based on an excellent performance in a particular field. They do not fall under student loans; hence they do not have to be paid back. So why Are Scholarships More Than Financial Aid? Scholarships have many in-built benefits apart from financial aid. There is a lot of prestige & recognition associated with them, which will forever be a part of the candidate’s resume.
Since they are earned based on merit, employers tend to look at scholarships as endorsements of the candidate’s capacity & credibility. What Are Your Odds Of Getting Selected? Scholarships tend to have cut-throat competition; hence the selection rate is low.
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Key Scholarship Winning Skills/Qualities
It would be best to justify how you intend to use your university degree to get closer to your goal.
Your goal should be solid & realistic, not something arbitrary that is conjured just for the sake of the application.
It needs to follow the path of the idea-intent-action process.
The admissions committee can quickly identify if your academic & non-academic performance reflects your career path.
Your academic transcript will reflect your knowledge and hold over a subject & hence a good GPA will open doors to higher-ranked colleges and, subsequently, better career opportunities.
You need not be a topper, but your overall score should be above average.
Specific scholarships have a minimum criterion for academic scores, so check the cap criteria.
It is no secret that admissions panel as well as employers favour students with work experience over the others.
Your practical projects are the real indicators of your subject knowledge. Your work experience will endorse that you are not only a good planner but an effective implementer as well.
In the professional world, it all comes down to execution.
Additionally, work experience gives you the benefit of getting recommendation letters from your clients, colleagues and employers ; and a good recommendation letter can do wonders for your scholarship application.
Work experience encompasses full time & part time roles, internships, fellowships virtual projects and research experiences.
Community Development Contribution
You will have to showcase your aptitude for social development. You profile should include a non-profit/not-for-profit/non-government/CSR project.
It can be anything from raising funds to teaching an under-privileged section of society. You can even volunteer your skills for a social organization.
Eg: In case you have an aptitude for designing, you could volunteer to create a website for a non-profit.
It is a much-favored quality in applicants as the panel prefers students who can take the ownership of an idea and turn it into reality.
Your leadership activities can be demonstrated by taking up presidential/ vice-presidential roles in your school’s student club or youth societies, starting your own venture or initiating a campaign.
Inclusive of non-academic interests such as athletics, music, dance, arts & drama, etc.
Extra-curricular activities not only expose students to a diverse range of interests but are also instrumental in developing their people skills, multi-tasking abilities and resilience.
Eg : Athletics help in developing team spirit and condition one’s mind to remain calm even under pressing circumstances.
Popular Scholarships By Type
Rewards & Recognition
Awards and honorary certifications that endorse your capacity to excel amongst the competition.
It states that you have not limited yourself to participation, but have gone all the way to create an impact.
Considered to be the most competitive type of scholarships, they are awarded to candidates showing highest level of academic excellence.
Candidates must demonstrate excellence in a particular field of interest.
- Fulbright Scholarships (USA)
- Chevening Scholarships (UK)
- Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme (France)
- Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships (Switzerland)
Average Academic Scholarships
It is awarded on the premise that extra-ordinary grades are not the only yardstick for judging a candidate’s performance in the real world.
Such scholarships are awarded to students who may not have high grades but display their acumen in the form of unique talents, leadership activates, etc.
2. Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
3. Collegiate Inventors Competition
They are designed to encourage diversity by providing opportunities for the under-represented sections of the society.
It will be different for each country as the context of minority groups varies from region to region.
1. African American Scholarships (U.S.A, China)
2. Adelante! Fund Gilbert G. Pompa Memorial Scholarship
3. Reach Oxford Scholarships (UK)
This can be considered to be a sub-set of minority scholarships.
A result of the parity difference between men & women that still exists in almost every country, education institutions and work-places have been dominated by men since centuries.
Women scholarships are awarded to bridge the gender gap.
1.American Association of University Women offers 6 types of grants for women scholars
2.Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
3.Margret MacNamara Memorial Fund
Here, a candidate’s financial need is taken into consideration along with his/her achievements. Students often confuse need & merit based Scholarships. Merit based Scholarships are awarded primarily on the basis of a candidate’s talent. So, assuming need is not a condition.
1. Unmet Need Scholarship Program
3. Abercrombie & Fitch Scholarship Program
Community Development Scholarships
It is awarded to candidates showcasing high aptitude for social responsibility & dedication community development initiatives.
1.Bonner Scholars Program
3.National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)
They are typically awarded in the areas arts, drama, and music.
1. Adobe Creativity Scholarship
2. Aerosmith Scholarship (Music)
3. Chase AHRC Studentship
It is a form of Scholarship awarded to students principally on the basis of excelling in a particular sport.
Athletes avail a full/ partial tuition waiver and are required to balance their training with their academics while attending university.
1.Manchester Universitys Focus Sport Scholarship
2.National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
Managing finances and the ever-rising pressure of being a student is one of the supreme challenges of student life that almost all students face at some point in their careers. Students look for grants and scholarships, and some are even ready to do some part-time jobs in the limited time they have after completing their studies. However, there is a much better way to support yourself financially, do something related to your profession, and learn new things in the course of earning money that we will discuss with you in this blog.
A graduate assistantship is a corroborative role provided to the students to complement and support the work of professors and universities. In simpler words, assistantship may be defined as a form of funding for which a student becomes an assistant to some professors or lecturers in a university. The financial aid can be complete or partial exemption of the tuition fees. Therefore, it is a perfect opportunity for the students to accumulate valuable professional knowledge and polish their teaching ability.
Now, the Graduate Assistantship can be of various types depending upon the role which has to be played by the student during the assistantship. So, let’s look at the kinds of Graduate assistantships in detail.
Types of Graduate Assistantship
There are basically three types of Graduate Assistantship depending on the profile of the work which are to be discussed here. They are:
RESEARCH ASSISTANTSHIP (RA)
Research Assistantship is provided to the students to help in the research work which is going on under the leadership of a specific professor. A research assistant is supposed to help the professor and other research personnel in whatever way he can.
Usually, the work involves recording and collecting data related to the research project and analysing recorded data to develop preliminary reports. A research assistant is also supposed to attend seminars and present the research findings along with detailed analysis in the workshops. So, the RA gets the overall knowledge of almost all the work associated with research.
The benefits of a research assistantship are not limited to a tuition fee waiver or monetary compensation in a stipend. The most significant benefit is getting first-hand knowledge of all the research work, which may be used to affect personal research work in the future positively.
TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIP (TA)
Teaching Assistantship is completely different from RA. A TA is entrusted with the job of assisting the teacher in lectures, by checking the home assignments and marking them, checking examination papers, interacting with students and taking classes if and when required. The Teaching Assistant may also be entrusted to take laboratory classes and helping the students to clear their concept and practical knowledge.
So, this type of assistantship is suitable for those who are willing to take up a career in lectureship or professorship. Along with fee waiver or stipend, it is good opportunity to garner some teaching experience.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTSHIP (AA)
Administrative Assistantship is on completely different lines with respect to the above two and includes the task of assisting the administrative staff of the university in managing various administrative works of the university.
Although work may differ according to the department or part of administration in which the Administrative Assistant is allotted duty, basic profile of work remains collection, organization and analysis of information.
AA may also be asked to make presentation or draft a report on the functioning of the university. Overall, this internship is suitable for those who are willing to take up an administrative job after completing their degree.
One of the major positives of the Graduate Assistantship is that the job criteria and requirements are such that you will get ample time to complete your studies. As Graduate Assistantships are offered by the Universities and other educational bodies, they are very well aware of the importance of student’s time and hence the demands are not very stern.
The average stipend of a graduate assistant in the United States is close to $20,000 currently. The allowance varies from one university to the other, but most universities offer stipends within the 20k range. In Australia, the average pay is close to 63,000 Australian Dollars. In addition, some Canadian Universities choose to pay stipends on an hourly basis rather than a lump sum.
In some universities, the stipend is not given in monetary compensation but is instead provided through fee waivers. For example, some universities offer 50% waiver for the Gas, while the waiver can go up to 100% in some other universities.
In most of the countries, maximum working time for an employee is 40 hours per week (8 hours for 5 days). So, a graduate assistant is usually allotted 50% of the full working hours that is 20 hours per week. On the other hand, half assistantship demands 25% of the full working time that is 10 hours per week. In some universities, there is also a provision of taking two half-assistantship which add up to make 50% of the full-working time.
However, if a student wishes to work for more than 20 hours in a week, some universities give their mentors or Head of Departments the right to grant permission for that. However, in some universities, foreign nationals are not allowed to work more than 20 hours either because of rules of the country or in order to keep the students focused on their degrees.
Apart from the 10 or 20 hours per week, the student is expected to devote rest of his time towards the completion of studies related to the degree he is pursuing. Maintenance of good grades and high GPAs is important for getting a GA.
Like all jobs, internships and admissions, there is ample competition among the students to secure a Graduate Assistantship. So, you have to be superior to your peers in order to stand a good chance of securing a GA. Here are few tips which should be focused on while applying for it.
Avoid errors in application
Your resume and application has to be free of all grammatical, spelling and all other types of errors. Any error in those two documents will straight away send you to back foot.
Do a complete background check
Try to do complete background check of the posts you are willing to apply for and try to go for the relevant ones only. Applying for too many posts which are irrelevant does no good to your chances of securing a place.
Talk to people who have secured Graduate Assistantships before
It is always good to consult with experienced people and in this case, you should try to talk to people who have already secured Graduate Assistantships in previous terms. You can ask how they prepared themselves, what they wrote in their application and many other important points related to it.
Follow up accordingly
As mentioned above, the procedures are same as job applications or internships. So, after applying, you cannot sit back and wait for a response from the other side. You have to follow up the application and contact the professors who are concerned with the allotments. However, contacting them very frequently might annoy them, so be wise with your choice.
Focus on studies
The primary criteria to be eligible for Graduate Assistantships are good grades, high GPAs and good knowledge of the field you are pursuing. In other words, you have to focus deeply on your studies before dreaming to secure a GA.
Studying well and performing well in the examinations not only enhances your reputation in front of your teachers and mentors, but also does a world of good to your chances of getting a GA. If you have the backing of the professors, then you are already a step or two ahead from rest of the field.
Internships & Part-Time Jobs
Fancy working as a Translator?
Or maybe connecting with people as a Barrista in Paris is more of your thing?
Or taking some language classes at the local community center, making some friends along the way?
Or better yet working part time with an upcoming start up?
Internships and Part time jobs are somethings which almost every international student considers after starting their journey abroad, it can be one of the most fool proof ways to earn some pocket money and pick up some skills along the way.
In fact, you can even receive a pre-placement offer during the course of your internship!
According to Forbes, 60% of paid interns receive full-time job offers.
Consider this scenario : If you are pursuing a degree in finance, a financial internship will not only equip you with relevant market skills but also help you kick-start a full-fledged career in finance !
Considering that finance freshers are one of the highest paid people around, you should definitely think of pursuing a masters degree in Finance if the field intersts you.
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A part-time job or an Internship not only allows you to get some pocket money but also lessen the financial pressure of college life
Helps you in building a requisite skill set which may give you that edge in the market, especially if you are working in a professional field.
It’s a great way to get introduced to the culture of the country and make some interesting connections, overall helping you integrate better
Learn New Language
Lastly it can be a great way to improve on your language skills, this is especially true if you are visiting one of the EU countries such as Spain, France or Germany, knowing the local language can instantly set you apart even while you are on a job hunt
So, if you are interested in working abroad, how would you go about the same?
First and foremost, make sure that your Visa allows you to work while studying abroad
Several countries have regulations for international students studying in their nation or the no of hours you can work during your study time.
Here are a few examples
If studying longer than 6 months on a Tier 4 student visa, 10-20 hours per week during study periods, 40 hours during vacation periods France Yes If you have a residency card and an institution with access to Social Security, up to ~20 hours per week, and you have to pay 20% of your salary in taxes.
France & Spain
With work permit, up to 20 hours per week in a job relevant to the field of study
With work permit, up to 20 hours per week in a job relevant to the field of study
If you study for at least one academic year, up to 20 hours per week during the term, full-time during vacation
For the students enrolled in a full-time program (not semester or year exchange), up to 16 hours per week, it depends if your university is listed by the government.
Up to 40 hours every two weeks and full-time during vacation periods.
TYPES OF PART-TIME JOBS
What kind of part time jobs are available?
Well while in earlier days there were limited options for students, increasing technology and globalization has opened up several routes.
On Campus Jobs
This is a great option for meeting other students outside of the international exchange circles and improve your communication skills.
Check to see if your university has a center for work-study or simply ask local students about opportunities to find a job on campus.
Usually you can find positions in the Sports office, Library or even as a Student ambassador, all of which pay decent hourly rates.
Restaurants and Bars
These are usually fun jobs that pay enough to offset some living costs and let you mingle with the locals. Working as a server or bartender can be a great way to practice the language, too.
Similarly working in a Restaurant or in a Super market can be easy jobs to bag.
In almost every country, there’s a high demand for English teachers, you just need to put yourself out there and offer your services.
You can pursue formal or informal avenues for teaching, and a quick Google search or chat with your professors and classmates will yield many leads.
It can be anything from one on one tutoring classes to scoring a teaching job at the local language center.
Tutoring and Translation
Do you have any particular skills? Can you teach music? Cooking? Dance? Leverage your inner entrepreneur and create a job for yourself. With today’s world of social networking finding a paying customer can be as easy as just sharing a well-made post on your FB page.
Even GMAT tutoring is an upcoming field and you may find takers.
Also known as E-Internship, Virtual internship is a program where an intern is not physically present in the office location.
He/she works from a remote location and all the communication is done through calls, e-mails & video-conferencing.
It opens up a pool of projects to choose from and gives you the freedom to make a selection solely on the basis of the internship takeaways.
Not only do you save time & money on travel, you can allocate the internship timelines in sync with your academic & other extra-curricular activities.
This will help you in bearing your education and day-to-day expenses and you will also be able to save some money. How mush you will be able to save depends on your expenses and fund management skills.
Not only do you save time & money on travel, you can allocate the internship timelines in sync with your academic & other extra-curricular activities.
Here are some Virtual Internship Profiles
- Virtual Personal Assistants
- Data Entry Operators
- Customer Relation Managers
- Content Writer
You can find virtual opportunities on the same platforms which you might use to search for part-time jobs
You will need to filter your requirements to “work from home”, “virtual internships” or “telecommunicating”.
IN-OFFICE JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
If you want a job that’s more relevant to your degree, it’s going to require major hustling and networking, but the end result may be very well worth it
Decide what specific kind of work you want — only by being focused on what skills you have and what you’d like to learn and in what kind of organization can others help you find something suitable.
Good places to start are the university career center, your professors, other students in your classes, local networking groups in your field, meetup.com, LinkedIn, and Google. Simply paying a visit to organizations you’d like to work for and pitching yourself yields the best results.
HOW TO GET HIRED FOR JOBS & INTERNSHIPS?
First of all get a solid resume, and align it to the kind of job you are looking for, this is especially true if you are looking for part time corporate or startup jobs.
Don’t fill up your resume with fluff; mention your skills, details of your education, and prior experience details – if any. Outline all your goals and use language that is sharp, crisp, and to the point.
Don’t forget to update your profile on LinkedIn to get access to more than 10 million work opportunities.
( You can visit www.mim-essay.com for tips on creating a great resume and linkedin profile)
Here are some extra tips to help you with your job hunting:
Use Social media, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter all can be great lead generation techniques, make a nice poster or post, and just put it out there, maybe someone in your circle can connect you to that next opportunity
Joining Interest clubs, University groups, Meet up sites can be an interesting ways to find jobs
College Placement Cells
Contact your Uni’s Careers Team and request for on-campus and off-campus part–time work options. That’s what they’re there for!
Run a regular check on newspapers’ job-listings.
Explore Start Ups
Hit start up fairs or company fairs and pitch yourself to companies you are interested in. Startups are usually very susceptible to this practice.
Try browsing popular part-time job websites such as:
- Career Builder
- Intern wise
- Student Gems
FREE-LANCING WHILE STUDYING ABROAD
Who is a free-lancer?
Referred to as an independent contractor, A freelancer is self-employed person offering services to business, and usually handles multiple clients at a time.
Free-lancing is a very popular option amongst students and professionals alike.
A research report by Gen Y and Freelancing revealed that 87% of UK students with first or second class degrees consider freelancing as a lucrative career option and 21% of graduates with first class honors have already chosen to work as freelancers.
In fact, according to Freelancers Union, the combined earnings of freelancers in America alone constitute about $1 Trillion a year!
Where most students go wrong as free-lancers
A cardinal mistake that most students make while starting their free-lancing carrier is that they look for projects without adequate skills & knowledge.
A free-lancer is someone who offers his skill in-exchange for a fee.
While working professionals have already developed a skill-set that they can use to freelance, it might be tougher for students.
But not to worry, we are about to explore options to become a free-lancer without experience.
HOW TO GET START OFF AS A FREELANCER?
The primary step in starting off as a free-lancer is develop a skill.
It can be a completely new skill that you were always interested in or you can hone your existing skill set to gain stronger expertise.
Here are a few strategic steps you can take to build your expertise:
Finalise A Price-Chart
Analyse the market rates of your skillset and have a service quote based on the length & the complexity of the project.
Select Your Skill Set
It would be best if you chose your craft on the basis of your interest and a careful analysis of the most sought-out skills in the market.
The Top Free-lancing Skills include:
- Content Writing
- Social Media Marketing
- Web development
- Search Engine Optimization
- App development
- Lead Generation/ Sales
- Data Mining & Visualization
You can use MOOC (Mass Open Online Courses) to learn and hone your craft.
These platforms host various courses with extensive study material, including explainer videos, case studies, discussions forums, Q&A sessions, assignments and exams to cover a topic.
The courses are self-paced and conducted by top universities worldwide, so you can be assured that you are learning from the best.
Most of these courses are available for free with a paid option if you need a verified certificate.
Popular MOOCs include
- Yale Open Courses
- Khan Academy
- Harvard Open Courses
Build a portfolio showcasing your skill set to fund your study abroad
- In case you have no experience, create a sample of what you have learned and include it in your portfolio. Eg: Original write-ups & articles, self-developed website/app,etc.
- To fund your study abroad create a blog focusing on the industry of your interest & keep sharing updates, reviews and articles about that particular sector.
Participate in discussion forums
Using sites like Quora to answer questions about your relevant industry can also help.
You can undertake a couple of short unpaid assignments in the initial stages to build your experience, develop a network and test your skills. This will also amplify your chances to fund your study abroad.
Make sure to have profiles on all professional networking sites like Linkedin, if you wish to fund your study abroad.
Explore Start Ups
Hit startup fairs or company fairs and pitch yourself to companies you are interested in. Startups are usually very susceptible to this practice.
Try browsing popular part-time job websites such as:
- Career Builder
- Intern wise
- Student Gems
BENEFITS OF STUDENT FREELANCING
The most obvious benefit is that you can earn and save extra money while studying.
Becoming Market Ready
Since you will gain strong expertise in a set of the most in-demand job skills, you will be utterly market-ready by the time you complete your degree.
Develop a professional network
Since you will be dealing with multiple clients, you will have an extensive professional network ready by your graduation.
Who knows, you might even end up joining one of them full-time!
Too many distractions may lead to missing a deadline which is a huge credibility issue for free-lancers.
New & Upcoming Ways To Finance Your Studies
If you go by the words of some of the best finance consultants in the world, investing in higher education is one of the most profitable investments if done wisely. With the fees of some of the top business schools ranging from $40k to $162k, finding a suitable way for funding higher education has become a challenge for modern-day students.
However, as people say, ‘Necessity is the mother of inventions; in the same way, demands to fund your study abroad have led to financial institutions coming up with new, innovative and profitable ways to support the students. In this blog post, we will look at various new schemes of the companies in the ever-profitable field to fund your study abroad.
Education loans and scholarships have been the only options for you to fund your study abroad for decades now. However, a lot has been already discussed about these, and we would not like to detail these. Here, we will look forward to some new ways to fund your study abroad, such as –
1. Prodigy Funding
2. Employee Benefits in repayment of student loans
Let’s have a look at these ways in detail.
Prodigy funding is one of the most revolutionary methods for you to fund your study abroad. Prodigy Finance is a financial institution that offers loans to postgraduate students from around 200 countries across the globe.
The institution is different from banks and other money-lending organizations because it is community-based funding. For this reason, the rules are more student-friendly than in other financial institutions.
The company was born as a peer to peer funding measure, commonly known as crowdfunding. The interested alumni of the INSEAD business school who were willing to support the needy students in their higher studies were given a platform in the form of prodigy finance to help their peers.
Three INSEAD postgraduate students came up with the idea of alumni to student funding to help the potential and deserving students like you from the developing countries find a way to fund your study abroad.
How does Prodigy Finance work?
Prodigy Finance has a unique method of working. To fund your study abroad through Prodigy Finance, you need to select your business school and the program you are admitted to.
If the business school and program are present on the list, then you can apply for a loan. In the next five working days, the management of Prodigy Finance tries to find out the alumni of that business school and some other private investors who are willing to fund the education. The biggest reason behind the interest of the investors lies in the fact that they get some lucrative profit in return for the financing.
After finding the potential investors, prodigy finance comes up with a detailed plan along with the loan instalments, interest rates, and other essential formations. After this comes the most crucial step when the institution verifies the student’s application.
Once the application is verified, the student needs to sign the loan agreement, and the otherwise rigorous funding process ends successfully.
There are certain very attractive benefits associated with Prodigy Finance which makes it a great hit among the students pursuing education loan. Some of the advantages of Prodigy Finance over other institutions are:
- No cosigner, guarantor or collateral is required
- Method of application is simple
- Provisional loan offer is made between 2 to 5 days
- Students from close to 150 countries are eligible.
- No up-front fee has to be paid.
- The repayment period begins six months after completion of degree for full-time students and after three-months for a part-time student.
- No fine or penalty is levied for early repayment
Interest rates are competitive.
So, with easy application process, friendly terms and competitive interest rates, Prodigy finance is one of the best ways to get the funding required for higher education. So, in case you are an international student and not many institutions willing to take risk of lending money to international student, prodigy finance is one of the most sought-after options among students at present. The revolutionary funding leads the way among students at present.
Employee Benefits in repayment of student loans
The pressure of funding higher education had been taking a toll on some of the very good students. As a result of this, the concept of student funding came into being. Now with the market going through one of the most competitive phases, the companies are trying various new ways to allure the best talents available in the market.
The newest addition in the list of employee benefits has been the benefits in repayment of student loans. Such has been the popularity of the benefit among the pass-out students about to turn employees that this is set to become the hottest employee benefit of 2017, brushing aside other lucrative benefits like health insurances and pension schemes.
How does it work?
The first question which comes up anyone’s mind when they hear about something new is how that thing happens. Answering this common query, the student loan repayment benefit is an employee benefit almost similar to all other employee benefits with the exception that it is taxable. However, considerations are being made and there are possibilities that it may be exempted from your tax bill in coming years.
In order to allure the young graduates to their firm, companies are offering the students benefits as a fixed sum towards the debt repayment account of the student.
The sum can be paid in terms of monthly installments by the employer or it may be given as a lump sum at the end of every year. There are certain upper and lower-limits related to the amount sanctioned per year or total amount sanctioned by the company.
However, if you have already paid off your student loans, it is not applicable to you.
The employee benefit for repayment of student loans is beneficial among the current graduates and postgraduates. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits.
The fixed sum at the end of every year decreases the financial pressure, as they no longer feel such great load of the never-ending student loan.
The fixed sum at the end of every year changes the repayment structure, making it more flexible for the student.
The extra sum at the end of the year means the employee has more cash in his hand to spend on his livelihood, giving him more flexibility on his expenditures.
A considerable benefit is obtained in the repayment if the employer helps in repayment of loans you took to fund your study abroad.
Which companies are offering this benefit?
Fidelity, Chegg and Aetna were some of the companies that are pioneers in this employee benefits field. Off late, the likes of PwC and tech-giant Nvidia have also joined the trend. At present, 4% of the employers in the world are offering this benefit, but the numbers are expected to rise steadily in the coming years. So first, let’s look at the benefits provided by some of the companies.
- Fidelity Investments offers to help its employees pay off their student loans of upto $10,000.
- Price Water Coopers can directly pay off your student loan to the server by paying $100 per month.
- Chegg disburses $5000 at the end of every year for student debt repayment to all the employees.
- Natixis, the global asset management company, offers $5000 to employees working for more than five years and an annual amount of $1000 every year for the next five years.
- Aetna offers to pay $1000 – $5000 annually to repay your education loan. It also provides a tuition assistance program to its employees.
- So these are some of the upcoming methods in student funding and are gaining immense popularity day by day. So, if you have an option of getting these two benefits, close your eyes and go for them.
Money Saving Techniques While Studying Abroad to Fund your Study Abroad
Why Savings Are A Source Of Income
Heard of the ancient saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned?”
If you don’t implement this already, now is the time to do so.
Study abroad is not exactly a pocket-friendly program, & with the increasing exchange rate difference, managing your day-to-day expenses is the most challenging part of the experience.
The cost structure of studying abroad can vary on the basis of the country as well the university tuition fee.
On an approximate average,
The tuition fee in U.S. ranges from $6000-$40,000 and the living costs go up to $10,000-$15,000
Whereas in U.K. tuition fee in varies between £4,000 – £21,000 and the living costs go up to £9,000 – $12,000.
Major Sources Of Expenses While Studying Abroad
|University Tuition Fee||Travel & Conveyance|
|Accommodation||Study & Project Material|
Get an ISIC !
The first thing on your checklist is getting your International Student Identity Card (ISIC Card).
ISIC card is the only internationally-recognized student ID and it has been in existence for more than 50 years.
Over 55 million students across 133 countries use ISIC to access over 150,000 student discounts and offer worldwide including travel, accommodation, food & beverages and study resources.
Examples of discounts:
- 20% off on your bill in Hard Rock Cafe, Paris
- 61% off on Stand Up NY Tickets, U.S.
To get your card made online or through a local issuer, visit https://www.isic.org/get-your-card/
Eliminate additional ATM charges
You are probably aware that ATMs charge a transaction fee for non-members of the bank.
But did you know that the surcharge can go upto $50 a week? So you could probably buy a week’s groceries with that money!
Since you will be staying abroad for a minimum of a year, it is good to get a local bank account for better access to ATMs.
After credit cards & banking, E-wallets are considered the most popular payment methods globally. In addition, you can set up PayPal and android pay accounts to avoid recurring withdrawals.
Affordable Accommodation Opt
University residences, homestays, apartments, student hostels, and hotels are the most common study-abroad accommodation options.
A hotel is probably the most expensive option on the list, and it is suited basically to people with an open budget.
Apart from on-campus residence, many universities have partnerships with student dorms and hostels, so it is good to first check with your school for such possible alliances.
Here are a few platforms that you can use to find housing options that you can filter according to your budget:
Beroomers offers students a safe platform for finding a variety of different accommodations around the world, with a great selection in most large European cities.
Homestay.com helps people book their homestay with a local host family with a worldwide presence. It caters to students as well as non-students.
C] Hostel World
A student hostel is the most affordable accommodation for a study abroad program.
HostelWorld has around 30,000+ properties across 170+ countries.
Globally the most popular marketplace for renting/ leasing accommodation, Airbnb has 3,000,000+ lodging listings in 65,000+ cities and 191 countries.
Travel & Conveyance
Your daily commute coupled with long-distance trips can turns out to be the costliest aspect of college life. But thankfully, there are options through which you can subsidize your travel budget.
Be sure to master public transport for your day-to-day conveyance. Do not Uber your way out for daily travel.
For shorter distances, you have the option to either walk or cycle.
In fact, a lot of cities like London & Paris have a cycle-hiring network through which you can rent or return a bike literally anytime, anywhere.
It not only saves you big bucks, but it is eco-friendly as well.
It is almost a chief responsibility for an international student to master the art of grabbing cheap airfare.
Apart from using your ISIC card to avail flight discounts, you can also explore airlines that provide airfare subsidies for students.
Here are some of the airlines that offer student discounts:
Additionally, below are some of the widely popular platforms designed specially for student travellling concessions:
Hack #1: Airfares are cheaper on certain timelines. While booking tickets, make sure that you are doing it at the right day & time .
Here are some commonly accepted theories about economical time zones :
Friday is the most expensive day for flight booking
Tuesday Afternoon give you the best bargains
According to the latest study by Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation,
The best day to buy airline tickets is Sunday, especially if you’re booking more than 21 days in advance.
This could more than 30 percent to Europe and 17 percent on domestic travel
Hack#2: Search for flight tickets on an incognito browser.
Live like a local, not a tourist
Exploring a new culture is one of the best takeaways from studying abroad.
But if you go dining to exotic places every weekend or keep buying souvenirs at every nook & corner, you will be scrapped out of cash even before your mid-term break.
You always have a choice to explore the culture by chilling at the neighbourhood hangouts, and learning to cook the local cuisine instead of eating out every day.
You could also visit your local friends instead of planning an exotic trip.
Adopting such small practices will ensure that exploring a new country will not wipe out your bank balance.
Must-Have Apps For Study Abroad Students
XE currency converter:
It is independent of a wifi /3G connection and has the latest conversion rates to give you an accurate figure on your money matters.
Skype & Whatsapp:
This one is a no-brainer.
Skype & WhatsApp are the most popular apps that help you connect with friends & family in the most economical way possible.
Aimed at the European Market, GoEuro compares air, bus & train routes to figure out the cheapest & fastest way to reach your destination.
With more than 280,000 Wi-Fi access points in 140 countries worldwide, Wi-Fi Finder Enables you to find free & paid Wi-Fi hotspots near you. This will prevent burning a hole in your pocket with international data roaming charges.
Remember that cost-effectiveness is an asset for life. Your study-abroad program can lay the foundation for your resourcefulness.
It need not take any fun out of the experience either. A little control over impulse buying and thoughtful implementation of these money-saving techniques will ensure the smooth functioning of your budget.
Studying abroad is a life-changing experience and full of opportunities to discover your latent talents.
Although pursuing an international degree is a cost-intensive decision, the economic and career-progression pay-off is huge.
On an average, MiM graduates who studied abroad could recover their investment with in an year and half.
If you are interested to know more about the career progression and salary hikes after MiM, you can check out our post here: Masters in Management Career Progression
This guidebook contains tried-and-tested techniques to help you fund your study abroad experience right from your university tuition fees to the day-to-day living costs.
We hope that you have enjoyed our comprehensive guide to funding your study abroad program. We have put considerable effort into this guidebook, and would love it if you can tell us how you like it in the comment section below!