No matter whether you plan to travel to the United States to study or wish to pursue your education outside of the country, money matters require due attention. After all, not everybody is as fortunate as the unnamed Indian billionaire’s daughter who received the title of the “poshest” student in the UK in mid-2018. It was reported that her family wanted to hire 12 staff members to cater to her different needs while she lived in a recently purchased mansion.
For regular people, studying overseas often requires that you make the most of the money you have, and try to earn as much as possible. While student orientation programs serve as good starting points, students are often left wanting for information about various aspects. Fortunately, managing your finances as an international student is not as hard as you might imagine.
How Will You Fund Your Studies?
Moving to another country for education comes at a cost. It is crucial that you determine how you plan to pay for the complete program at the very onset. For instance, if you wish to take up a three-year program, getting funding only for the first year and leaving the rest for later in not the best way forward. What if your plan does not materialize as expected?
If your tuition fee requirement is taken care of by your parents, count yourself lucky. If not, take a look at all the possible scholarship programs for which you are eligible. As an overseas student in the U.S., some of the options that you may consider include:
- Avvo Scholarship Program
- Berkeley College International Student Scholarships
- Cappex American Scholarships
- CDTrader Scholarship
- Fulbright Foreign Student Program
- The Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund
- The BrokerFish Scholarship for University Students
If you wish to study in the UK, some of your alternatives include:
- BUTEX Scholarships
- The UNESCO Fellowship Bank Global Scholarship Scheme
- The Fulbright Awards
- The Erasmus Program
Making International Money Transfers
There is a good chance you will need to pay some money toward your tuition fee even before you leave your home country. At a later stage, there might be a need for you to receive money from your parents or relatives. While using the services of banks seems like the logical approach in such scenarios, consider turning to specialist money transfer companies instead. This is because the latter may lead to noticeable savings through better exchanges rates and lower fees. Some of the popular players from this realm include TransferWise, OFX, WorldFirst, XE Trade, and WorldRemit.
Depending on the country you move to, you might be allowed to get a part-time job. In The U.S., international university students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term. They may work full-time during vacations. The same rules apply in Australia as well. In the UK, while university students may work up to 20 hours per week during term, language centre students are allowed to work for a maximum of 10 hours.
Working part-time gives you an easy means to pay for your everyday expenses. In some cases, students manage to save enough money to pay their tuition fees as well. Bear in mind that language might be a barrier in your search for a part-time job. For instance, if you, as an American, plan to study in an Eastern European country, not knowing the local language might work as a deal breaker.
Most countries give students the ability to make use of concessions in various forms. These could be through more affordable transport passes as well as discounts that you may available at shopping centers, events, restaurants, and more. Keep your student ID card with you at all times, because you never know when it might come in handy for a discount.
Other Budgeting Tips
Here are some other budgeting tips that you might find useful.
- Buy second-hand books, furniture, clothes, and electronics.
- Sell belongings you no longer use.
- Look for low-cost health care options on campus.
- Get student medical insurance.
- Look for and compare deals offered by banks when opening an account.
The country you move to might have a bearing on the overall cost of your life as an overseas student. Whether or not you get a part-time job plays an important role, especially if you plan to fund your own way forward. Create a financial roadmap before you decide to take the plunge, and account for some unexpected expenses too.
Did you study abroad? What did you have to learn about finances abroad the hard way?
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Jon works as a researcher with iCompareFX. This online platform lets its users compare the world’s leading international remittance companies across different parameters in a quick and easy manner. Outside or work, Jon enjoys discovering new music across genres.