5 Fool Proof Ways to Finance Your Studies Overseas

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Do you have money in savings? Or are you planning to get a job? Can you get a job? How long for? There is nothing more troubling than moving to a new country and finding you have no way of paying for anything. Let our short guide ease any concerns you may have!

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Before moving away from home to study, the foremost question on most students’ lips is “How am I going to afford it?” And if it isn’t, then I don’t know if this article is right for you. In completely unrelated news, readers are free to donate to my personal PayPal account, my deta- Ah, I’m being told that I should leave that part out. Oh well. In any case, we could all do with being a little more careful with our money right?

The difficulty in advising a person on the finances of a trip, particularly one overseas, is how much it depends on their personal circumstances, as well as where they’re travelling to, how long for and so on. So take this advice with a pinch of salt; they’re just friendly suggestions.

Familial Funding

If you are lucky enough to be able to look for monetary support from your family or loved ones you should give them a huge hug and a thank you. You can do it now if you like, I’m happy to wait… Good, okay, now that’s done you should look for some way of paying them back, or supplanting their donation so you’re not quite as reliant on it as you were before.

A loan from a family member is typically the safest and most reliable method of financing your studies, and they are also typically the least demanding for a return. But you should still remain careful. Not meaning to patronise, but it isn’t fair taking money from anyone, without having a plan in place to one day pay it back. Even from your parents. There are quite a few ways of getting the money together, in addition to the obvious job route.

Bursaries and Scholarships

Scholarships, of course, are a way of saving money before you’re asked to spend whereas bursaries are like ‘gifts’ almost, that you don’t necessarily have to pay back and are typically dependent on upbringing, or circumstances or something like that. The danger of these payments is that they often come in one whole bunch, meaning you have to resist splurging, and make sure you don’t lose it all at once. Or even try and make it so that you’ve got quite a bit left by the next time you pay. I’ll admit that takes some doing though.

Other short-term impactful amounts of money come in the form of overdrafts, credit cards and pay day loans. Never get a pay day loan. Ever. Seriously. They’re more trouble than they are worth. Find another way to make it work.

In theory, overdrafts and credit card loans are something you dip in and out of. It’s not something you want to live at the bottom of. Consider that when applying for one, if you need to. Banks are nice when they know you have some money coming in, but they really aren’t if you spend too long at the bottom, owing them everything.

Budgeting

University is a time to be carefree and waste your time and money but be careful!

There’s often a theme of regret bandied around school experience. Perhaps you’ve had a relative tell you they regret this or that about their time at university, or a teacher has mentioned regret as a threat to get you to concentrate in class. They’re not wrong, there will be lots to regret about your experiences, that is just part of life. However, there is a difference between not going for the kiss when you should have and starting an overdraft you aren’t able to repay. Or missing a deadline on that essay and finding you can’t afford dinner for the next month. It is not fun eating rice for several meals in a row. Let me tell you that from personal experience.

If you do get a nice bundle of cash, you will do well to measure yourself. Think first. Do you really need new silk bed sheets? Do you really need an enormous dictionary to look smart, even though you’ve got two laptops and an iPad? In essence, do you really need to spend your money all at once?

Budgeting may be boring and feel like a waste of an afternoon, but future-you will be so grateful that you’re able to afford lunch with your friends while on a nice walk rather than being stuck with a brand new set of knives you’re never going to use. Also, no one else is interested in your knives.

Working

Aah, the sweet, sweet relief of the inevitable. Getting a job is of course the primary money making scheme people have, and generally the most efficient. Unless you want to rob a bank, but that comes with its own risk factor.

Many students travel with the expectation of work, with the intent of relying on it for the course of their studies. I’m not saying this is a terrible idea, but it certainly requires some stricter thought. To put things simply, you should not rely on a source of income that is yet to be confirmed. You need to be first allowed to work and you need to insure yourself for the danger of not being able to find a job.

There are lots to consider when applying for a job, especially in a new and different country. A work visa is of course necessary, unless that country does not require a work visa. Complicated, right? The idea is to research. It doesn’t take too long to search for the rules on overseas work visas and it will save a lot of time and heartache in the future.

There are also general rules on students working abroad such as a limit on the number of hours you can work or times of the year and occasionally requirements such as spoken language. These specifications vary from country to country and are far too numerous to detail here. If you have any specific questions, please ready them for representatives at the fair, or alternatively, answers should be available on the country of your choosing’s government website.

Persistence

As you may have gathered from these ramblings, I’ve had difficulty with money in the past. I’m fine now, don’t worry about it. It’s not uncommon, so I gather. So learn from my mistakes. I really don’t mean to patronise; these are very important lessons to learn. Perhaps the best way to learn them is to make the mistake. But at least take what I have said into consideration if you feel the need to take that path. It’s easier to frame these things with perspective, even if it is someone else’s.

And ask for help if you need it. Money is about persistence and making sure you don’t make too many errors. I guess it’s kind of like a tightrope in that way. Just make sure that if you do fall off, you’ve got something to land on.

If you haven’t yet registered, join us for free at one of our upcoming fairs, details available here.

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