Thinking of studying abroad? Where will you get the money? Here’s how you can do it

You have graduated and now want to study abroad to gain access to quality education and global skills. International exposure can also help you find better job opportunities by giving you a head start in the career market. However, when it comes to higher education, the biggest challenge is funding the course given the escalating cost of education not only in India but across the globe. For example: A top university in the UK currently costs you around Rs 50,000,000 for a year, while an average university would cost you around Rs 15-24,000,000 per year. Additionally, studying abroad involves the element of exchange rates (forex) as a depreciating rupee may require students to shell out more money to complete their MBA. Besides fluctuations in exchange rates, it can also take some time to orient themselves on the value of their money in the destination country, as exchange rates can complicate international money transfers. For example, a single £50 note is almost equivalent to 4,400 rupees today.

With so many complexities involved, it is very important that your finances are properly planned so that you do not miss the chance of getting a quality higher education at a coveted institute. To help guide you through the maze, here are some of the options offered by Ankit Mehra, CEO and co-founder of GyanDhan to fund your education abroad:

Scholarships: Scholarships are the easiest way to finance your studies, reducing the financial burden on the student. With no obligation to return the money, the scholarships cover a range of expenses that make pursuing a course affordable for students from different sections of society. Indian and international universities offer different types of scholarships: need-based, merit-based, and achievement-based scholarships in extracurricular activities.

Loan bursaries: Some organizations offer loan scholarships in which the scholarship amount is provided as a loan that the student must repay. The interest rate is the lowest compared to student loans. However, the loan scholarship amount is not expensive and offers limited financial support.

Loans for studies: Student loans cover the full cost of education in most cases. Lenders, such as public banks, private banks, non-bank financial companies (NBFCs), and international lenders, offer various loan products for education abroad. The loan amount may vary depending on the institute and the collateral pledged by the borrower. Apart from the lenders mentioned above, a few foreign universities, like Harvard University, also offer student loans to their incoming students if they are unable to meet the cost of their studies.

Personal fund: Students are generally discouraged from using their parents’ personal funds, provident funds, or retirement funds. These funds can be put to better use if invested in higher yielding schemes. However, students often rely on their personal funds to finance part of their education costs in order to reduce their dependence on student loans.

Summer internships: Full-time students barely have time to opt for part-time jobs on and off campus. However, depending on the skills and the target company, students can earn a lot during their summer and winter internships. Supplementary income helps cover some degree costs.

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