5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Studying Abroad

5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad does not have to be expensive. There is a wealth of information available online, on the intended school campus, and from friends and other students who have recently returned from studying abroad. Carry out your personal research before deciding not to go because of the cost.

Most people assume that studying abroad is prohibitively expensive and dismiss the possibility before even researching the programs available at various schools in various locations and the associated costs. This is unfortunate because studying abroad in certain countries can be quite affordable and well worth the investment. In fact, some countries, such as Germany, provide tuition-free education.

The bottom line is that the cost of studying abroad varies greatly depending on the program’s type and location, the length of stay, and whether the program is administered by a university or an outside organization.

Many colleges and universities are committed to maintaining cost parity in order to encourage more students to study abroad. In other words, tuition and board should be the same for international and native students during a semester. Others provide vouchers that can be used to offset the costs of airfare, meals, and in-country travel, which can vary greatly depending on the destination country.

Some study abroad programs, particularly those in middle-income countries, can actually be less expensive than tuition and fees in more developed countries for the same amount of time. You may be able to find scholarships and financial aid to cover a significant portion of the upfront cost with a little research.

Apply for Study Abroad Scholarships

Most colleges and universities have a simple framework for applying for study abroad scholarships that outlines the potential amounts available, the application process and deadlines, and any restrictions that may exist. Scholarships for study abroad are typically available, as are scholarships for diversity, first generation (if you are the first in your family to attend college), and financially needy students. Students must apply for scholarships, some of which are highly competitive. Make sure to look beyond the scholarships offered by your preferred university. Some of the scholarship categories you can look into are as follows:

  • • Merit-based, student-specific, destination-specific, program-specific, and subject-specific study abroad scholarships at colleges.
  • • Scholarships and fellowships funded by the United States government, such as the Benjamin A. Gilman Fellowship, numerous Fulbright awards, the Critical Language Scholarship, and the Boren Awards.
  • Private organizations, such as AIFS Foundation and Rotary Foundation.
  • Foreign governments or organization, such as German Academic Exchange Service, Korean Government Scholarship and the Chinese Government Scholarship programme.

Pursue Destinations off the Beaten Track

The best way to estimate the cost of living in your temporary home abroad is to compare the costs of living in the countries you’re considering, keeping in mind that individual cities or regions can be higher or lower than the national average.

Exchange rates and cost of living statistics for your host country, including those for food, housing, and local transportation, should be available from study abroad program advisers. Individuals who have recently studied abroad in the same location or program should be a good source of practical, on-the-ground information.

Certain places, such as Spain, England, and Italy, will always be more expensive than others, such as Ecuador, Peru, or Senegal. It all boils down to the host country’s overall standard of living, particularly as reflected in the post-secondary education system and the overall cost of basic commodities and services.

Opt for a Short Course

A short course is something that you can study for a few hours, a few weeks, or a year or more. Short courses are becoming increasingly popular as student demand for them increases. Many universities have encouraged students to go on short trips abroad, supplemented by on-campus coursework before and after their trip.

Because these programs involve only a short period of time abroad, they are typically much less expensive. Many of these short courses, however, do not have the same number of scholarships available.

Look for Ways to Save Money

Housing and food are two of the most expensive items. Participating in a homestay is the cheapest option because it includes meals and laundry and provides the best immersion. Homestay is a popular form of hospitality and lodging in which visitors sleep at the home of a local of the city they are visiting. Farm stays are a type of homestay in which the visitor spends the night on a working farm.

You can also save money by preparing your own meals and eating at local restaurants, if possible. You should also manage your money wisely, which is an important lesson to learn as a student and one that you can apply throughout your life.

Work or Intern Abroad

Internships abroad are becoming more popular in international education. Many colleges and universities around the world frequently reach out to their alumni in order to create internship opportunities for their students. A paid internship could provide you with both financial assistance and valuable experience. You may also be able to find work once you arrive in your intended country, but make sure you research and adhere to local labor laws.

Finally, talking to other students who have gone before (preferably several) can help you figure out how much things really cost and how much they spent above and beyond the “posted price of the study abroad program. First-hand knowledge from such students is usually the best source of information, particularly when it comes to expenses and living costs.

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