Financial planning tips for students to make studying abroad a positive experience!

Money Matters

Studying abroad is unarguably the best experience for students to experience different cultures, living standards and even a chance to wet their feet to new costs. With dreams of reaching the next level, today anyone with necessary financial support and acumen can gain this opportunity to pursue their higher studies from a university of their choice!

Here’s a small list of things that can aid or alter the overall experiences for students specifically from a finance perspective when they pursue their studies abroad:

1. Earn while you learn:

Most universities allow students to enrol for part-time or limited hours of work as long as the students are able to meet minimum criteria for attendance and studies. The number of hours allowed for students varies from country to country and even universities. For instance: While Singapore allows only about 16hours of work per week for enrolled students, Japan allows up to 28 hours of work for students. Earning while learning thus not only reduces students’ reliance on someone else for covering their living expenses but can also allow them to gain the necessary experience required by many employers.

2. Know your main sources of income and more importantly spends:

Country Living Expenses (per month) differ from country to country and even locations. While the US and UK are traditionally considered to be the most expensive countries to study abroad, choosing universities based in smaller metros or non-metros may sometimes prove to be more cost efficient than say, Canada or even Australia. The average cost of living in the US could be about $1250/month for major cities, excluding tuition or course fees so this should take care of living expenses including boarding, travel, groceries, clothing, study course materials and even entertainment. One great way to account for unplanned expenses is to speak to alumni or recently graduated student from the same university or even from the same country as this will help you understand how certain changes in lifestyle, the standard of living may affect finances.

Here are a few handy stats for some of the most preferred destinations by international students:

3. Be smart about your source of funds and connect with experts beforehand:

It is a good idea to conduct basic research on the website of the university that you plan on enrolling as they should be able to offer the approximate amount of charges and various expenses for the particular course. You can also call up their teams or designated counsellor as well as finance option provider to understand all the financial requirements that you should keep in mind. For instance, you may be eligible for certain scholarships or zero interest funding for certain courses provided you meet certain requirements! Scholarships or even financial assistance providers might be willing to sponsor requirement for funds for course material and visa.

4. Buy adequate insurance:

If you get injured or unwell during your stay abroad, you might need a return transport or have to rely on medical institutions which can be quite expensive. Depending on the country you choose to complete your higher education, the rules for insurance can differ widely. For instance, most European students are assured about insurance even if they are studying in a different country in the European Union itself. That said, all countries usually ask that students buy requisite insurance for health, medical, travel and sometimes even for their courseware.

5. Don’t forget to budget for the future:

Course prices may sometimes be increased by the university or local governments. Consider that you may need to spend – for discretionary costs like buying a car for transportation or a new laptop. Moreover, don’t forget to also account for the change in exchange rate fluctuations! It is always a good idea to ensure that you secure adequate funding for one full semester of the course to prevent nasty surprises later by being mindful of all the expenses beforehand. Remember, with proper planning and time as well as financial management, making your study abroad experience a life-enriching one, is completely possible!

Last modified: December 2, 2019

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