By Ajay Sharma, President and Founder – Abhinav Immigration Services
Studying abroad at a prestigious university is one of the most common aspirations cherished by students all around the world. Every year, over 8 lakh Indian students travel to foreign nations for higher education, spending approximately $28 billion, almost 1 per cent of the country’s GDP.
While the ambition of studying abroad necessitates some academic preparation, it is also essential to organise the funds ahead of time to avoid last-minute hassles and falling victim to fraud.
Tips To Plan Financing Your Study Abroad Journey
The following are the crucial aspects that you must consider before going abroad:
Analysing Estimated Costs
If you want to study abroad, you must first find out your area of interest and which country can best facilitate it. The next step is to determine the average cost of living in the country.
Since international education is a significant investment in oneself, there are various elements to consider when evaluating the size of this expense. This will be very helpful while budgeting.
Keeping An Eye Out for Admissions Deadlines
Every country has a season for new students. Fall (September), winter (January), and summer are the three major intake seasons. The month of September is the most popular. You must keep an eye out for application deadlines and organise your money adequately based on the university’s intake preference.
Scholarships, University/Private Grants You Apply For
If you apply for scholarships, university grants, and bursaries on time, you may be able to reduce your financial load. These provisions are generally based on necessity or merit. Several academic institutions even give students partial scholarships to help them continue their studies. You might hunt for a suitable scholarship before or while applying to your preferred college and combine it with your education loan.
Organisations such as the Tata Foundation and the Aga Khan Foundation offer grants and zero per cent loan schemes. Furthermore, several governments give scholarships and awards to attract more international students.
Internships and Part-Time Opportunities
Given that practically every country enables overseas students to work part-time, it is always a good idea to think about financial security. You can look for the minimum wage in your city or state and apply for part-time work. Most countries use a 20-hour per week regulation. Universities frequently disseminate information regarding part-time career opportunities.
Choosing the Right Education Loan
With an ever-increasing desire for overseas education, India needs loan providers who are well-versed in the issues confronting students, parents, and academic institutions. Students have been empowered with self-education and self-service capabilities thanks to technology, particularly fintech solutions.
While choosing a loan, one must know the following:
- Types of Loans: Generally, loans can be categorised as secured or unsecured. The latter is available without collateral, while the former is available with collateral. Education loans are available from government financial agencies, private and public banks, non-bank financial companies (NBFCs), and new-age edtech lenders.
- Modes of Repayment: The most typical mode of repayment is regular monthly EMIs after course completion.
- Interest Rate: It is crucial to note that, while loans with variable interest rates may appear less expensive at first, with current rising rates, industry experts believe that loans with fixed interest rates are a far better and more practical option.
The new-age Fintech solutions and integrated platforms provide end-to-end processes digitally, eliminating the need for lengthy physical paperwork. These services not only present students with appropriate financial options but also inform them of their possibilities and aid them during the entire process of studying abroad.