Paying for Study Abroad: 6 Funding Options

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Now that you have decided to study abroad, the exciting part to plan this process comes along! 

All you have to do is ask yourself, what program am I passionate about? Which university suits me? What is my dream destination?

But first, you should be aware of the ways to finance your studies abroad. It can be done in several ways, you’ve just got to know where to look and constantly keep researching!

If money is the only thing holding you back from studying abroad, then this guide is for you. Check out these 6 options!


Did you know that every year, 1.7 million scholarships are granted by colleges and universities to students? Applying for a scholarship requires lots of time and dedication, but it’s worth the effort! 
Usually, you can find scholarships by searching online and browsing through the universities’ official websites.

Here’s how to find scholarships:

  •  A simple Google search might do it… Write the type of scholarship, program, destination and you will find multiple results.
  • Visit trusted websites such as TheStudentAwards and where you create your profile and the site will automatically match you with the scholarships that suit you best!
  • Universities have more than just “Entrance Scholarships”; visit their official websites.
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Awards & Prizes

Prizes to study abroad are one-time awards that can range from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars.

The best place to look for awards is within your program itself. Always make sure to be updated on emails sent from your institution and communicate with the coordinator. 

Also, explore your university’s website for more information.

You can apply for awards for reasons such as:

  • Projects you’ve done over the year of study 
  • High academic achievements
  • Excellent performance in exams
  • Best essay or research paper 
  • Outstanding work submitted for a dissertation or thesis

Employer Assistance

Is your current job stopping you from studying abroad? Well, you’d be surprised to know that your employer might be part of the solution, not the problem! 

Some companies have a budget set aside for the personal and professional development of their employees! So, if you’re thinking about starting a graduate program now, talk to the HR department about sponsoring your education

Even if there isn’t a program like this in your workspace, talk to your boss about this possibility! In return, you can sign a contract showing that you will be working at that company for a certain period.

Student Loans

Student loans are a great and temporary solution to fund your studies.

The loans are designed to help cover your tuition fees for your post-secondary education; it is usually given to students with financial needs. 

Keep in mind that the loan should be repaid within 5-10 years after graduating.
You can get a loan from a government (lower interest rate) or a bank either from your home country or the destination you intend to study in.

Where to find loans:

  • Check with your local banks 
  • Ask the university to guide you
  • Search for private lenders, like MPOWER and Ascent.
  • Visit the government’s website of the destination that you want to study in. For example, you can check FederalStudentAid for more information on student loans in the USA.

Part-time Jobs

You can work WHILE studying abroad in many countries! Before choosing a destination, check the rules related to international student employment to make the right decision. 😉 

Finding part-time jobs abroad will allow you to build your work experience and CV, get more familiar with the culture and language, and, most importantly: generate income to help you finance your studies. 

Even though working part-time won’t fully cover your fees, it will still be useful to your daily costs of living! It is best if you combine it with another type of funding like applying to student awards.

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Some countries where students can work:

  • Canada, Australia, Spain, UK: up to 20 hours/week 
  • US: up to 20 hours/week (on-campus only)
  • Netherlands, Singapore: up to 16 hours/week
  • Germany: up to 120 full days, or 240 half days every year
  • Switzerland: up to 15 hours/week

Always check the government’s websites to get information about the rules!

You can search for part-time jobs on websites like Indeed and Monster.

Part-time Studies

Enrolling in a part-time study abroad will spread out your tuition over a longer period, which allows you to work and save more money. 

But, attention: you just gotta be a bit patient if you choose this option, as it will require you to stay for a longer period at university. 

Make sure that you:

  • Ask your university if this option is available
  • Have a balance between work and studies
  • Connect with the university’s student support team to direct you towards funding opportunities

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