A view of a canal in Amsterdam

Last night you dreamt of finally going abroad to study at that university that you’ve always wanted. Don’t let your dreams be just dreams, wake up! There are many viable options for you to fund your studies abroad, you just have to pick the right one for you. Here’s a list of seven ways you can finance yourself in a foreign country.

Applying for a scholarship

Scholarships are of course the most obvious choice, and based on your specific case, there are different types of scholarships that you can apply for. In some European countries (Sweden, Switzerland) university scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, provide insurance and so on, all depending on the type of degree (bachelor, master, and PhD) you are applying for. Usually, there is an age limit that needs to be met in order to acquire them, as well as an excellent academic record with extracurricular activities always being appreciated as a hefty bonus. Next, sports scholarships are extremely popular in the US, provided that one can actually get on a university sports team, they’re an easy way of getting your education funded abroad. Applying for a government scholarship is yet another way with thousands of such scholarships are being awarded annually in the UK, the EU, and the USA. Therefore, careful research and planning is needed to determine which scholarships you are eligible for, and which scholarships suit your needs the most.

Going on an internship

Going abroad on an internship is also a smart way of both financing your studies and gaining valuable work experience. Some career paths simply demand an internship in order to get fully employed, so if you fall into this category then this combo will definitely be useful to you. However, although internships can somewhat lower the cost of studying abroad, it does not have the means of fully sustaining you. Combining internship with something else is probably the best way of utilising this method.

Apply for assistantship

Similarly to internships, if you already have a bachelor or a master’s degree, you can apply for an assistantship at a university. This entails working for a university as a teacher while you, for example, work on your PhD thesis, which again could be a career step in itself. Often, assistantships cover tuition fees, living expenses and provide some form of accommodation for students. Consequently, they are not easy to come by, as only a handful of students manage to actually qualify for one.

Getting a student loan

On the one hand, if none of the above are viable options for you, then you might opt for a different approach. Namely, in the form of student loans. These loans offer students to pay back the credit they acquired for their study fees once they’ve finished university and started working. The big downside is that the debt involved can go on for decades, which makes it difficult for young people to earn anything for themselves for a long period of time. This is why, most people look at this system as a form of ‘enslavement’ because students go on to repay their student loan debts for the remainder of their adult lives.

Getting a private loan

On the other hand, there are other types of loans in addition to student loans. For example, there are a lot of low-interest personal loans out there which won’t see you going too over budget. This is the biggest advantage of private as they offer much lower interest rates than major banks as well as shorter terms so you don’t end up getting entangled into repaying the debt for years to come. In addition, this also makes it somewhat cheaper than the student loan as this way you’ll lose far less money in the long run.

Working part-time

If neither of these options is viable for your, then perhaps you should consider working part-time to finance your studies abroad. This requires a lot of discipline and commitment but has worked out for many foreign students in the past. Studying in the mornings and evenings and working during the day is not easy though, but it is genuinely doable. Moreover, there is also the possibility of mixing this option with something else, if you simply want to gain some additional funds while you are studying abroad.

Feeding your piggy bank

Finally, planning ahead and saving money even before going to university is a smart choice for any foreign student, no matter the method you picked above. Truth be told, you probably won’t be able to save enough money for tuition fees and living expenses with just this method but you will surely make your life abroad a lot easier. Simply invest in a piggy bank, if you have to, and feed it some money every chance you get and watch it grow.

All in all, there are many viable ways for you to study abroad, it just takes some time and effort the find the right one. Get your thinking caps on and good luck in your search.