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Studying Abroad: How to Pay for Your Education?

Annually, all social networks are full of posts of those happy people who managed to win their right to get a higher education abroad. If you also think about such a future, you should ask yourself where to find enough money to pay for the studies. We are here to tell you about the methods of paying for the desired education.

Happy Student

Make Calculations

First of all, decide on the main things: what kind of program you are interested in (summer school, bachelor’s or Master’s degree), in which country, in what university and on what specialty. When you have all the answers, start counting your future expenses.

Cost of the Education

In different countries, the average cost of your education may significantly vary. For example, for an annual program in the US, you will pay from $4000 to $45000, and in Europe – from 200 euros to 25000 euros (data was taken from a Dutch university).

The Documents

Moreover, you should also count how much all legal procedures are going to cost and think about which of them you actually need. This stage includes considering the expenses for translation, notarization, official recognition of the education in your country by the relevant institution abroad and other important actions.

Your Medical Insurance

In all foreign universities, an insurance policy will be required, so it is worth finding out how much you need to spend on it every month.


The choice between living in a hostel and renting an apartment or a room really matters. If you choose to rent a room, you will most likely have to pay all your utility bills as well. For instance, in the United States, monthly housing costs range from $300 to $600, and in Europe – from 100 euros or more.


Despite the fact that these are individual expenses for everyone, it will be cheaper to buy food and cook independently. In most European countries, 150-200 euros a month will be enough, but in some expensive countries, like Denmark, you may need more.


If your apartment is far from the university and you have to travel daily in both directions, it will be more profitable to purchase a travel ticket. By the way, take into account the distance to your university as a criterion for choosing a residence.

The Educational Materials

Despite the fact that there will be a library at your disposal, some books will have to be bought, just like a bunch of everything else: notebooks, books, pens, markers. Office supplies can be bought before the departure, but you will have to spend from 100 to 1000 dollars a year on the manuals. It is a very expensive aspect, and yet, it is absolutely necessary to have all literature you are going to need.

Pocket Money

This is the minimum amount of money that is spent on various small things per day: a quick snack, buying coffee on the campus, and so on. In addition to that, this reserve can be used for some unforeseen expenses.

Your Own Savings

An option with an independent accumulation of the needed amount of money is not suitable for everyone, but depending on the chosen country, you can still try it out. Your trump card will be the gap year, during which you may not worry about the classes and the examination session, take a break from studying, and also find a job so that you can save money that you will be able to spend on the education.

If you like this idea, consider studying in some countries where the higher education is free. For example, in public universities in Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Greece, France and some other countries, there are no education fees for those who speak the state language at a sufficient level – from B2 level and above.

What is more, it is not necessary to collect money for the entire duration of the studying: you may simply collect the amount of money that will be enough to confirm the availability of sufficient funds for your visa or university. For instance, to get a student visa in the Czech Republic, you need to confirm your financial solvency for one semester, equal to 3000 euros.

Smashing a Piggy Bank

Work While Studying

Consequently, the semester has begun, and you have six months when you can calmly adapt to the new environment without worrying about the money. Later, you will be able to find a part-time job that will not interrupt your studies. However, keep in mind that each country has its own characteristics.

As such, students in the United States have the right to work up to 20 hours a week, but there are no such legislative restrictions in the EU countries. According to the opinion of the universities concerning the work of all students, not everyone will be happy with it. For example, some top British universities (Cambridge, Oxford) are absolutely against the work of their students during the period of their studies.

What are the work options for the students abroad? There is an ocean of them. The service sector – bars, restaurants and other establishments – will be a win-win option. This will allow you to combine work with studying, to have a fixed salary and tips and to pump language skills. In addition to that, you can consider childcare, tutoring, and if you do not like everything above, you can even make a blog on YouTube and monetize it through advertising.

The Scholarship

This option is suitable for those who have high academic and social achievements, leadership qualities or even a combination of these characteristics depending on the requirements of the scholarship. First and foremost, be sure to look for the scholarship offers on the site of the chosen university. Also, pay attention to the international and national funds or government programs (for instance, German DAAD). There, you will be able to fill in an application form that usually requires a resume, a motivation essay and a letter of recommendation. All scholarships differ in their criteria.

The Target Audience

There are scholarships that are given for high academic performance at the university, others – for public activities and participation in the volunteer initiatives, and sometimes – for participation in programs related to a particular industry (like a scholarship for attending a summer law school).

The Duration

There are short-term (for participants of summer schools, forums, conferences, study trips, etc.) and long-term ones, intended for full bachelor, Masters or postgraduate studies. Also, there are programs of the average duration from one month to a whole year – mainly semester programs of student exchange.

The Language Level

You are more likely to find a scholarship to an English-language program, but if you choose to study in Europe or at an institution in some eastern country, knowing the state language will be a huge plus.

The Amount of Financing

Some scholarships cover both education and living, others cover only studying or a half of its cost. If a certain scholarship does not cover your expenses completely, perhaps it makes sense to look for a few others.

Bank Loan

The Financial Aid

The main difference of this financing choice is that it is received not on a competitive basis, but in a specific case. For instance, it may be given when it is impossible to pay for the education because of the low family income. If there are many people who need such sort of financing, then there can also be a competition among them. This assistance can be provided by the patrons, foundations and, above all, universities themselves.

For this type of financing, you will have to collect all documents that confirm the relevant provision (for example, a certificate of the family’s income). It will hardly cover the full cost of your training, but it can be approximately reduced by 30-50% (for instance, in the US). In European countries, the conditions are very different. Here are just some of the examples:

  • All funds for the social scholarships are allocated by the political funds, but these payments depend on the specific level of the family income. The higher level is, the lower scholarship will be.
  • The social scholarship is calculated on the basis of the total annual income of the parents which they declared in the tax service. Such payments cover only 10 months of the year and range from 175 to 500 euros.
  • There is no free education here, but the low-income students can pay less. However, the minimum fee for a year in a university, regardless of the financial situation, is from 1000 euros.
  • Monetary payments are received here regardless of the academic performance and material support. However, the student will need to return two-thirds of the amount of the money monthly (which is about 1000 euros) after graduating from the university.

The Research Grant

It is an ideal way to pay for the education for those who have a clear idea of a research project. To receive a grant, you need to provide a detailed description, describe the value, the financial plan and all deadlines, and then go through the competition. If everything works out well, you will be given some money to implement the project, and in parallel with that, you will be able to get paid for studying at the university where you will implement this plan. Grants can be initiated by the state and private foundations, corporations and even individuals.

The Student Loans

To get a student loan in a bank, you need to have a good credit history. In some countries, you can be provided with the payments even at the age of 18, but it is required to have a guarantor or to take obligations to work in the country for 3 years (this time is enough to pay back the borrowed amount of money). There is no common system here, so here are some of the examples of the most popular countries for learning:

The United States

Americans have various options for the credit assistance, but foreigners can only choose a Private International Student Loan. It can be taken after all the basic procedures – enrolling in an institution of a higher education, visa processing and insurance. The loan varies from the university and specialty, so it can be up to 6-14%. More information on the terms of loans in the United States can be found on the portals of the International Student Loan, International Student and Citizens Bank.


All student loans are regulated by the Federal Act on Assistance in Education, the average interest is 4%, and only half of the amount will be returned.

The United Kingdom

Here, the loan is a popular way to pay for the studies, and therefore there is a fairly convenient system: you can start returning it only when your income starts to exceed 21,000 pounds per year. The average rate is 10% per annum according to The Co-operative Bank.


In this country, there is a profitable feature for all students: if you get high scores for your exams, you can convert them into money and pay the tuition fee, for your textbooks or even a travel card in the local transport department. However, you will not be able to pay for the first semester of studies this way.


Here, all education is free, but you can take a loan to pay for an apartment. The rate is at an average of 1%, and the amount of money goes up to 1000 euros per month. By the way, you can return the loan over the span of 25 years.

Study Abroad


Education is a full-fledged project which is worth investments. Maybe you know the story of a homeless person from the United States who managed to raise $184,000 for a college education. Therefore, the idea to raise funds for education is quite real for anyone. There are many online platforms where you can share your story and get help from some strangers. You may not only tell your story, but also present some project to prove that you need the education to improve this project and make this world better. As you know, not only strangers can send you a few dollars, but there are also a lot of companies and patrons who search for talented people on the crowdfunding platforms. There are several of them:

  • This is the first, most powerful and completely English-speaking crowdfunding platform. The ideas in various creative and technical categories find the financial support here.
  • Like the previous platform, this is one of the first crowdfunding websites. Among the available languages are English, French, German and Spanish. Moreover, the feature of the platform is that the donated funds are immediately transferred to the authors of the ideas.
  • The French portal can be read in English, Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan. In this case, the ideas that the users submitted should be realized in France, so it is suitable for raising funds only for the French education.
  • It is a Swedish resource which is available in English. What is interesting is that the project on the portal can attract not only private investments and donations, but also the help of the Swedish state budget.
  • The Spanish platform which is available in nine languages, including English. The collection of funds can be divided into two stages: to launch the project and for its successful functioning. Therefore, you can collect money to pay both for training and for renting a living space.
  • This is an Italian site for the social projects in the country. There is an opportunity not only to raise funds, but also to conduct an entire advertising campaign for the collection of petitions, the order of television broadcasts for the transmission of appeals and interviews. Therefore, if you live in Italy and need help, pay attention to this resource.
  • It is a Swiss portal available in German, French, Italian, and English. It is suitable for 29 creative directions of ideas. Therefore, the project of your higher education will find some support.

Summing up all the information above, there are a few options to find money in order to study abroad. There are a lot of opportunities to find a suitable way to pay for your education or even to find a studying program that will not require any money. Basically, it is easy to go to study abroad – you just need enough strength, searching skills and perfect grades if you want your education to be cheaper.

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