There is no dearth of quality educational institutions in India but competition makes securing admission a daunting task. In such a scenario, going abroad to receive higher education makes for a sensible option. Besides, studying abroad also opens up multiple career options for those who want to excel in their specialisation. However, you need to be cautious about the overseas educational institutions you choose as not all are recognized or provide the quality you are looking for. Studying abroad also comes with a high price tag and affording it requires meticulous planning. With a few financial steps in place, you can easily make the transition of moving abroad for higher studies and a successful career.
Take a look at what all aspects you need to keep in mind for studying abroad.
Costs You Need To Factor In
There are a few crucial expenses you should account for while planning your education abroad – tuition fees, accommodation or boarding charges and other living expenses like food, transport, lifestyle etc. While many colleges provide books and other study material, tuition fees will always be the major expense during your course abroad. It will also depend on the country you choose as your study destination. In case you manage to get campus accommodation, boarding and lodging get taken care of. However, if you have no choice but to stay outside the campus, it will be at a cost. Do try to look for shared accommodations to reduce the burden on your pocket. Your lifestyle expense or the money you would need for food and recreation is something people generally don’t account for, but this adds up to become a good recurring amount. You would also need money for your daily commute to college if you haven’t managed to get accommodation on the campus.
How To Fund Your Education Expense Abroad
As soon as you decide to study abroad, your first step should be to start saving big. However, just saving will not be enough to meet the huge costs of a foreign land. So here are few ways to afford your expenses.
You can avail foreign educational loan from banks for an amount up to Rs. 1.5 crore with tenure of up to 15 years for higher studies abroad. The loan is granted based on the course you are undertaking and it covers costs like education fees, library fees, travel cost, books, etc. This being a big-ticket loan, banks usually ask for collateral security before granting educational credit. The repayment process for education loans starts after you have completed six months of your course. The interest levied on education loan ranges between 11-15% and varies from bank to bank. You’ll be well-advised to check multiple options before zeroing in on a particular education loan facility. Do thorough research about each lender you are considering and assess them based on interest rate, loan amount, tenure etc. before making a decision.
Start Saving And Investing
If studying in a foreign locale has always been on your mind, it makes perfect sense to prepare financially since the beginning. If you are a working professional, you should start saving a significant amount of money for this financial goal and park it in an instrument that lets it grow. Having a good sense of the time frame is equally crucial since the financial instrument you park your money in shouldn’t be having long lock-in periods. While fixed deposit, recurring deposits are safer options to save money while keeping them handy, systemic investment plans (SIPs) in mutual funds are some other more aggressive long-term options with market-linked returns. You can invest a fixed amount in goal-appropriate mutual funds at regular intervals convenient for you.
Scholarship And Part-Time Jobs
You can also financially aid your foreign educational expense by aiming and applying for scholarships offered by certain overseas institutes to meritorious students. Many scholarships fully fund your study, including boarding, lodging and tuition fees, some only provide for the tuition fees amount. In case your tuition fee gets taken care of, you can also work part-time in the foreign country to sponsor rest of your expenses as per the working law of that land.
Last but not least, your ideal preparation for foreign studies should begin once you identify the institute and know the process of securing admission there.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com, India’s leading online marketplace for loans and credit cards.