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Anxiety piles up when one thinks about funds and an idea of an altogether unfamiliar place and its people.

At the back of everyone’s mind is a dream to pursue higher studies abroad. Some can accomplish it, some can’t. While the dream has endless education prospects to offer, anxiety is an added, uninvited and certain factor that tags along. Having planned everything in place, especially funds, one can make sure to have a stress-free and trouble-free study process abroad.

As put together nicely by J.K. Rowling, the much-loved author, “The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.”

Why give up when we can plan out a process for our dreams. 

Funds, more funds, and some more funds

Financial burden and affordability, let’s be straightforward, are the major hindrances in studying abroad. In a nutshell, higher studies abroad are expensive. Financial stress is a discouragement for so many brilliantly capable applicants. As much as it is a stressful factor, it is also dicey in the context of securing a job after the program ends. Such thoughts dissuade many from applying overseas.

But thankfully, there are options and ways. Options for choosing a country, type and duration of course, and ways to fund your education:

  1. Studentships and Grants: These are funds granted to a student based on merit, involvement in sports and quizzes, etc. The best part about such funding is that they come with a no-reimbursement botheration.
  2. Student loans: The credit and/or loan process has been modified to cater for needs in a much easier and stress-free way, but one must go through the tiniest details before applying for any loan, to avoid missing any downsides of hidden charges.
  3. Residencies and Internships: Many master programs permit undergraduates to apply for and join paid residencies or internships. These may not cover the entire course fees but is still a good amount to cover for miscellaneous expenditures abroad. The best part about this medium is, a good performance might get noticed and may be offered a permanent job position.
  4. Freelance or Part-time jobs: If not placements on the campus, there are freelance and part-time jobs off-campus that require a few hours per week and the amount earned can be an aid in the living expenditure abroad.

Other pointers to keep in mind when it comes to proper utilization of resources:

  • If you can’t manage the funds for a degree program, consider the option of a summer program that is equally cost-effective and an unmissable experience.
  • Having an idea of how much it costs to study abroad can further help you to manage your assets. On average, a semester abroad costs around USD18,000 excluding travel and living costs.

The research one must do

While studying abroad requires you to step out of your comfort zone, it is also beneficial for a comfortable future. But before you leave your hometown for a country of your choice, you need to prepare and plan for:

  • Be aware of the laws and legal system
  • Read about culture and weather conditions
  • Study the travel warnings and advice of the state
  • Make and carry extra duplicate copies of credentials and travel documentation
  • Keep a copy of all the documentation safe at your home

Get a lot organized and disciplined

The whole process has to be on both a timeline and deadline and nothing can or should be left for the eleventh hour. Here’s a list of things that you should follow to avoid inviting troubles at the end minute:

  1. Before you plan your trip, inquire about the place, weather, pickup, stay, expenditures, etc from professors, counsellors, and both former and ex-students, who studied either in the same campus or the same state.
  2. Define a balance between your study process and the time to explore the place well in advance. The chances of being overwhelmed and leaning towards one of them are more once you land in that country.
  3. Keep budget goals as it is apparent to get fascinated in a foreign land
  4. Saving money will eventually become your saviour. And this has to be an everyday routine process, save on transport, get a part-time job, do not order meals, etc.

The application processes

  • Since the international programs work chiefly in English, there is a standardized test that one should appear in and get good scores. Many of you must be familiar with TOEFL and IELTS. There are other steps in an application process, and a list would come in handy:
  • Language test required by the college/university
  • SOP (Statement of Purpose) to give universities a judgment about your temperament and personality, helping them understand your weaknesses and strengths.
  • Professor recommendations and references
  • Be prepared for an interview as well. Be prepared to answer the most cliché question, why do you want to study abroad? The trick here is, your answer shouldn’t be cliché.

Key Takeaways

Studying abroad, while life-altering, can be a baffling procedure too, and thus, requires in-depth research so that one is well-informed about both the journey (the program they apply to) and the destination (the job they might be offered).

Also published on Medium.

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