UNESCO, recently stated that the number of international students abroad is increasing by 12% every year. And why not? Studying abroad shapes you into a completely different person, it exposes you to a new culture, new experiences and also makes you more responsible.

However, the major problem that revolves around most students’ minds when it comes to fulfilling this dream, is finances.

Going abroad and settling in a different country exhausts a huge portion of finances that is not affordable for most people.

So, if you are someone who feels every word of the last line, don’t worry. Here is a list of 5 ways you can fulfil your dreams of studying abroad in an effective way.

1. Merit-based scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are offered to students who excel not only in academics but other achievements outside studies such as participating in inter-college (school) competitions, social achievements, hobbies, affiliations with different careers groups, and career aspirations.

These scholarships can be offered by federal and state governments, large corporations, local businesses, professional organizations, or universities.

For universities, there are certain criteria such as the course you are going for (masters or Ph.D.), you have to be under a certain age (35 or under) and you have to show records for academic excellence. This also differs by country.

For example, In Switzerland, you have more scholarships for Phds than masters. While in France, many universities give monthly allowances to scholarship-holders and also pay for their health insurance, travel, and others.

2. Need-based scholarship

Need-based scholarships which are also called grants are given to people who are in need of financial assistance for their study abroad. Other factors such as mental disabilities and the merit of the student are also key factors in determining this grant.

This form of financial support doesn’t need to be paid back and the amount of the allowance varies from 250 euros to 2500 euros.

In Italy for instance, students are now given the assistance of 5200 euros for their studies, allowances, and book materials.

In Germany, different types of merit-based grants are given to students which are decided by the university itself. For example, the University of Hamburg offers a merit grant of 700-1200 euros for 2 semesters (12 months). After the 2 semesters, various internship opportunities open for students via which they can build themselves financially.

3. Sports scholarship

If you have been enthusiastic about sports in your high school and wish to pursue the same in college, then the good news is that there are many colleges and local communities that offer scholarships solely on the basis of sports performance.

Some of them are:

  • Stanford university
  • Yale university
  • Duke university
  • Harvard university

4. SIP

This option is ideal if you have started working and wish to study abroad after a few years for career advancement. Why? By investing in sip/ mutual funds you will be fulfilling two aspects; saving and investing.

Also, know that returns on mutual funds are greater than FDs (4-5% max), so if you are planning to break your investment for only a short period of time, this will be a much more beneficial option.

However, there’s also risk involved, so while you are investing, do market research properly and continue investing weekly, monthly or quarterly.

Over a period of time, this small investment will turn into a sizable amount that will be at your rescue in case you don’t bag the scholarship.

5. Student and personal loan

Student and personal loans are the most sought-after options for students wishing to study abroad. If you consider my advice, give your best shots for scholarships, but also keep applying for a student loan. So, if you don’t bag any scholarship, there would be a safety net to fall back upon.

Student loans are mostly offered by two organizations: private banks and government ones. If you get the option, go for government ones as their interests are usually lower.

6. Government scholarship

You can apply for these scholarships in your home country as well the country you are willing to go to study in. Most times, these scholarships last for three to nine months.

The criteria mostly revolve around good academic qualification and proof of language efficiency (if any), and age limit.

In the UK, the Chevening scholarship is among the most prestigious scholarships offered by the British government. The scholarship holders are given one-year financial assistance for any master’s program.

I hope this post helped you in finding your correct approach to your dream and will be the right step towards it.