It is a common myth by people that studying abroad is expensive. Yes, it can be very expensive if you do not have a plan. If planned smartly, studying abroad can be very fruitful and definitely worth keeping the options open for. I say so because universities abroad want students who aren’t just academically focused but also are well rounded. By being well rounded, before college and at college, not only are you developing yourself but also making the best use of your time and bagging the best opportunities.
So how do we optimize our budget in the time we are studying abroad? We budget not just our money, but time and efforts also. Why believe me? I saved about $90,000 ~Rs. 67,50,000. Ask me how!
Basic yet very important to understand deeply. We often only look at scholarships provided by the universities, while there are numerous other national scholarships being provided to help make education more affordable. Some are definitely very selective, but when presented appropriately with a strong application, it can definitely be a huge help. There are tons of scholarships possible for merit, sports, community engagement, all-rounder, etc. Besides, there is lots of scope to increase scholarship opportunities after reaching the university with a well-maintained profile.
2. Part-time work opportunities:
From the very first semester, I have worked part-time. I worked all sorts of jobs ranging from making subways, being a Live in Peer Mentor and ultimately an RA. Work where you’d like to. Enjoy being in the gym and working out- look for a job there! Enjoy writing and have a strong grasp in English- find a job that supports it. Whatever you like- there is an opportunity to work there. If not, let’s create it.
3. Finishing college early:
I graduated in 3 years instead of 4 years. Not only did it speak about my abilities and boost my confidence but, it helped me save $45,000 straight- a year’s worth of tuition fees. It requires determination, planning and clarity in mind. This definitely requires a clear plan, good research and activeness from your end- but oh, so worth it! The best part: you get to start your career a year before everyone. In retrospect, instead of staying in student debt for so long, you reduce the debt and start earning money early.
There are two aspects to housing: Firstly, if you are staying off-campus, look for housing close to your campus so that you can save on your travel expenses. Secondly, figure out your housing early. If you are looking for housing starting from August, you should have a lease signed up by December or January at the latest to get the best prices and the best locations.
5. Student Discounts:
Do not be embarrassed to ask for student discounts. There are so many places that will offer you a student discount- all you need to ask is if they have one. In the end, when you add it all back- it turns out to be a good amount of money. Keep your student card handy, thank me later!
6. Book in advance, ALWAYS:
It is a simple logic of Demand and supply- the sooner you book it, the better price you’ll get. I came back to India every vacation even when we just had 20 days. While it turned out to be expensive for most students, I was able to because I booked my tickets in advance for a round trip. Universities abroad have their official calendars set and usually the last working day would be a Friday so go ahead and book that ticket for Saturday. Don’t wait!
7. Research studies– Participating in research studies can help you earn some few extra dollars
Our journey with our students doesn’t just end once they get into their dream university, we help them optimize the opportunities there and help them reach their goals. Want to know about more ways to save money? Join our Budget Program!