Studying abroad can be an enriching experience that expands your worldview, builds invaluable skills, and enhances your education and career prospects. However, the substantial costs involved often deter prospective students lacking the financial means from embarking on this rewarding journey.
Fortunately, with some strategic planning, resourcefulness, and commitment, international study need not be out of reach even if you have limited funds. This guide covers actionable tips to make affordable study abroad possible.
I Want to Study Abroad But I Have No Money
A Step-By-Step Guide on I Want to Study Abroad But I Have No Money
1. Decide Where You Want to Go
The first step is researching destinations and programs that align with your academic and career goals while also fitting your budget. Factoring costs of living and education into your location decision-making is key:
2. Consider countries with lower costs of living and tuition fees.
Some budget-friendly places to study abroad include Germany, Norway, Finland, Argentina, Peru, and many Asian and Eastern European countries.
3. Research scholarship and location-specific financial aid opportunities.
Many countries offer international student grants and subsidized tuition models. Thoroughly explore funding options for your target locations.
4. Look into direct enrollment over structured programs.
Direct enrollment into an overseas university tends to cost much less than attending study abroad programs.
Making country and city selections based in part on affordability criteria maximizes your chances of studying abroad economically.
5. Reduce Your Expenses
Cutting current costs substantially while saving aggressively is key to funding study abroad dreams. Consider these money-saving strategies:
6. Downsize housing
Move to a cheaper apartment or take in roommates to slash housing expenditures. Rent is often the biggest monthly cost, so minimizing it releases the most funds.
7. Reduce entertainment and discretionary purchases
Cut down on eating out, shopping, travel, and hobbies temporarily to allocate higher portions of your income to study abroad savings.
8. Take a semester off to work full-time
Earning money from a dedicated semester or summer spent working one or more jobs can give the savings for studying abroad a huge boost.
9. Revisit monthly subscriptions
Audit streaming services, gym memberships, and other monthly charges to see what can be paused, canceled, or downgraded to free up cash.
10. Increase remote work options
Explore ways to work remotely abroad while studying to offset costs. Teaching English online and freelance services can fund daily costs.
Committing to an extremely frugal lifestyle is challenging but worthwhile if it enables you to afford to study overseas. The key is cutting non-essential costs wherever possible while increasing earnings.
11. Apply for Scholarships and grants
Securing scholarship and grant funding both large and small can significantly offset study abroad costs. Be aggressive and thorough in applying to all possible funding opportunities through these steps:
12. Check university funding for international students
Many colleges provide study abroad grants or travel stipends ranging from $500 – $3,000+ reserved specifically for enrolled students.
13. Research external scholarships
Private companies, non-profits, travel organizations, language programs, and more offer smaller specialized scholarships to support study abroad financially.
14. Maximize eligibility for federal & government grants
Submit a FAFSA to access Federal Pell Grants, Gilman Scholarships, and other assistance awarded by the government.
15. Look for local community, church, and company scholarships
Smaller regional and local scholarships help pad costs too; the key is applying broadly.
16. Start early and reapply annually
Scholarship applications take significant time so start 1-2 years before planned study abroad if possible. Reapply each year.
Casting a wide net by submitting many scholarship applications makes reducing self-funded study abroad costs more feasible. Securing even smaller awards can together close the gap significantly.
17. Crowdfund Your Tuition
Raising money from family, friends, and broader community networks through crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for students to fund big goals like studying abroad. Platforms like GoFundMe make the process simple through these steps:
18. Tell a compelling story
Craft a campaign page clearly conveying your background, goals, expected costs, and vision for how study abroad will impact your education and future.
19. Set an achievable funding target
Research typical crowdfunding results to set a reasonable dollar target for raising in segments if needed. Transparency builds donor trust.
20. Offer perks
Offer small thank-you perks at contribution levels like social media shout-outs, postcards from your study destination, and small care packages with local items.
21. Promote across all networks
Market the campaign page proactively through all social channels and direct outreach to tap extended contacts. Follow up persistently.
22. Show gratitude and steward donors
Thank all contributors prominently on your page and in personal messages. Provide campaign updates and photos from abroad to show donors the impact.
Though crowdfunding results require substantial effort, full campaigns can raise over $10,000 through networked outreach, persistence, and communication.
23. Enroll in an Affordable University Abroad
Attending university directly in another country can hugely reduce study abroad costs compared to joining a designated study abroad program. Some options include:
24. Research tuition-free universities
Some countries like Germany, Norway, and France offer free or extremely low-cost bachelor’s and master’s degrees, even for international students.
25. Compare public university fees abroad
Public universities in countries like Mexico, Greece, Spain, and the Czech Republic charge low annual tuition often under $5,000 USD.
26. Ask about institutional aid for international students
Many universities offer grants, discounts, and stipends reserved for non-EU international students and exchanges.
27. Factor in lower living costs
Accommodation and general costs of living tend to be lower in many countries outside the US, offsetting lower tuition rates.
28. Enroll directly as a local student
By researching application processes and managing documentation/visa logistics independently, you save substantially over facilitator programs.
Checking out public university options or those offering free or reduced global student tuition can make earning an accredited overseas degree far more affordable.
29. Use Financial Aid for Overseas Programs
Existing financial aid including government grants, university funds, and private loans can potentially be applied to study abroad in most cases through:
30. Leveraging Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants can directly go towards study abroad including travel and living costs depending on program eligibility.
31. Applying institutional aid abroad
Colleges allow the use of institutional grants, academic scholarships, and needs-based aid for approved study abroad slots including exchanges.
32. Seeking study loans
Private lenders offer student loans specific to study abroad costs in qualifying programs, often at favorable student loan rates.
33. Researching provider discounts
More universities offer lower-cost direct exchange options than third-party programs. Maximizing aid requires choosing an approved provider.
34. Saving work-study allocations
Some work-study wages can fund study plus global internships; clarify rules with your work-study coordinator.
Existing financial aid is underutilized for overseas studies, but coordinating with your colleges and maximizing options can make aid apply. This saves hugely on self-funded costs.