Funding Your Overseas Education – Tips for Expats Who Need Funding for Higher Education Abroad
Higher education can be very expensive for expats as countries have separate fee structures for domestic and international students. There are also countries where there are no fee caps at all. Many expat scholars can find themselves in a fix after graduation as the huge amount of the potential educational debt may look ominous. Thankfully, there are numerous scholarships and educational funding sources to assist expat students in continuing their higher education abroad. Of course, we are not counting the obvious summer jobs and of course the bank of Mom and Dad.
Scholarships and Financial Support for Overseas Students
Through optimum research, you can find funding options that may suit your profile and eligibility. Here are some wonderful scholarships and financial support options that are necessary to make your educational dreams come true:
1. Merit-Based Scholarships (Fellowships)
There are many merit-based scholarships that can let expat scholars pursue top-quality education in elite universities and colleges. If you excel in academics and do equally well in terms of hobbies and various career aspirations, you may be eligible for these scholarships. If you grab one offered by federal and state governments, big corporations, universities, local businesses, and reputed organizations, almost all your worries related to education funding in a foreign land will vanish.
2. Sports Scholarships
You may be able to qualify for a scholarship if you are playing a sport and want to be a part of your college or university team. In some cases, scholarships are offered by the college or university where you are enrolled – especially in the United States. The best part about sports scholarships is you don’t have to be very good at a particular sport to be eligible. If you are looking for sports scholarships from local groups or organizations, you should be able to fulfill criteria like community service.
3. Specific Scholarships
Specific scholarships may be awarded to students who are financially disadvantaged. Others are specific requirements. It makes sense to do as much research as possible as many scholarships are not applied for or receive few applications.
The local governments in countries like Belgium, France, and the United States offer special scholarships to students belonging to certain nations. For instance, African students can get special scholarships in Belgium. Notably, there are many organizations that offer scholarships to those with learning and physical disabilities.
4. Need-Based Scholarships (Grants)
Often referred to as “gift aid,” grants are money-free, which means you don’t have to repay them. Contrary to scholarships that are usually merit-based, grants or bursaries are generally need-based and offered to students based on various factors including disabilities and low personal/family income. Students can avail of this financial support in the range of $500 to 2,000 USD, which they may not have to pay back.
5. Student Loans
Various financial institutions like government and private banks offer student loans, which are like any other loan that has to be paid back. This type of loan can be obtained from a bank in your native country or one where you are settling as an expat. In the case of private student loans, the loan application usually has to be co-signed by parents or the legal tutor as most young students won’t have a credit history to go for a big loan. Ideally, you should go for government student loans as the rates are relatively much lower. Note that some may have restrictions on loans for overseas schools.
Types of Student Loans
Keeping a tab on all the student loans available for expats is not easy. However, having a look at the options given below will give you a fair idea of what you can expect in Europe or the United States when you are looking for a student loan.
If you are planning for a one-year Master’s degree program in Europe, you can apply for Erasmus+ Masters loans scheme, which can help you get loans up to 12,000 EUR. For a two-year program, the loan amount can be up to 18,000 EUR. In the United States, there are loans supported by the federal government. Apart from the flexible repayment options, the interest rates are quite low for such loans.
Student prizes act as partial financial aid to those pursuing higher education. The amount of money you get through these prizes may not be enough to completely support your higher education. They are one-time awards ranging between a few hundred to thousands of Euros.
At present, there are numerous universities, government groups, and charities offering pots of money to deserving candidates planning to pursue education abroad. You may be lucky to get financial support even from expensive private schools if you fulfill the necessary criteria.
One More Thing – Medical Cover for Overseas Education
One final note for future students abroad – it is important that you obtain international health insurance coverage from a reputable global health provider. Your overseas school may offer you some basic coverage, but it probably won’t cover you back in your home country. The last thing you want is to get sick or injured while abroad, but not having adequate coverage can mean your school funds are eaten away by medical claims. A global health plan can remove a lot of the risks involved with studying abroad.