Studying abroad has many advantages for the aspiring student. However, the process of preparing to travel abroad for a long term can be a daunting task and getting the funds together can be quite difficult. Thankfully, many universities help reduce the cost by offering scholarships and even offering accommodation and supplies to their international students.
As great as these concessions are, a student must also be ready to face any obstacle they may encounter on the path of preparedness. Here are some of the things you may consider doing.
Start saving early
You may have heard many references to parents keeping a collection called “college funds” for their kids in many movies, songs and books. This is a really great example to the saying “It’s never too early to start saving.” In many cases, the prospect of pursuing higher studies abroad may have occurred to many parents when considering the future of their kids. While it’s never certain to precisely say how much is needed for the funding, especially if the child is still a toddler, it is recommended to at least have a point of reference as to how much you should aim to save and by when the funds should be ready. A study into different countries and their higher education options will give you the tuition and living cost. Using the costs of different countries may let you find an average amount you should save up for and start on that.
Of course, if you don’t have the luxury of time as shown above then you should aim to start saving as soon as you make the decision to travel abroad for your higher studies. Remember, many embassies have a specified amount of time that you have to have kept the funds before applying for the student visa. Therefore, you will have to take into account the time needed to collect the funds and how long they have to be kept in your bank account before you submit your application to the embassy.
Check the living cost of countries
Personally, this would have been no. 1 on this list if it weren’t for the importance of saving as early as possible to avoid any unwanted issues in your application process. It is important to know that countries have their own idea as how much a student would need to spend in order to live there comfortably for the duration of their studies. Thankfully, the embassy of that country would have made it a point to do precise calculations taking into account the cost of rent, meals, transport and other possible costs an international student might have to encounter. Thankfully, these costs are usually the worst-case scenarios taken into account: How much would expensive accommodation cost? What if the student has to eat out for the entire duration of the study period? Uber every day? Just kidding on the last one but that’s essentially what would be taken into account when calculating the living cost.
So if the price of the living cost seems too expensive, remember that you would most likely end up spending way less than that in reality. It’s still compulsory to meet the stated living cost requirement when showing the funds for your visa but that’ll only ensure that you’ll have extra cash to spend. If you are in a position where you cannot afford to spend all that you’ve saved, it is always worth calling up that one relative in the country that would let you live rent-free and maybe let you score a free meal or two.
Make your budget
As if doing your research on how much the embassy wants you to show and actually saving up to meet the required amount wasn’t enough. What would your response be to my statement of: “The actual money spent depends not on the amount on paper but on your personality.”? As cliché and tired as this may sound, this is an actual factor that many students do NOT take into account when making their budget for their studies.
Sure, the calculated amount may take extreme situations into account but how much do you REALLY need to take with you? To answer this, you will have to take a good look at your current lifestyle and spending habits so that you would not find yourself lacking. If you are a heavy spender that is on budget, you may have to resort to looking for the cheapest accommodation and be prepared to leave behind certain comforts that you are used to.
Stick to your budget
A continuation of the above point and a very obvious point at that. It is imperative to know yourself to the point that you have the necessary funds to take care of yourself in such a way that you can live comfortably and focus on your studies without being burdened by the cost of things around you.
Therefore, if you are planning to travel abroad to study, this list may serve as a guide on what you may need to know when saving up.