The truth is, not everyone can afford the heavy financial responsibility that is associated with studying abroad. According to NBS, in 2020, 40% or 83 million Nigerians lives in poverty. But a lack of funds should not force you to give up on your study abroad dreams.
So is there a way to study abroad with little or no money? It is possible to study abroad if you’re poor and have little or no money by leveraging scholarship opportunities or grants, acquiring an education loan, or choosing universities in countries that do not have tuition fees.
As already established, studying abroad comes with a huge financial cost some of which cannot be escaped. However, there are smart ways to offset the cost or even attend university abroad at no direct cost to you.
I Want to Study Abroad but I Have No Money: How to go about it
1. Get a Scholarship
This is probably not new news. Getting a scholarship is a good way to study abroad with little or no money. Scholarship opportunities give you the privilege of getting a reduction in your tuition by a sizable percentage or completely free.
This allows you to focus on your studies without any financial pressure.
Scholarship opportunities come in different forms. It could be a fully-funded scholarship with no cost to you or a part-funded scholarship where you have to supplement some of the funds.
Merits of scholarship opportunities
- Scholarship opportunities can drastically reduce your financial burden. Particularly if its a fully funded opportunity.
- With scholarship opportunities, you have the opportunity to study in the best schools without paying the financial cost.
- You can fully focus on your studies and abroad experience without worrying about funds.
- Enhances your CV. There is a prestige attached with obtaining a scholarship that you can leverage. Qualifying for a scholarship boosts your resume, and gives you a 100% chance of getting a high-paying job.
2. Get a Grant
Rather than borrowing money for your tuition fee, grants are much better if you can obtain them.
Grants are financial aids that can be given for various purposes, including education. Therefore, you should apply for grants.
With grants, you will have enough money to fund your tuition, and cover your living expenses. Grant is different from a scholarship.
Grant gives you access to the money. It does not guarantee free or partial tuition, and it can be given by government or charity organizations.
Getting a grant for your schooling eases you of the financial obligation. Furthermore, since it is non-refundable, you don’t have to bother about paying it back.
3. Get an Education Loan
Scholarships and grants are available, but they are very competitive and rarely cover all of your expenses.
An educational loan can cover up to the total cost of attendance, as determined by your school, minus any other aid received.
It can cover costs such as tuition, Room and Board, Books, Travel, Health Insurance, and Living Expenses.
Educations loans are just like any other type of load that comes with interest. They can be given by federal or private institutions.
However, for international students, it is most likely they will be offered by private institutions. This type of loans typically have higher interest rates and some of them may also require a co-signer or guarantor since international students usually don’t have a credit history.
4. Choose a country with an affordable cost of living
You don’t have to break the bank just to take your studies overseas. By setting a clear budget, picking an affordable study abroad program, and opting for a destination with a cheap cost of living, you can make your study abroad dreams a reality!
Get started by exploring some of these popular and affordable study abroad countries, based on average cost of living and tuition.
- Average monthly cost of living (with rent): $550-$750
- Average cost of a semester (without housing) through direct enrollment:$200-$3,000
- Average cost of a semester (with housing) through third-party provider: $14,000-$17,500
If you’re looking for culinary delights, adventure, and art all wrapped in one, Argentina would be a great place to study abroad! There’s so much to do and see, from exploring the vibrant city of Buenos Aires to hiking the stunning Iguazú Falls.
- Average monthly cost of living (with rent): $800-$1700
- Average cost of a semester (without housing) through direct enrollment: $2000-$7000
- Average cost of a semester (with housing) through third-party provider: $7500-$12000
For students looking to immerse themselves in ancient history, art, and wisdom, taking your studies to China can be a great low-cost option, compared to many other popular study abroad destinations.
- Average monthly cost of living (with rent): $550-$850
- Average cost of a semester (without housing) through direct enrollment: $1,000-$5,000
- Average cost of a semester (with housing) through third-party provider: $7,000-$19,000
If you’re looking for to enjoy a country with a buzzing social life Brazil can be a great option for your upcoming study abroad adventure. Not only is Brazil a country with plenty of lively music, delicious food, samba dancing, beaches, and more, but it can also be quite affordable, depending on the program or university. While your tuition costs may seem high, the rent and cost of living will likely be much lower compared to studying abroad in a country like Japan or France.
5. Complete a work-study
Working while studying abroad is often complicated for international students, who don’t have the requisite visa to be employed in a foreign country. But some programs afford the ability to bypass this sticky situation so that you can offset the cost of your study abroad program by earning a paycheck. Consider enrolling in a course to become a teacher of English as a foreign language or choosing a country that allows you to work during your program, such as Australia or New Zealand.
Also bear in mind that many E.U. countries will allow you to work part-time, depending on the length of your stay overseas. In the UK, for example, you can work part-time if you’re staying longer than six months, while in Spain, you can work as long as it’s in a job relevant to your field of study. Our handy guide will help you find out more about labor laws in various study abroad locales.
6. Opt for a cheap study abroad program
If you want to spare yourself the headache of concocting your own study abroad experience, you can always simply opt for a study abroad program on the less expensive side. Here are just a few with a much more reasonable fee:
- Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence, Italy (starts at $5,500)
- FuBIS, Berlin, Germany (starts at $2,000)
- Equine Summer Program, Edinburgh, Scotland (starts at $4,895)
- Hutong School, Various Cities, China (starts at $881)
- John Cabot University Summer Program, Rome, Italy (starts at $2,830)
Prices are also lower overall for short-term and summer study abroad programs so don’t forget to consider those when researching your options.
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