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9 Ways to Pay for Study Abroad: It’s Better Than Any Textbook!

how to pay for study abroad

There’s no doubt that studying for an exam at a corner cafe in Italy is better than your coffee shop at home. Yet, study abroad programs come with a price tag.

How will you be able to swing the cost of international studies on top of your college tuition?

With some careful planning and sacrifice, your study abroad dreams are closer to reality than you might think. Saving up to head overseas will open a new door to your education and life experience.

To learn how to pay for study abroad, let’s look at 9 ways you can make it happen.

1. Plan Early

As soon as you know you want to study abroad is the time you need to start planning. Of course the sooner you start the better, but even last-minute savings can help out.

Trim the fat from your budget. For example, cancel unneeded subscriptions, don’t impulse buy, and eat at home more often. Then channel any extra funds you have, like tax refunds, towards a savings plan.

Plus, if you start the application process early it gives you more time to sort through the costs. You’ll have a better pick of housing options, schedules, and everything else that will affect your bottom line.

2. Apply for Scholarships

Scholarships are a great way to pay for college no matter where you study, but many gear toward international programs.

Do your homework. Start researching scholarships in the studies and international programs that interest you. Talk to a financial aid counselor if you need more help.

Plus, financial aid such as Pell Grants work similarly to scholarships, where you don’t have to pay them back. That means less out of pocket money for you in the long run.

3. Choose the Right Program

Choosing the right program plays a big part in how to pay for study abroad. Finding one that gives an incentive can help save you money.

Many colleges have programs that they actively encourage students to sign up for. They will offer incentives such as paying for the airfare or subsidizing another expense to make the program more appealing.

Research each program your school offers. Then weigh out the pros and cons to find one that will help save you the most money.

4. Work While You’re Abroad

If you currently work to pay your way through college, there’s no reason you can’t continue that overseas. Most student visas allow you to work in a foreign country as long as you’re currently going to school there.

Consider working in a restaurant, bar, or work on-campus. You could teach English or help tutor local students.

Also look into getting a remote job, such as a virtual assistant or freelance writer. These are opportunities that work around your school schedule and is a job you can take wherever you go.

5. Study in a Less Expensive Country

While studying in Paris may be a dream, it could be a nightmare to your bank account. When choosing the country you study abroad in, consider one with a lower cost of living.

Check out the exchange rates when researching different countries. The better the rate, the further your money will stretch.

It’s also worth considering countries where the cost of education is already low, such as Germany. This will make the cost of your program much more affordable.

6. Start Fundraising

Believe it or not, you can fundraise for your studies abroad… and you don’t have to bake cookies or go door-to-door to do it.

Set up a campaign on a crowdfunding site. You can get family, friends, even strangers to donate to your upcoming adventure. Often times many people are willing to chip in for a good cause like education.

You can also raise funds by throwing a fundraising party. Invite all your family and friends over for a pre-going away bash. Make your purpose clear while throwing a fun party for them to attend. Use the country you’ll be studying in as a theme to set the mood.

7. Move Back Home

While living on your own is the ideal situation in college, consider moving back home for at least a semester to save money. Once you’re able to afford your study abroad, you’ll realize the sacrifice is worth it.

Paying for rent off-campus or living in the dorms is pricey. Even if you have to commute to school from home, the savings will really add up.

Also, think about it as quality time with your family before you head overseas. The savings and family time are really hitting two birds with one stone.

8. Get a Side Hustle

When figuring out how to pay for study abroad, it all comes down to more money equals more savings. If your regular job isn’t padding your bank account as much as you’d like, consider getting yourself a side hustle.

Use your car to drive for a rideshare. Start a dog walking business or clean houses. You can even work from home by using your talent to freelance write or design websites.

The great part about side hustles is you call the shots. You can work around your regular schedule without sacrificing time at school or a part-time job.

9. Sell Your Stuff

You could have the answer to your study abroad funds lying around your house. Look around for items you don’t use anymore to sell for cold, hard cash.

Maybe it’s time to get rid of that extra TV in the spare room. Or you no longer wear the jewelry your ex gave you. Selling clothes or unused textbooks can also add to your savings account.

Have a garage sale. Take items to a pawn shop or consignment shop. Or use online marketplaces to reach a wider audience.

Make Your Dreams Come True by Learning How to Pay for Study Abroad

Fund your way to an unforgettable experience. By learning how to pay for study abroad, you will take your education and adventures to the next level.

Need even more help saving money? Check out how much money you can save by renting your textbooks!

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.