Financing your study abroad in the US
Studying abroad is an exciting prospect that can really get the mind racing – but it is also an expensive one.
It is therefore essential to work out how you will fund your time in another country, before even sending off an application. Here at Florida State University we’ve put together some top tips to help you pay for your study in the US.
Look into scholarships
Scholarships are definitely an area worth exploring for study abroad. Scholarships are typically given on the basis of academic merit, but some are specifically available for international students. Competition for these awards can be fierce, making it important to submit your university application as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that while some universities offer fewer scholarships, they might also require cheaper fees, which means that the scholarships they do give out can go a long way!
Start saving before you go
The sooner you start saving, the better shape your finances will be in, so don’t wait until the last minute! Putting a bit of money aside each month in the run-up to your departure will give you a nice little nest-egg to help you settle into your new surroundings.
Take out a loan
Loans can also be a viable option for financing your education, so don’t dismiss them straight off. As with anything, you should be cautious and do your homework before jumping into any commitments
Remember, the difference between scholarships and loans is that you will have to pay all of your student loans back once you have graduated. Despite this, you might never have access to such low interest loans again in your life; going to university is an investment in yourself after all!
Get a part-time job
You can work up to 20 hours a week with the Visa you receive to study in the US, so why not make the most of it? You are even given the right to work inside the US for up to two years after you graduate. No matter what it is; be it a role on campus or a post in a local bar, having a job can help you budget and set aside a greater amount of money to finance your studies, both during and after your university experience
Buy food in bulk
Buying food in bulk can often save you a tidy little sum – just remember to stick to stuff that isn’t going to go mouldy any time soon!
Big bags of rice and pasta normally represent good value for money. You can even split them with your housemates. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s one less thing to buy when you go on your weekly shop.
Cook dinner with friends
Cooking with friends can be much cheaper, and a lot more fun! So ditch the ready meal for one and organise nights where you and your friends cook dinner together.
If you each bring different ingredients you will be able to whip up a hearty meal in no time – and at a fraction of the cost!
Invest in a printer
It may sound odd, but buying a printer can save you a significant amount of money in the long-term. Using a printer on-campus is usually ridiculously expensive, so have to fork out each time you print something off.
Make the most of student discounts
Surviving on a student budget is hard at the best of times. It’s therefore important to take advantage of the various discounts and freebies available to you. As a student, you can find that your Student ID card can be a perpetual ticket for saving you money on all kinds of things.
There are a number of offers out there, particularly when it comes to everyday things like food and travel. All you have to do is pay attention and ask everywhere you do if a student discount is available.