It sounds romantic: study abroad. I wish I had the opportunity to study in a new country, make international friends and maybe even learn another language. And now my brother is pushing his daughter to study abroad for a year.
It's an exciting time for her, and she will definitely experience a different side of studying than most people.
But there's a problem: financing her studies.
Studying abroad can be very expensive, but there are ways that parents can help fund their kid's studies abroad and at-home.
1. Scholarships Are a Go-To Option
Scholarships are the obvious go-to option for parents, and there are two main scholarship types to consider:
- Merit-bases: Scholarship offers by governments, businesses and universities. These scholarships consider talents, affiliations, hobbies and academics.
- University-based: Universities offer scholarships for academic excellence in most cases. These scholarships are offered in many parts of the world, and some will include everything, from tuition to living expenses and insurance. Universities offering scholarships (and there are far more than listed) include: Oxford, Bologna and Utrecht.
Scholarships are offered for sports and academics primarily, so encourage your child to study hard and try as many sports as possible.
2. Student Loans
Of course, parents hate to think about their children graduating with significant debt, but student loans may be the only option for some students. When this is the case, it may cost just as much or less to send your kid overseas than have them study locally.
The United States has a federally supported loan program, and in Europe you'll find loan schemes.
Research international loan options that often offer favorable interest rates and may help fund your child's studies abroad.
3. Choose the Country Wisely
Choose the country where your child is planning to study wisely. There are a lot of countries that have far cheaper tuition and cost of living compared to the United States. A good idea is to check the exchange rate in the desired country and see if it's favorable.
Germany, for example, uses the euro, but university costs are so low that it's often cheaper to study in Germany than the US.
4. Encourage Working Abroad
Working and studying often occur at the same time. In an ideal world, a study would just focus on their studies, but this isn't always possible. Instead, kids are working to ensure that they don't end up with mounds of debt that they can't overcome.
If you plan to study in Canada, an immigration lawyer in Toronto would be able to help you secure a work permit.
But every country is different. Canada is a little more strict than other countries and they'll want to make sure that you have sufficient funds for living expenses and tuition. Many countries will require that the person has secured a job before allowing a work permit to be filed.
Studies aren't cheap, whether they're at home or abroad, but with good grades and a little effort, it's possible to offer your kids a chance of a lifetime when they advance their studies.