Do you wish to study abroad? Don't let lack of funds deter you from pursuing your dream.
Studying abroad is an exciting yet expensive affair. Education and Career Counselor, Dr. Karan Gupta of Karan Gupta Consulting, tells us, "There are always avenues open for funding and students should know where to apply for them. This year alone we have helped students get over $15 Million Dollars in scholarships and funding to study abroad".
Most countries other than the US allow students to work off campus while studying. In the US, students are permitted to work on campus for a maximum period of 20 hours per week and while other countries also have a similar limitation on the number of hours, they give you permission to find jobs off campus as well.
"In Canada you can apply for a permit that allows you to work off campus for a period of 20 hours per week during the academic session and 40 hours per week during vacation period. The rules are not very different for students who wish to study in UK and Australia. By working on or off campus, you can expect to earn sufficient funds to pay for your personal expenses and sometimes even living expenses, but very rarely will you be able to fund your entire education from this part-time work. The average minimum wage in the US is $8.25 per hour and working for 20 hours at the minimum wage can fetch you a good $660 a month," says Dr.Gupta.
"If you cannot work on or off campus, you can always apply for funding to the university itself. Most universities in the US and some universities in Canada and Australia offer students graduate assistantships. A graduate assistantship is an award which pays for your entire tuition fees and you get a monthly stipend which pays for your living expenses. Students who get graduate assistantships can be teaching assistants or research assistants. Typically the job profile of a graduate assistant is to assist professors in grading papers, teach smaller classes and help with research. Graduate assistantships are very difficult to get and are extremely competitive. Only students with excellent grades and sometimes past work experience are chosen to be graduate assistants. Approaching professors for graduate assistantships while you are studying is a good idea because if you manage to get one, the rest of your education will be fully paid for. The stipend you earn can be around $1200 per month", adds Dr.Gupta,
If you don't land up with a graduate assistantship or an on or off campus job, you can still apply to your university for merit or need based funding. Many universities have scholarships that are offered to students who have excellent grades. Such scholarships are of course competitive but sometimes are also based on need. Hence, if you can demonstrate that you actually need the funds, you may have a better chance at getting funding directly from the university. Such scholarships generally range from 10% to 75% of your tuition fees.
Finally, if you have no other choice you can apply for loans from India. The State Bank of India offers loans of up to Rs.1.5 crores for your education. The interest rates for these loans is around 11.5% and the repayment period starts one year after completing the course or six months after getting a job, whichever comes earlier. The loan must be paid up within 7-9 years and the security required to get the loan would be around 115% of the loan amount. Do keep in mind that these terms and conditions will vary from bank to bank and some private lenders may offer loans of greater amounts with higher interest rates. If you have a US citizen or a green card holder who acts as a guarantor, you can even try to get a loan in the US itself. Banks in the US give loans to international students without security only if a US citizen or green card holder with good credit history guarantees the loan. The benefits of this loan include lower interest rates of around 4-6% and repayment period of close to 25 years.
If you need more information on getting scholarships to study abroad, email Dr. Karan Gupta or call him on +91 22 23517748 / 23526372.