If you’re reading this blog, I’ll assume you have some interest in studying abroad.
But how much have you really thought about it?
Have you got a future career in mind?
Have you thought about the course you want to study?
You might even have a good idea about what university you want to study at.
These are all good starting points.
But, as consultants for overseas education, we feel there is ONE thing you really need to consider before you begin any of that.
It’s something most agents would avoid talking about. In fact, it’s a subject society doesn’t really talk about openly.
On the subject of money, if we had £1 for every time we get asked about full scholarships, we’d be able to give out full scholarships!
Scholarships Do Exist.
Yes, scholarships exist and so do full scholarships.
What you need to be aware of if you’re doing your overseas studies in the UK is that full scholarships are extremely rare.
You may see things on TV, where American students are granted full scholarships to Ivy League Schools, but the UK doesn’t work like that.
Having worked for a university that did offer one full scholarship, I was lucky enough to sit on the panel that decided who received it.
The competition was fierce.
There was a team of 6, reading through applications and shortlisting.
It took us 2 days.
That’s a lot of applications for one scholarship.
To make things even more difficult, the scholarship had tough academic requirements and was available to students from all over the world, not just India.
Here’s one thing I should mention on the subject of scholarships, and it might help you out.
Lower your expectations slightly.
Getting a partial scholarship - also known as a ‘discount’ - is a lot easier to achieve.
In most cases, universities will offer you between £1000-£3000 discount on the course fee, on a first-come-first-serve basis. On top of this, you can even check out our blog on cheap UK universities for postgraduate studies. Combined with a discount, this may be a good place to start.
There’s no application process for these discounts, no essays to write.
Just apply, get your offer, pay your deposit and your fee will be reduced.
Now, I don’t want to come across negatively because it feels like I’m destroying dreams here.
But what you really need to think about before starting the study abroad process, is how you’re going to pay for it.
Money, Money, Money!
Here are the straight facts. You’re going to need to find around 23-24 lakh Rupees* if you want to study in the UK.
Roughly 9 lakh for living expenses (this is a requirement for a UK study visa) and the remaining amount to cover your course fee.
This will also cover your flights, visa and health surcharge for one year.
If you’re doing a 3-year Bachelors course, you’ll need to triple the above amount.
Most PG courses in the UK are 1 year, which is the most popular choice for Indian students.
There are 2 ways students usually find these funds:
Family. Their family has this money/has been saving this money for education. This is known as being self-funded.
Education loan. You can take a bank loan out for educational purposes. If you’re applying through a traditional bank, you’ll need collateral such as a property or business.
Unfortunately, completing your studies abroad is not cheap. It’s a costly investment. It’s a big decision for you and your family.
You’ll need to think hard about what you’ll likely earn if you have a UK degree, against if you don’t have a UK degree, and if you’re taking a loan out, can you pay it back?
What can help?
It’s not all doom and gloom. For the visa requirement, you WILL need to show these amounts, held in a bank account for 28 days (course fee and 1-year living expenses).
But, there are things you can do to help contribute towards the cost.
Work part-time. Your Tier 4 visa will allow you to work part-time whilst you’re studying.
You can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and 40 hours per week during the holidays.
20 hours per week = 18,000 Rupees*