If you want to be a successful student, you have to work hard and steady – but you should also be smart and efficient. When it comes to studying abroad, success demands you to prepare adequately, by gathering enough funds to finance your studies. Do your best now to ensure you’ll be well provided for and in a good position to give your best later in classes, when you get abroad.

Make sure to do your financial planning right, and remember you’ll need money for tuition, school supplies, housing, food and other living costs. You may find your best option to support your studies abroad is getting a scholarship, since there is an available funding pool of over €16 billion each year! There are many types of scholarships available out there, so in many cases this may turn out to be the most practical option.

But even if for some reason you can’t get a scholarship, there is no point in being discouraged since there are other options for financial support you may want to look into. This article will overview some of the best options available to you in 2018, if you’re looking to study abroad and can use additional funds to pay for this life-enriching experience.

Fellowships: Scholarships by Merit

One of the most obvious ways to support your studies, especially if you’re an above average student, is to look for a suitable fellowship. These are essentially scholarships by merit, and can be tied to different areas asides from academics and reaching out into special achievements, talents, affiliations, career aspirations, or simply hobbies.
You may find fellowships are available to you from different entities, including but not limited to your school. You could find applicable scholarships from the government, from large corporations or businesses and professional organizations.

University-based Scholarships

When it comes to scholarships from learning institutions, they’re usually reserved for top students who are under a certain age limit. Different scholarships may be available for different levels of your degree, so make sure to check this option first, foremost, and often – especially if you’re a great student.

Government-based Scholarships

Typically, scholarships from the government involve an exemption from paying tuition fees for a certain period. This opportunity is usually reserved for students under a certain age who have a certain education qualification and effective capacity to learn the desired course. In some cases, such scholarships may also feature essential living allowances and travel expenses including a plane ticket.

Sports-related Scholarships

You may think that sports-related scholarships are only available to elite athlete students, but that is not exactly correct. In some colleges, there are local scholarships available for students who are willing to join a certain modality (without necessarily excelling at it). When looking around for these types of opportunities, keep in mind they are usually reserved for students who show a solid commitment to community service.

Specific Condition Scholarships

There are usually specific scholarships offered to students who fulfill a specific condition, such as coming from a certain ethnic background or having certain family connections. It’s not uncommon to find specific scholarships for Hispanics, African-Americans and also Asian-Americans available in learning institutions throughout the world.
Some local governments actually have budgets from other countries to avail scholarships to students coming from that country – as in Belgium, where African students can apply to specific scholarships funded by their countries of origin. These agreements are designed to allow minority students a chance of getting advanced education in areas lacking representation from certain countries.

Grants: Scholarships by Need

You may have heard about student grants, also known as gift aids or bursaries; this involves receiving a bit of financial support to advance in your studies. Unlike scholarships, grants are not attributed on merit but rather on need, usually to students who would otherwise be unable to afford studying. If you have a low family income, low personal income or if you have some kind of disability, you should be eligible to get a student grant – so make sure to check with your university’s administration.

Considering Student Loans

Looking to borrow money to fund your studies abroad may not be the ideal scenario since you’ll later have to worry about paying it back with interest. In any case, it might be something worth looking into in case your other plans fail to produce results.

It’s not uncommon for independent banks or government entities to avail loans to students with special conditions compared to the regular financial market, so that may be something you want to look into – both in your current area of residence as well as in the country abroad where you plan to study.

This option will usually imply getting consent and co-signing from your parents or legal guardian. You will find typically two types of student loans, aimed at either students with financial needs or to students with a solid credit score.

Looking for Student Prizes

When you start getting creative with your abroad student funding, you may notice there are all kinds of possibilities in store for those who have a sharp mind. A good example would be student prizes – if you keep an eye out for them, you will start taking notice of all kinds of contests and benefits offered exclusively to students with outstanding track records.

Student awards can vary wildly; anything to a few hundred to several thousands euros as well as technological tools or other academic assets. These prizes are often assigned by universities to notable cases of academic excellence, or as reward performances tied to undergraduate examinations. In some cases, unique opportunities can arise from specific coursework or public examinations, and typically monetary awards may be available to encourage outstanding award papers, dissertation or thesis work.

Make sure to check with your current university for performance related prizes and awards and maybe you’ll realize you have various opportunities for alternative ways to finance your studies, closer to your reach than you might imagine.