June 25, 2021 Off By Paul Petersen

How to Plan an International Degree Without Burning Your Pocket?

Looking for ways to fund your higher studies from an international institute? If yes, you need to do some research and plan well for fulfilling it. International degrees can be quite costly especially when you also include the cost of living and travelling to a foreign country. But this should not dissuade you.  Some good research, careful planning, and financial discipline (in the form of regular deposits in a savings account) should help you plan your finances well. 

Personal savings form the base of your financial planning.  The habit of saving a specific percentage of your earnings (whatever the amount may be) and putting it in a savings account to earn some interest is important. The funds in your savings account can be used to provide proof of you having some minimum financial resources, a mandatory requirement for a student visa and residence permit in many countries.

Let’s look at some important steps for planning your international education.

Choose the Degree and Gather Details Related to Costs

The first step is to decide what you want to study and check the available options for the same.  Do some research as to which university is offering the degree of your interest, its mode of teaching, its popularity, cost, and the tax implications of the funds remitted as fees. Do check with experts about the relevance of the degree and whether it is worth the costs that you are going to have to incur. 

Check for Scholarships

Many foreign universities offer scholarships to international students. They aim to provide a fair chance to talented students who can add value to their institutes. Getting a scholarship can reduce your study cost significantly. Some universities even offer 100% scholarships on various grounds. 

Check the criteria for applying for these scholarships and work hard to get the same. Even a 50% scholarship can reduce your financial burden to a large extent. Once your course fees are managed, you can easily use your savings to fund your travel and living expenses. One of the major advantages of a savings account is you can withdraw funds from it anytime without attracting any kind of penalty or charges.

Check for Student Loans

Another option for funding your course fees is to look for education loans. The criteria for getting such loans include a condition wherein you need to fund a certain proportion of your fees yourself by using up your savings or any other sources.  You may also need to take up a part-time job to repay the loan instalments.

Personal Loans

One of the best options to fund your international degree is to apply for a personal loan that can be used to fund not only the tuition fees but also the travel expenses besides the cost of boarding and lodging.  Choose a personal loan from a bank that offers flexible repayment schedules. You can decide the repayment tenure and based on your study duration and your expectations of getting a job.

Once you have arranged for the funding of your education, you will also need to do tax planning as all education-related foreign remittances are taxable. While all remittances funded by loans attract a tax collected at source of 0.5% for amounts exceeding Rs 7 lakh, the ones not financed via loan and above Rs 7 lakh attract a tax of 5%.