funding, scholarships, bursaries, funding studying a degree abroad

How to fund study abroad

Finding a way to fund your study abroad degree is the single most important thing you will do. There are three main options to choose from when it comes to funding study abroad:

  • Funding Yourself
  • Applying for Funding
  • Taking out a Loan


Funding yourself

Tuition fees vary by country, institution and course. A select few may be able to fund their studies themselves through savings and/or family help. It’s important to remember to factor in living and accommodation costs when thinking about funding study abroad. Will you be living in university accommodation and have food provided, or will you be paying your own bills and buying your own food in a shared house?

If your course is available to study part-time then you may be able to work whilst studying abroad but you will need to think carefully about whether you can manage the demands of your course with a full-time job. Alternatively, If your course is related to your job and will benefit your employer, they may be willing to part or fully-fund your studies.

Applying for funding

There are plenty of options when it comes to finding external funding for your studies, but competition is always fierce. Some universities offer financial support to students studying their courses. Many departments offer scholarships and bursaries for outstanding students or those in financial need, but be prepared to apply well in advance for these.

Another option is to look for funding from professional bodies. Look for what makes you unique. There are specialist scholarships for Indian students studying in the UK, for engineering students, for female students, even for vegetarians. Do your research and pick out the specific things that make you stand out. Competition for funding is fierce so you need to do your research and apply before the deadline. Many awards have strict eligibility rules so you need to ensure you comply with them.

Who offers funding?

Funding is available from a variety of sources in your country of origin, and, in some cases, from your host country.

Some sources may include the following:

  • Research Councils (for example, a Medical Research Council)
  • Official institutions for certain disciplines such as Societies or Academies
  • Some government departments
  • Charities and charitable trusts
  • Professional bodies
  • Universities and colleges

Taking out a loan

Some countries offer bank loans for student study. In the UK, this is called a Professional and Career Development Loan (CDL), which is specifically designed to provide financial help to those who undergo vocational education or training.

Alternatively, you could apply for a study loan at your local high street bank. However, as an international student, your fees will probably be higher than your native student counterparts. Taking out a loan is a serious commitment and you will need to think carefully about your ability to make repayments once your study abroad degree has finished. 

What to do next?

Thinking studying a degree abroad is for you? Sign up for our Free Application Service to receive tailored advice and courses for what you want, and we’ll be in contact with you shortly.

Alternatively, search through our country guides to discover more about studying abroad, or look at the type of degrees you could study.