7 Ways to Make Your Child’s Overseas Education More Affordable

College Life, Financial Responsibility, Money Saving Tips, Parenting | Thursday, July 6th, 2017

[image source: Pexel.com]

No parent is able to dispute the importance of children’s education. A quality degree can ensure a head start in life and enable them to climb up the career ladder. Besides, studying overseas is a great way to grow personally and expand the horizons. Still, in this economic climate, spending money like there is no tomorrow is not an option for most people. Paying a premium for higher education and covering living expenses of a young individual is potentially a budget-sinking combo.

A strategic approach

The good news is that there is no shortage of tactics to cut back the spending and make studying abroad less pricey. Namely, parents and students who want to be frugal have to deal with major expenses such as food, accommodation, tuition, and entertainment. Naturally, good habits are built within the family and they take time to grow on children. Ideally, the students should gain a measure of financial independence in the process.

The planning stage

It all starts with a sound plan that factors in all the expenditures. The costs of living and tuition fees vary depending on the city, region or school, so do the homework. Research the options regarding accommodation together with your child. I know for a fact that one can find affordable student accommodation in Brisbane and that should be true for most cities that attract students. Opt for a country and program that suit the child’s goals and come at a reasonable price.

Financial drills

Affordable studying comes down to going an extra mile and finding an appropriate alternative to what most people consider common. Thus, the shift towards frugality includes lifestyle adjustments that are not easy to swallow for many kids. The crucial step is to distinguish between essentials and nonessentials or wants and needs if you like. Sticking to the budget is always the hard part, so teach your child some financial discipline.

Sea change

It helps to change the mindset. Instead of behaving like a tourist, students should strive to live more modestly, like locals. So, encourage them to take advantage of cheap transportation, open up a local bank account, immerse in the foreign culture, discover local markets, cook more at home, and explore free entertainment options. Taking up a part-time job could be a viable strategy as well, just make sure your child is able to achieve a work-student life balance.

Seeking financial aid

Furthermore, students should make the most of the financial aid options at their disposal. Scholarships are, hands down, the most common type of support that students seek. In Europe alone, billions of euros are allocated for scholarships every year. In general, they are offered by universities or governments. What is more, there are several different types of scholarships: merit-based, sports, need-based and specific scholarships.

The art of cherry-picking

It pays off to check all the possible options, but even if there is no scholarship available, students can explore other types of financial aid. For instance, student prizes, although they do not formally represent financial aid, can be actually utilized in that fashion. Furthermore, student loans are another handy tool to boost the finances. They are used to cover tuition, library, and laboratory fees as well as costs of books, computers, and other equipment.

Keep the options open

The only problem, of course, is that you have to pay the funds back. The repayment most often starts six months after a student obtains a degree. Yet, loans that the government offers are usually more favorable and involve lower interest rates. Besides that, it should be mentioned that even students who are able to secure low tuition fees or steer clear of them altogether require financial support. So, keep an eye on the deadlines and go through criteria for eligibility carefully.

The best of both worlds

It goes without saying that parents and their children should work hand in hand towards the same goal of keeping the high costs of studying down. Studying abroad is an alluring proposition, one that can work miracles for the personal development and future career success of a young mind. In order to avoid breaking the bank, though, parents should encourage students to explore different types of financial aid and trim their living expenses. This period of their life is a great opportunity to accumulate valuable life experience and become more self-sustainable.

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