I Want To Study Abroad. What Now?
You wish you could study abroad, but think you’ll never have the opportunity? Than rethink it because you just need to focus and chase it! The sun shines for everybody and at it is, everything in life depends of ourselves!
Living abroad without having a monthly income and having to live on savings, is not easy at all. Actually, it’s quite scary sometimes. Many things go through our heads and we think that the money can just end.
We saved money for a while before actually making the decision to move to another country. We knew that probably it would be hard to get a job fast and we needed to have a backup. Apart from that, in our case, Finland required a specific amount of money (in cash at the bank) to prove means of support. So it is necessary to have a plan and e well prepared before making any decision.
With that said, you feel like studying abroad and don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for you to get organized!
Where should I go?
Choosing the country sometimes is a difficult task. Think about your goal and answer:
- What are the best universities in your area?
- Which countries have a job market within your industry?
- Will you have opportunities to work in that country?
- What is the economic situation there?
- How much does it cost to live there?
- How much do I need to have monthly to live without struggle?
Once you manage to get this done, you can already tick off some places and reduce the list.
I already have a list and I do not know which university to choose!
Once you have made your list, the final choice will always come out to some key details: cost, school educational program and application process.
University Tuition x Cost of Living
We often intend to choose the university that has a high tuition fee and the our disappointment is immediate. The thing is that, that one may not always be the most expensive. It is necessary to check if the living costs in that place is also high. Compare it to the other options you have selected and see which one you can afford.
In our case, we had a few other countries as an option. We figured out that some of them we really would not bankroll ourselves for too long (remembering that we are two people). We eliminated what was out of the budget and kept other options as backups.
In the end, we found out two possible destinations: Portugal and Finland. In the first, we would have to pay the university plus the cost of living. When summing it up, it was pretty much the same total amount of living in Finland without having to pay for the university. Besides that, the one here would give us more opportunities than the one in Portugal!
However, unfortunately, the option of free tuition for people outside the European Union no longer exists. They approved a law last year and from September 2017, new students will have to pay. Try to see which other countries still offer free education. It could be an opportunity for you as well.
Do you have a free budget and can choose any option? Then apply for all the one’s you want and wait for the result. In the other hand, if you don’t have all that money available, you will have to support yourself and study at the same time, you’ll need to refine the list again. Select the universities that have the course most focused on what you like. See each program and separate them again by:
- My favorites
- These would be good as a second plan
- If nothing succeeds, I still have these
With this, it’s easier to focus on what you really want.
It is very important to pay attention to the rules of each application and to know that it may also cost you. Especially if you have to translate documents, take English proficiency tests (or any other language) and still – if asked – send everything by post mail. However, listing the universities in order of preference helps a lot, since many of them have different dates do apply. Knowing this, you won’t need to apply for all at once.
In our case, we had to choose between Portugal and here. So we realized that we had enough time to apply to Finland first and then to Portugal if needed. So it is good to have a schedule with all the dates and get organized so you don’t need to spend extra money.
Planning is the base of everything and if you organize yourself, you can also fulfill your dream of having an experience abroad. Start saving money in a savings account, so when the opportunity comes, you can embrace it without issues!
I hope these tips help you!
Lili is half Peruvian, half Brazilian, a dreamer Pisces kind of girl, curious, life lover and travel addicted! She`s been to 53 countries, loves to explore different cultures and to travel to the most unusual destinations. Currently lives in Finland, is a monthly columnist for the website Brasileiras pelo Mundo (a Brazilian platform of expat women) and founder of Hey, I am Lili. She believes that the most important things in life are to laugh out loud, a good wine and people she loves always around anywhere in this world!