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How To Get A Student Loan As An Expat: 4 Ways To Fund Your Education

how do you fund your education


Taking your education to the next level is an investment in your future, and one which will repay itself many times over, not only in terms of opening up new career opportunities, but also when it comes to making you a more rounded human being.  How do you fund your education?





The issue that expats face is that the normal funding options for studying at a university in a country they aren’t a citizen of may be closed to them.

So how can you cover the costs of studying overseas?

Here are some options to consider if you’re in this situation.


Employer-provided funding

Lots of businesses are willing to pay for employees to complete additional education and training courses so that they can return to work with skills and knowledge that will be of use to the company as a whole.

This is worth considering if you’re already in a role with a supportive employer, or you’re considering getting a new job, because re-skilling is seen as beneficial by many.

Accepting funding from an employer will leave you beholden to certain terms and conditions, of course. And the cash provided might not cover all of your overseas living costs, so bear this in mind when looking for opportunities of this type.



There are grants and scholarship programs of all kinds around the world, some of which are specifically set up to bring in overseas students and encourage them to study with a given institution.

Strict eligibility requirements are usually enforced for such schemes, so there’s no guarantee that you’re the right fit for any of the scholarships offered in your area. But it’s always work checking to see what’s available.


Private student loans (often low-interest)

Providers like SoFi private student loans offer private student loans at low rates of interest, depending on your circumstances. With private loans you can borrow as much or as little as you need, and benefit from appealing repayment terms that include being able to hold off on repaying anything until the end of your studies.

You might choose a private student loan to top up any publicly backed loan or scholarship scheme that you’re also using. And as the cost of living increases across the board, having a bit more financial flexibility will be very useful for many expats.

As with any loan product, interest rates will be dependent on your status, so a good credit history will go a long way to saving you money in repayments over time.


Personal savings

It’s helpful to have a financial cushion in place to ensure that you aren’t entirely reliant on a student loan or any other type of borrowing to keep you on an even keel while you’re studying as an expat.

Even if you haven’t yet decided for certain whether or not to go ahead with getting your education in a different part of the planet, it’s a good idea to build a savings pot up sooner rather than later. That way you’ll be able to earn interest on what you set aside each month, and you’ll have more money to work with when the time comes.


Final thoughts

There’s no one ‘right’ way to fund your education. It comes down to what you’re comfortable with, what support you’re eligible for, and what you want to get out of the experience.

Taking the time to research the funding options, and ensuring that if you do meet the criteria for a low interest loan, scholarship or employer-backed scheme that you grab it with both hands, is best.

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