Funding Your Studies Abroad

Finances tend to be one of the big factors in your decision-making when studying abroad. Making sure your program, living expenses, and more fit into your budget is absolutely necessary. Student visa applications for destinations like Australia, Canada, and the UK will ask for proof of your finances, in fact. Universities and immigration authorities want to be sure that you can fully cover your tuition and expenses while abroad.

So, how do you begin shortlisting programs and universities that meet your academic requirements and your budget?

Understand Your Expenses as an International Student

Your expenses as an international student will broadly consist of:

Application Fees

Universities usually charge an application processing fee. This fee amount will depend on the university. In some cases, universities may waive application fees. Some universities don’t charge application fees at all!

A couple of universities with no application fee for international students include:

  • Queen Mary University of London - UK
  • Coventry University - UK
  • Bond University – Australia
  • University of South Australia – Australia

Tuition & Administrative Fees

Tuition fees are of course the fees you will pay per semester for your program. Alongside tuition fees, there may be some administrative fees (for example, for international student services) packaged into the final total.

Important note – remember that you are looking into tuition fees for international students specifically during your research! Domestic student fees are typically lower than international student fees.

Tuition fees are a pretty big component of your overall costs of studying abroad. Here are the factors that impact tuition fees of universities in the same country:

  • Ownership:
    A private university may charge higher tuition fees compared to a public or state university.
  • Size of the University:
    The bigger the university – in terms of physical size, student and faculty size, reputation, research output, etc. – the higher you can expect tuition fees to be for its programs.
  • The University’s Location:
    Typically, the higher the cost of living in the city, the higher tuition fees will tend to be. The lower the cost of living – for example, in less urban, metropolitan cities – the lower tuition fees are likely to be.
  • Location Within the City:
    Generally, the closer to the city center the university, the higher tuition fees are likely to be. The more suburban the area, the lower the tuition fees are likely to be.


The Cost of Living

The next major consideration, after tuition fees, is of course your living expenses. Unlike at home, rent, meals, transport, utilities, and so on are all matters to factor into your budget to study abroad. The components of your costs of living will usually consist of:

  • Rent
  • Utilities (including things like electricity and water bills)
  • Groceries & meal plans
  • Transport
  • Mobile phone bills
  • Social activities

Like tuition fees, the cost of living varies broadly even within a single country. Your living expenses may vary depending on factors such as:

  • Whether you live on- or off-campus
  • Whether you live close to the city center (the closer to the city center you are, the higher rent and other costs are likely to be)
  • Your lifestyle
  • Whether you live in a major metropolis or a more suburban area

While calculating costs for international students can be challenging, there are luckily some great resources to help you:

Cost of Attendance page on the university website


Scholarship Opportunities

One of the reasons costs can really vary for international students is the availability of scholarships. Global scholarships are both opportunities for students to access a global education and incentives universities use to attract diverse students. As a result, international universities generally set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund international students.

Scholarships can fully fund your studies or partially cover your tuition. They can be merit- or need-based. Some scholarships automatically consider you as soon as you apply to a university. Others have specific application procedures. Some awards will contribute towards your research or provide an annual allowance for your living expenses.

There is such variety and number of scholarships that we can hardly summarize them all here. A couple of your options include:

  • University scholarships by
    • study level
    • subject area
    • sociodemographic factors, e.g., nationality, gender, ethnicity
  • Third-party scholarships such as:
    • Fulbright Scholarship
    • Chevening Scholarship
    • Erasmus Mundus Scholarship
    • GREAT Scholarship
    • Commonwealth Scholarship
    • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
    • Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)
    • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships

To explore your scholarship and other funding opportunities, including student loans, contact our Student Success Consultants today.


Student Jobs

Students are always keen to learn about their work opportunities when studying abroad. Luckily, major study abroad destinations allow you to find part-time jobs for students. Your work rights will depend on your student visa authorizations:

Working Hours for International Students
Subclass 500:
Maximum 48 hours part-time over two weeks; full-time over holiday breaks
Study Permit
Maximum 20 hours part-time per week; full-time over holiday breaks
Student Visa
Maximum 20 hours part-time per week; full-time over holiday breaks
International students can only work part-time on-campus (this does not include Optional Practical Training, which is professional training relevant to your program)

Some programs at these destinations incorporate an internship or job placement as part of your curriculum. This means that you complete hands-on work experience as part of your studies. There are excellent benefits for your career thanks to this, including offsetting some of your expenses if these are paying positions.