The time is quickly approaching when Study Abroad applications are due and I want to take this opportunity to try and encourage you to submit that application and just go for it! At this time of year students attend the Study Abroad Fair, they think about applying to study abroad then fear sets in. One minute you’re imagining yourself eating Christmas dinner on a beach in a Australia, the next you’re thinking “Am I insane? I am happy here. I have the best friends and I know which level of the library I like best, and besides I could never get sick of the view. After all I couldn’t afford to study abroad.” I hear this last excuse so often and actually although you think “expenses” when you hear the word “abroad”, it isn’t always the case. I challenge you to work out how much it would actually cost before you use this excuse.
Here are a few things to take into consideration before using “but I’m a poor student” as an excuse:
– You still pay your fees to the University of Glasgow – Even if you are studying abroad at an Institution with very high tuition fees, you still pay your fees to The University of Glasgow. For most people this means Student Finance will continue to pay your fees, just like any other year! Sorted!
– You still get paid student loan (plus a little extra) – If you receive student finance you still receive the normal amount plus a little bit extra because you’re studying abroad. Life outside the UK is often less expensive (consider for example, my rent in Montreal is half what I pay in Glasgow) and so this works out well and leaves me with some money to travel with at weekends.
– You can get reimbursed for the big costs (flights, medical insurance etc.) – Student Finance offer a Travel Expenses Form which you can fill out at the end of your exchange to get reimbursed for costs such as up to three return flights (you pay the first £309, and they pay anything after that), your health insurance and travel expenses to and from campus (if applicable).
– You can apply for grants and bursaries – The University of Glasgow offer various grants, prizes and bursaries which are worth taking a look at and also your host university might have a few to offer. For example, I recently entered a French Writing Competition at my university which is open to exchange students who are non-francophone. Often not many people enter these competitions and so it’s worth a shot!
– You have time to save! – Get to the Psychology lab and sign up to do some experiments between lectures, stop splashing out on alcohol/chocolate/coffee/clothes, get job hunting! Every little helps!
When are you ever going to be able to live abroad with so much funding and support? A once in a lifetime opportunity and I urge you to take it.
DISCLAIMER : everybody’s situation is different when it comes to student loans and studying abroad and so I am advising solely from my experience. I just want to bring to your attention it isn’t always as expensive as you may think at first, although this depends on where you want to study and your personal finances.
As always, get in touch with any queries or questions!
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PS Here in Montréal we should be knee deep in snow with temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius but in fact Autumn is still well and truly with us as you can see from the pictures below. Tomorrow it will feel like 25 degrees in the city!
It was also Halloween over the past week and so I dressed up three days in a row because when else will I get to be a student in North America over Halloween?!