Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.
07 OCTOBER, 2022
Whether you have recently graduated or are a working individual, upgrading your skills is always a better idea – be it by way of online courses or enrolling in relevant programs offered by recognised universities. While there are quite some popular institutions in India that offer postgraduate degree and diploma courses, many people are now inclined to apply to universities abroad for additional exposure given that the world is increasingly becoming a global village now. However, the one constraint many such aspirants face is the lack of funds. This is because higher studies abroad can get quite expensive considering the tuition fees and living expenses. Especially because the target universities of most people are in first-world countries such as the US, UK, Germany, etc., where given the exchange rate, an Indian student is financially burdened. A solution to this is going for a financing option like a personal loan for education.
A personal loan for education has an edge over a conventional education loan because the eligibility criteria for it is more basic, the loan amount can be used for a wide variety of things and there are absolutely no restrictions on the end usage. This flexibility is of great help when you are looking at moving to another country for studying. Another major benefit of a personal loan for education is that you don’t need to offer any asset as collateral or security. Hence, a personal loan is a lot more accessible to fund your overseas studies. Deciding to take this important step of studying abroad is huge and getting it right needs you to take into account several factors. Here’s a quick run through of some of these factors.
Things to consider when selecting your course and country
1. Your professional goal
One of the first things to consider when looking to study abroad is your professional goal and how the course and country you select align with it. Certain countries are popular for offering certain types of courses. For instance, Germany is known for technical courses while the US is better known for management courses. Also, if you’re currently a working professional, the course you select should either help you progress in your current career or help you pivot to another industry if that’s something you are looking for. Another crucial thing to consider is how employable you will be after finishing your selected course in the job market of your chosen country.
2. Internship and placement programme
Courses abroad have varied structures that allow you to gain industry experience while studying. Many courses have internship components as an integral part of one of their final semesters. Hence, you should make it a point to narrow down universities that have a solid internship programme. In addition to internship programmes, you should also look at the placement programme of the course. You can often find the kind of companies that come to campus for placements on the website of the university.
3. Total cost of the course
For all the benefits studying abroad affords, it also costs a significant amount. Depending on your course and the country you select, it can cost anywhere from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 70 lakh on average. While this is a large amount, it should not stop you from meeting your education goals. You can apply for a personal loan for education to finance your tuition fee along with your living costs. Whether it is a one-year or a two-year programme, whether it is in the US or a European country, you can consider taking a personal loan. An important thing to remember is that once you successfully finish the course of your choice and are employed, you can quickly recover your education costs by getting a job in the same country.
4. Culture and language
This is a factor many students tend to ignore when making a decision and it can cause great trouble later. When moving outside of India, you have to realise that there is going to be a certain level of culture shock. This might be more in some countries than in others. For instance, if you go to the US, the UK, or Canada to study, you might still be able to adjust well since these are English-speaking countries and you may be familiar with the culture because of pop culture and movies you may have been consuming since a young age. But if you were to move to a country like Finland or Germany for your higher education, you may have a tough time with the language as well as the culture.
Things to do once you have shortlisted the course and country
1. Collecting transcripts
When applying to a university abroad, an important part of the documentation and application process is submitting your transcripts. You need to collect your high school as well as your undergraduate degree transcripts and this process can take a few weeks depending on your school and university here. A transcript is important as it is a record of all the courses you studied, how much you scored in each of them, how many times you attempted a single course, the duration of each course, and more.
2. Drafting your statement of purpose
Another important document required when applying to a university abroad is the Statement of Purpose (SOP). You should begin drafting your SOP only once you have shortlisted the course and university as the SOP needs to be specific. You can’t draft the same SOP for two different universities or courses. It’s essential to understand the SOP structure, purpose, and more and for this you can seek the help of consultants or your friends who have already applied to study abroad.
3. Preparing for required exams
Depending on the course you select, you may have to give an entrance exam. For instance, to study MBA abroad, you will have to either give the GMAT or GRE exam. Even for courses that don’t require such qualifying exams, you may have to give an English proficiency test, such as IELTS or TOEFL, since English is not the native language for most in India.
4. Charting out a financial plan
While you prepare for your exams and get all your documents in place, you also need to sit down and figure out the way you’re going to finance your course. You can use a mix of your savings, financing options such as a personal loan for education, and also apply for partial scholarships. A personal loan is a reliable option because the process of getting this type of loan sanctioned is simple and the required documents for a personal loan are minimal. When charting out a financial plan for your course abroad, you can use a personal loan EMI calculator to see what your Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs) will look like over the loan tenure. If you have a good credit score, you can also get the benefit of a lower personal loan interest rate.
Don’t wait any longer to fulfil your dream to study abroad
Universities abroad usually start their academic year in September but a lot of them also have winter and summer intakes in January and May respectively. Depending on which intake you want to opt for, your application timeline will differ. It’s very important to narrow down the country and course and understand the application timeline so that you can accordingly also apply for personal loan and have the funds you require in a timely manner.
You have already rated this article