How To Study Abroad Without A Scholarship?

Study Abroad Without A Scholarship

Getting a degree requires a considerable amount to cover tuition fees, books, and living costs. It may get even more expensive when you decide to study overseas. While scholarships are the go-to solution, let’s face it: not everyone can become a scholar. You’ll need to meet specific requirements such as a particular grade or average, or you’ll need to be good in sports, arts, or music. Read on to learn about various ways you can study abroad without a scholarship in an affordable way or even for free.

If you’re an average performer in school  or you don’t have a particular talent but yearn to study abroad, don’t despair. A scholarship is just one from a long list of funding options. There are other ways you can fulfill your dream. Curious as to how you can study in another country besides getting a scholarship?

10 Ways You Can Study Abroad Without A Scholarship In An Affordable Way:

  1. Crowdfunding

Funding platforms can help you reach your goal to study abroad without a scholarship. You can organize a crowdfunding activity on websites like and ask family members, friends, relatives, and even strangers to pitch in.

Sign up, create a profile, and then prepare to give several compelling reasons people should support your quest to become an international student. Share it on social media to reach more potential donors. Just make sure to acknowledge each person who helps you out and provide updates so everyone knows they’re giving to a worthy cause.

  1. Find A Side Gig

Getting some support from loved ones and strangers is great, but you’ll also need to put in some effort of your own to ensure that you have enough when you study abroad. While you’re hunting for a suitable school, part-time jobs can help you save up for your schooling. Look for easy online side gigs such as data entry, tutoring, or graphic design.

Your skills may even land you a stint in your community. Earn money as a rideshare  driver or food delivery staff, or you can try dog walking. If you have a hobby such as photography, turn it into a money-making venture. Getting paid to do the things you love is highly rewarding, and it becomes more meaningful when it serves as a way for you to earn your degree.

  1. Look For Schools With Affordable Tuition Fees

While you’re busy with your crowdfunding or side job, don’t forget to do some research regarding schools that offer reasonable tuition fees for international students. Consider enrolling in public universities in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain.

You can study in any of these countries at little to no cost, but there’s a catch: you have to be fluent in the country’s language to qualify for free courses. If you’re not proficient, you can still enroll, but you’ll need to take language classes. Register with the university directly to pay lower fees, and prepare to handle the paperwork and red tape on your own.

  1. Get A Student Loan

A student loan is another alternative you can consider when you’re planning to study abroad. When it comes to choosing a suitable student loan, ask your school about your program’s cost of attendance and if it includes other expenses besides tuition.

Your assigned international student advisor can provide you with a breakdown and inform you if the loan’s already disbursed to your school. You might incur some out-of-pocket costs as it could take several weeks to complete the process. Don’t worry because the school will issue a refund for all your expenses.

  1. Qualify For A Student Grant

Aside from student loans, you can apply for student grants, especially if you have good grades. Your family’s financial status may also qualify you as most grants are given to underprivileged but deserving students. Student grants offer the same privileges as scholarships, covering travel, food, housing, and various school fees.

  1. Try Work-Study Arrangements

Besides enrolling in an affordable course at a public university, you can consider looking for one in a country with work-study arrangements. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Spain offer international students the opportunity to earn when they find jobs in line with their current courses.

Balancing schoolwork and a part-time job can be challenging. You’ll need to manage your time well to meet the rigors of both worlds. The advantage of this setup is that you get to apply what you’re learning and earn money simultaneously.

  1. Sign Up For Internships

Short-term courses and university degrees are not the only ways you can study abroad. Your home university may require you to sign up for an overseas internship to help you transition to the workplace after you graduate. Take advantage of this opportunity to find a program that can enhance your skills and expand your network. You not only enjoy a whole new environment but also become job-ready after the placement.


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Universities That Offer Scholarships for International Students

  1. Go As A Student Volunteer

It’s possible for you to study abroad using a hands-on approach. You can work as a volunteer to learn a foreign language and gain experience without paying tuition fees. You can travel to various destinations through volunteer programs and help business owners and communities.

Be wary of these programs, though, as some may charge you for volunteering overseas. Check if the costs are reasonable and if the experience will benefit your chosen career.

  1. Consider Au Pair

Put your babysitting skills to good use by signing up for an au pair  program. This allows you to find host families to cover housing costs in exchange for childcare. You may even get extra for phone and transport expenses.

You can qualify for au pair if you’re between 17 and 30 years old and healthy with no criminal record and have prior experience with kids. It would also help if you’re unmarried and without kids. This can be a suitable alternative to a classroom setup since you can learn about the country’s culture directly from your host family and other locals.

  1. Take Virtual Classes

The current pandemic has restricted international travel, but it doesn’t mean you can’t attend a foreign school. Use technology to enroll and participate in virtual classes. While you may not be physically present, the advantages are pretty much the same. You can still master a foreign language, meet other students from around the world, and learn about various cultures.

Online courses are flexible and convenient, so you can pace yourself while studying in the comfort of your own home. There’s no need to pay for transportation or boarding. Just make sure you have a reliable internet connection and maintain constant contact with your professors and instructors.


Don’t let scholarship refusals hinder you from studying abroad. While you might not have the requirements to obtain one, there are several options you can explore to fund your schooling. Use crowd funding platforms, do side gigs, or get financial assistance in the form of student loans and grants. Do your research to find affordable courses and schools with reasonable fees and even provide you with opportunities to study and earn at the same time.

You can also study abroad without a scholarship by doing volunteer work or using au pair programs. Virtual classes are a suitable alternative as well. Whatever route you choose to take, there are more ways than one for you to become an international student, get a university diploma, and have an unforgettable language and cultural experience.

About the Author –
Felicity Harolds is a fundraising advocate. She shares her insights about effective fundraising event organizing through blogging. During her leisure time, Felicity bakes and cooks for her family. She is happily married and has two lovely daughters.