Ways to study abroad

#studyabroad #foreignuniversities #studyoverseas #studentexchange #students #scholarship #sponsored

Study Abroad – Travel the world on the wings of Knowledge.

Studying overseas does not necessarily mean that you must leave your homeland for good. You can study in a foreign university through several channels. We’ve listed down the most common ones here. If you’ve already enrolled and are preparing to leave here’s a checklist. If not read on for the various channels available to you for your overseas course.

Direct Enrolment

This is of course the most common and straightforward method of overseas study. You apply and enrol to a university or college of your choice and once selected you travel on a study visa that is generally valid for the duration of your course or 5 years whichever is less. Of course, a lot depends upon the regulations in your home town as well as the country where you want to study.

Students who want to pursue higher studies in a specific stream or speciality usually choose this route. If you are planning to enrol directly, remember that not all courses are offered in English – the international language – and you might need to learn a new language before you leave. Conversely, if you are not fluent in English you might consider taking an English speaking course.

Direct Enrolment to a foreign university is expensive considering that you have to pay for your own travel and stay over and above the course fees not to mention other living expenses.


Many corporates, MNCs, community trusts, and other organizations offer to sponsor students for overseas courses based on certain criteria. Sponsors usually pay for the education while you have to pitch in with travel and living expenses. However, charitable trusts and Corporate CSR programs may also sponsor hostel stay and a few other expenses.

Every study abroad sponsorship program has set criteria that may range from rank and score to economic status, community affiliation, or region. Also, the amount and mode of payment may vary. For instance, a company may sponsor a specific course and pay for education in exchange for a contract to work for the company for a certain period at a fixed stipend – which is usually lower than the average salary. Some may pay only for education while others may sponsor your stay for a certain period.

If you are considering a sponsorship to a foreign university be sure to read and understand the terms of sponsorship clearly.

Student Exchange

Many universities around the world offer student exchange programs under which they invite students from foreign universities to take a course in exchange for sending their own students to that university. Depending upon the arrangement between the institutions and the countries, the program may last between a year to five years. Such programs are gaining popularity in India and top institutions like IIM and Manipal university are offering Student Exchange Programs for specific courses. Exchange programs are usually facilitated between sister concerns. Remember that if you choose this route, you’ll only have a choice of courses offered under the program you select. However, this may be a more economical option than direct enrolment since you might get a course discount through your institution.


If you are thinking of going abroad for studies, one way is to fly to a foreign country is on the wings of a goabroad scholarship. Just as corporates, trusts, and NGOs offer sponsorship, many also offer scholarships to encourage bright students as a part of their CSR. Again there may be a rider to work with the concerned organization for a year – or in case of NGOs they may insist that you fly as a volunteer. Again, it’s important to check out the terms carefully before you step on the plane. For instance, will they pay for lodging and boarding? Will they sponsor your study material including your laptop and other devices?

Scholarships usually only pay school fees – and perhaps books. You will need to pay your own living expenses.

Long Distance

If you are considering a diploma, certificate or short term vocational course from a foreign university or college, you should check out which institutions offer the course virtually. That way you can take the course without ever leaving your hometown or country. This would obviously be much more economical and convenient.

Of course you will need the infrastructure – such as a computer with a specific configuration – and other material to take the course. Moreover, language can become a barrier for non-English speaking students. Also the Indian education system does not have the best reputation in the world so this could act as a barrier to admission in a foreign university.

Despite barriers like lack of technology and language skills, India is the second largest nationality in global universities.

Earn and Learn

Okay! So there’s this awesome course that you want to do in say Canada, USA, or UK – or for that matter in any country – but you just can’t afford the expense. One way to do it is to take a student loan and pay your expenses. Then you can take up a part time job in the country where you study to pay off that loan. Indian students can benefit from the currency value – earning in dollars or pounds but paying off the loan in INR. Of course, earn and learn may not be possible in all destinations because of visa and other regulations. For instance, some countries like USA, Canada, and Spain require a work permit for employment.

It is a good idea to learn about the laws of the country in which you want to study.


As an extension of the Earn and Learn you might consider visiting the country as a volunteer with an NGO a then leveraging your Earn and Learn to pay for your course. Of course volunteering is not always completely free – you may have to pay for some administrative costs and perhaps your living expenses – but it will save you some much needed cash just the same and take care of your lodging and boarding expenses – or at least reduce them considerably. The fallout of all this is that you will have to work extra hard – juggling your job, school work, and volunteer work. But then if you are young and high spirited you can do it.

Join a Researcher

Researchers, scientists, and the like often travel to foreign lands for their research. You could connect with one of them and sign up to be their man Friday. That way you get to travel and stay for free – or at a minimum cost – and you can do your course while you work. And if the research is in the same area of knowledge as your course it is a bonus. Talk to your seniors and college professors who can point you to some people they know. Social media is another way to find a researcher who needs help.

On a tangential note – you could apply for a grant and take your own PhD thesis to a foreign country and then enroll in a course of your choice to further your knowledge.

Government Program

The Government of India (GoI) offers scholarships and subsidies to students desirous of studying overseas. Depending upon the amount of scholarship and the course you want to pursue, you may have to pay a part of the expenses yourself.

You can also choose a mix bag of any of these options – for instance sign with a researcher and then take up an extra job for an extra buck. Or go with a Government program and work with a researcher to earn that extra something that will pay for a shared apartment.

While most agencies helping students to migrate are genuine, there are many scammers out there too. So, whatever you do, you should be cautious and explore all your options carefully.

Here’s a list of Indian Universities with high Global ranking.

Meanwhile, look out for our list of government programs and scholarships in the coming month. Join us on FB and sign up for our newsletter for updates.

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