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Being Indians, we are all familiar with the notion ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees,’ but in today’s scenario, everything is expensive, especially foreign education. Alongside that, we are also taught to never stop pursuing our dreams. So, the best solution we can find is to chase our aspirations on a budget!

Here are some ways by which you can study abroad for cheap or even for free in some cases:

Study abroad on Scholarships 

All the colleges and scholarship funders have a scholarship program that provides fee waivers for extraordinary students. There are several grants provided by different organizations to promote education and diverse cultural students in their universities, especially in developing countries. There are 

Location-specific grants: Specific to students pursuing an education in a particular country or city

Program-specific grants: For students who have applied through a specific program of the universities

Subject-specific grants: This is reserved for specific subjects or courses offered by the university

Student specific grants: This depends entirely on the students belonging to a minority community, be it, race, culture, sex, origin, disability, sexuality, or diasporas. This conforms to create a more diverse crowd in a university.

Indian government scholarships for studying abroad

Several government schemes provide scholarships to students planning to study abroad

Padho Pardesh– Scheme of interest subsidy for students belonging to the minority community by the Ministry of Minority Affairs

SERB Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship– Scheme of interest for students applying for postdoctoral research in the field of science and engineering

SERB Newton – Bhabha International Fellowships- Scheme of interest for students applying for postdoctoral research in the field of science, mathematics, and engineering.

External scholarships by Ministry of Human Resource Development, department of higher studies

Ms Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship under the ministry of human resources fully funded by the Government of India 

Cheapest Countries to study abroad

If you cannot find a source to pay your university, find a university that asks for less. Here are some countries where education expenses are next to none:

  • Taiwan
  • Germany 
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • South Africa
  • Malaysia

Make some side income

You must have seen in movies or series that students work part-time to manage some pocket money. You can also do some menial jobs that don’t require any specific education and pay enough to maintain your living. You can work as a part-time worker

  • In any chain stores 
  • In a movie theatre 
  • As a freelance worker
  • By taking tuitions in your field of knowledge 
  • As an event manager on weekends
  • As a babysitter or dog walker

Many other odd jobs can be found right in your neighbourhood according to your convenience to make your living outside India easier

Use your student perks

That identity card you get from college isn’t just to show off to your relatives but can also come handy in getting several discounts for yourself. There are public libraries, museums, educational sites where students get discounts where you can easily avail them. Many airline companies in India provide with student discounts and baggage concession for students in India and abroad. Do some research around your location, and there you are, saving money like a pro.


The best way to manage the money in your hand is to create a budget and abide by it. It might include you not getting to eat the delicacies and work with the mess food or even say no to a weekend party now and then. To carefully utilize your allowances at the beginning of the month, so you don’t have to rely on the mercy of instant noodles at the end of it. Maintain a diary for your daily expenses and reflect upon it every week to check where you can save and what part needs more attention. 

These are some ways, including many others that you can explore in the countries you go so you can study for cheap.


1.How do I know where I can use my identity card?

Ans. You can talk to your local friends or ask around about it.

2.  How do I apply for the scholarships?

Ans. Try contacting officials responsible for this, check the website of Ministry of Human Resources.

3. Will I be able to take time out for earning extra income?

Ans. The jobs mentioned are mostly menial and don’t require any specialized knowledge or time out of your daily schedule.

4. What if I am unable to manage to adhere to the budget?

Ans. Do not create impossible targets, and if you are not able to do it the first week, you have the next ones in your hand.

5. How to earn money online?

Ans. You can work as a freelance worker or apply for work at home jobs, fill surveys to earn some income.

6. How can I ask for a student discount in airlines?

Ans. When purchasing your ticket, make sure that the airline provides with student discounts and mention it. Take your Identity card with you at the airport to confirm with the authorities.

7. What are the alternatives to getting a scholarship?

Ans. If you are unable to get a scholarship, you can always apply for student loans in India. The interest rate is meagre, and you can pay it after you start to earn.

8. How to make my budget?

Ans. For this, you should lay down your necessities and the least amount with which you can manage. Once done, keep some extra amount for emergency cases and some for occasional leisure.

9. What is the best form of income generation for a student?

Ans. There are many if you explore your surroundings, but working as a weekend event manager gives a lot of side income with fewer efforts and your studies are not hampered by it.

10. Is there any simpler alternative for saving money? 

Ans. One of the most significant expenses in living abroad is the expenditure of the place you live in. To reduce this, you can share an apartment with roommates. Search for hostels run by organizations or government; they are usually cheaper. The second way is to find a college in a country near yours, that can reduce your travel expenses significantly.

/ General, Study Abroad

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About the Author

I am a study abroad content expert, associated with the study abroad industry since years. I am a firm believer that study abroad is once a lifetime experience and everyone should get a chance of having this experience.

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