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USA: Financing your education

Studying in the United States can be an inspiring, exciting, and rewarding experience, but it can also be difficult to finance. Truthfully, education in the United States is very expensive; students and their families pay a higher proportion of the cost of education compared to those in other countries. The cost of living, too, can be high relative to that in other countries. In addition, financial aid is limited and difficult to find. Foreign students must often compete with American students and other talented international students for the same limited funding. In any school, students who are residents of the same state pay instate fees and other pay out-state fees and there is quite a difference in the two amounts. Students who are awarded any kind of assistantships come under the category of instate fees, which is a very nominal amount. Other than this each one has to pay health insurance.
The best sources of aid for graduate students include aid from your home country, U.S. federal aid (such as the Fulbright grant), nongovernmental sources, and especially the academic department in your field of study at your university in the U.S.

    • Fellowships are offered to students with extremely brilliant academic record, test scores supported by excellent recommendation letters and essays. Fellowships comprise of tuition waiver plus grant for living expenses.
    • Graduate assistantships are offered to students by the university wherein they would be working on campus part-time as student helpers in graduate offices, consultants in computer labs etc. This may or may not cover the tuition. These are offered at the time of admission or can be applied for after school starts. One is eligible to apply for graduate assistantships in other department also but people of same department are given preference. Assistantships: An assistantship is a type of work-scholarship program that is unique to graduate students in the United States. Depending on the university and your type of assistantship, you would generally work 10-20 hours per week, and in exchange you would receive a full or partial tuition waiver or reduction, and a small stipend to cover your living expenses. You will not be considered for an assistantship until you have been accepted into a graduate program, and doctoral candidates are generally preferred over Master’s candidates. There are basically three types of assistantships:
    • Tuition waivers, which cover only the tuition and one, has to either work on-campus for living expenses or bear it with personal funds.
    • If you are a PhD aspirant or if you have good credentials in undergraduate school then you can get teaching assistantships at the time of admission. There are grading and teaching assignment. Many schools offer this on the basis of seminars given by you. You will have to take an oral proficiency test and get a minimum requirement to be eligible for a TA position. Some schools encourage for TA applications across departments. If your field of study is taught at the undergraduate level, you stand a chance of securing a teaching assistantship. These positions usually involve conducting small classes, delivering lectures, correcting class work, grading papers, counseling students, and supervising laboratory groups. Appointments are based on academic qualifications and are subject to the availability of funds within a department. Obviously, your command of the English language is extremely important for this type of assistantship, and your job offer may carry the stipulation that you must pass an additional English exam when you arrive at the University, as well as go through additional training. If you are interested in a teaching assistantship, contact the academic department.
    • Co-operative education is an option where you can work off-campus i.e. in companies on a part-time basis. This option will be open to you either after the first semester or first year of study. You will have to file an application for a work permit also called the practical training card (PT) at the international students office to be eligible for taking up this option. Also you have to show a good record in the course taken. Local companies usually entertain students for co-operative education option.
    • Scholarships: Many universities offer tuition waver and other types of scholarship to students. Do search for them at various scholarship search sites.
    • Research Assistantships: This type usually requires that you assist in the research activities of a faculty member. Although it is less rare to receive this type of award your first year of graduate school, contact the department after being admitted and describe your particular research interests. If you are interested in a research assistantship, contact the department, and perhaps the particular professor you wish to work with, if s/he is conducting that type of research. This is perfectly appropriate and you do not need an introduction. Write a formal letter describing your interest in the research, your previous research experience and credentials, and explain why you think you would be a productive member of the research team.
    • Administrative Assistantships: Unlike the previous assistantships, this type is not necessarily connected to your academic area of study. This type involves working at an administrative office of a university, such as admissions, student affairs, residence life, or library. These involve more searching because they are not offered by your academic department, but you can go to the individual websites of those departments or look on the student employment web page (often in the Career Center or Placement Office website). Fellowships and Grants: These awards are similar to assistantships, but have no work requirement. They are comparatively rare, and sometimes come from outside organizations.

Apart from these, other sources like on-campus jobs and freelance work can help you manage your finances.

UK :Financing your education

There are many scholarships and bursaries from UK institutions for international students, while more than 21, 000 international students receive scholarship funding from the UK Government every year. Under existing work regulations, you can work up to 20 hours a week when studying and full time during vacations


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