What are the alternatives to education loans for studying abroad?


Overseas education has become a craze among young students; even working professionals want to expand their working skills by getting international exposure. We cannot deny the fact that overseas education comes with a lot of opportunities to uplift your personal as well as professional career. It has become an aspirational benchmark for those who want to excel in their careers.

However, the cost of overseas education is also high; studying and living in an overseas country is not a cakewalk for everyone. Abroad education loans are available as an easy option that students can opt for to fund their studies, but many students still believe that taking a foreign education loan will become a burden if they fail to repay the loan.

There are some other alternatives available that can be used to fund education abroad, even without foreign education loans. Below, we have enlisted some of the best alternatives that students can opt for to finance their overseas education if they are not comfortable taking out an abroad education loan.

Find universities with low tuition fees:

Studying abroad is expensive, but that does not mean that you need to drop your dream of studying abroad. It is possible to pursue higher education at a foreign university if you don’t have the finances to pay the tuition fees of world-class universities. Students can opt for universities that have low tuition fees.

Benefits of studying in countries with low education costs:

Several students cannot afford to study in countries like the USA and Canada. Universities and colleges in these countries have really high tuition fees, which may create a burden on students. Instead of quitting your dream and discouraging yourself, it's better to look for some other alternatives that will give you the same level of quality education but at low prices that are affordable to you. Countries providing higher education at a low cost for international students are:

  • Germany
  • Norway
  • France
  • Singapore
  • Netherlands
  • Irelands
  • Sweden


Self-financing is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after options when it comes to studying abroad. Students coming from privileged financial backgrounds often use their own funds to cover educational expenses. Self-funding will take away a large sum of your long-time savings in one go. In some situations, it is difficult for us to arrange funds at that time, but we can follow the given options.

  • Start saving early:

Planning all the estimates related to tuition fees in advance is a smart move; it will save you a lot of distress. There are so many tools available online by which you can convert your tuition fees and living costs to INR that would help you get an idea of how much money you will actually require.

  • Borrow from family and friends:

In times of need, we often borrow money to fulfill our essential requirements. If you have decided to bear all the educational expenses on your own, then it is a great idea to borrow some money from your family and friends. As a student, it can be difficult for you to arrange such a large amount to pay your tuition fees. Instead of stressing themselves, aspirants are advised to borrow the required money from their family and friends.

  • Scholarship: 

Abroad education and expenses like tuition fees and the overall fee structure put a strain on student budgets. Financial aid, like scholarships, then comes into play. Scholarships provided by the government and various international universities are available for meritorious students to help them manage their educational expenses. The Union Government of India announced several scholarships for students who want to pursue their education abroad but cannot seek an education loan to study abroad from a private lender due to high interest rates.

Here we have listed the names of some popular scholarships organized by the Indian government to bridge the gap between students and their dream of studying abroad.

  1. Full-bright Nehru Master’s fellowships
  2. Full Bright Kalam Climate Fellowship
  3. Full-bright Nehru doctoral research fellowships
  4. The National Overseas Scholarship Scheme
  • Assistantship

Abroad universities organize paid assistantship programs for students studying undergraduate and master's courses to supplement their funding. It’s a form of paid employment program to provide financial help for students during their course period. Assistantship programs are not considered a complete grant in terms of overall expenses like tuition fees and academics.

  • Fellowship

Fellowships are generally research-based programs organized by universities and governments at the international level to promote research work and widen the area of research for students. Fellowship programs cover the entire cost of academic expenses. Students who are involved in research programs in any field can seek this financial aid to pursue their further academic pursuits. Unlike assistantship programs, students will get complete aid, including living costs, tuition fees, and stationary—everything covered in the grants given under fellowship programs.

Liquidate family assets

Liquidating family assets to arrange the money is a voluntary liquidation practice for those students who opt for self-funding instead of an education loan abroad. Personal assets like property, land, gold ornaments, or any assets coming under your ownership can be sold off to arrange the amount. We often make investments, like investing our earnings in SIPs, stocks, mutual funds, and savings, to use them in times of need.


In today’s time, where everything is just a click away, crowdfunding has emerged as a great option to raise funds from the most popular sources, like the internet. Because we are connected with many people, it has become a practice to raise funds for various social causes, even for boosting up new startups. Students can ask for donation-based funding too.

Social media campaigns

Across the world, various social media campaigns have been organized to promote international education. Social media has worked creatively to raise money for students so they can fund their overseas education without any stress. You can research student engagement and sponsorship programs on various social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube have become such platforms where you can easily find out the details about online education fairs, immigration events, visa-related events, and events organized to fund the education of underprivileged meritorious students.

Employee sponsorship programs

  • Employers organize programs in order to provide financial assistance to their valuable and profitable employees; this can be a beneficial move for both employers and employees. Through sponsorship programs, employers send their employees for education or training purposes. There are certain features of employer sponsorship programs mentioned underneath.
  • Under financial assistance programs, expenses like travel, accommodation, or study-related expenses are covered.
  • Employees who get the opportunity to travel through these sponsorships will have to meet certain educational qualifications as per the conditions of eligibility laid down by their organization.
  • A service agreement will be signed by the employees committing to work for employers for a certain period of time after completing their education period.
  • Having an excellent and knowledgeable workforce is a benefit for employers and organizations; investing in the education of employees abroad can make it possible.

Work Study Programme

  • Universities and colleges abroad organize various work-study programs for international students that allow students to work part-time while they study. These programs provide work experience along with opportunities to earn during their study period.
  • The wage offered to students is helpful in managing their tuition fees and living costs. In work study programs, students are employed at their own university or by companies that have tie-ups with their colleges. Students who join these work-study programs have the opportunity to join the same company as a full-time employee.
  • Work study programs are beneficial for students, as they will get a chance to earn decently along with their studies and can grow their network with fellow students during their work time. It will also add to their resumes and skills.


At Education Loan Guru, we believe that education loans are the direct and easiest way to finance your education abroad without any hassle. In this article, we have enlisted all the possible alternatives for students who feel hesitant about an education loan to study abroad due to several reasons, but connecting with an expert will only give the right guidance. The team at Education Loan Guru is bound to provide only accurate information about study abroad loans.


By Education Loan Guru