After you have taken care of the application procedure, you still need to gather the right amount of money before you can start. Many European countries have government-subsidized educational systems, meaning that tuition fees are often lower for European Union students. As a non-EU student, however, the costs of studying in Europe can be substantial. Furthermore, International Students wishing to study in the United States have an even harder time in finding the money, as tuition fees there are often higher than in Europe. Nevertheless, there are ways in which you can alleviate the financial burden that you or your parents or guardians have to carry.
There are two main ways in which you can get money for your Master's program: scholarships and grants or student loans. There are billions of Euros and Dollars going around in the area of international scholarships, given out by:
- Individual universities in order to fund a certain research program.
- Non-governmental organizations that wish to stimulate specific trends in science and expertise.
- Governmental organizations created to stimulate international cooperation in education.
Apart from that, most countries have government institutions that give out student loans, often with low interest. Finally, you can always decide to take a bank loan, although we advise you to look for alternatives if you want to save money.
How to get scholarships and grants
There are a number of ways to approach the search for the right scholarships and grants. Below, we have outlined some tips to find scholarships in the Netherlands, Europe, the US and the rest of the world. An effective way in general to find scholarships is through Google, as you can find many free scholarship search engines. Be warned though, if a scholarship or grant application requires an application fee, it is often a scam!
A number of scholarships are available in the Netherlands, both for Dutch natives and for international students. The main player when it comes to International Students studying in the Netherlands is Nuffic, a government organization (www.nuffic.nl). A fast link to the scholarships in the Netherlands available through Nuffic, as it lets you search almost all available scholarships and grants in the Netherlands. If you are considering doing a Dutch Master's, there are many possibilities of financial aid available to international students, which apply to Dutch students as well. DUO, the Dutch government’s loan and grant organization, gives out loans without interest of around 1500 Euros for EU, EEA and Swiss students in order to cover the tuition fee for (under)graduate studying. See the DUO website for more information. On this website, you can also find more information about receiving Dutch study finance as an EU/EEA student. You can get study finance of around 260 Euros a month from the Dutch government if you work at least 32 hours a month.
The Erasmus Mundus program lists a number of Master's degrees that the European Commission funds in order to promote international educational cooperation and development. It is open to people from anywhere in the world, and has programs all over Europe.
Although studying in the United States can be extremely expensive, a considerable number of UCU students have already gone to continue their studies in the land of opportunity. There are many free search engines that can help you find a scholarship, one of which is www.iefa.org, part of a wider network of free scholarship searching websites. Furthermore, you should also try the websites of individual universities that seem interesting to you, as they usually have funded research programs or Master's degrees.
Research assistanceships are an option which many universities have available to provide financial support for their Master's students. This is an arrangement where Master's and PhD students teach discussion or lab sessions for undergraduate courses, help with grading and general course instructions or assist with departmental research. Individual departments can provide you with information about how to become a teaching assistant, and many universities will offer it as part of the financial support. In addition to easing the economic burden for students, it also provides a valuable experience in teaching at the university level.
Finding the right amount of money to venture outside of Europe can seem a daunting task, however, never give up hope if you really feel that you want to go there! Remember, there are numerous people on and off campus that are there to help you think about your future and the scholarships that can fund it. ASC and the career development officer are there to assist you in any way they can; ask around to alumni and friends how applied for a scholarship before.