Financing studies

In overall there are 5 most common ways that students use to finance their studies (if possible combining them also):
1. Own investment 
2. Parents’ help 
3. Finding a job 
4. Getting a grant or a scholarship 
5. Taking a loan 
 
The cost of living varies from county to country and the national systems are different, hence you can find a general overview of the countries below by clicking on the country you are interested in.

The Netherlands

Tuition
Tuition is the same for Dutch and EU students – €1906 (is the same in most cases). Non-EU students have tuition fees from €5,500.

Postgraduate students have the same tuition fee of €1906 in academic universities. Applied science universities charge up to €15,000 per year.

Grants and scholarships
There are basically no scholarships available for EU students, although the grants are rather generous if you can fulfill the criteria.

When you work at least 56 hours per month, you can apply for STUFI (a.k.a. financial aid) from the Dutch government. The application process is long and time-consuming, but if you get a positive answer you could receive up to €500 per month (depending on your parents’ income that is supplementary). The minimum grant is €266.23.

Loans
Tuition fee loan 
You will most probably have to pay the tuition fee in the first year, but after that you can also take a tuition fee loan. The interest rate is student-friendly and depends on the economic situation. It has varied around 2% in the last couple of years. P.S. it is difficult to get the tuition fee loan in your first year, but it is absolutely possible to get it for your 2nd year.

Student loan
When you work at least 56 hours per month you can also take a student loan.

What do you need in order to get the loan? 
• Be under 30 years old  
• Citizen Service Number (Burgerservicenummer) 
• Bank account 
• Certificate proving that you are a student in the Netherlands 
 
More information about the student loan can be found here: http://www.ib-groep.nl/Images/8622A_tcm7-26836.pdf

Job market
We cannot say that it’s easy to get a job, but where there is a will there is there is a way. If you are active and motivated to get a job, you’ll get it. The whole Dutch society speaks English and welcomes hard-working people. The most probable chance for you to find a job is going door-to-door and leaving a good impression to possible employers.  
 
Another chance is to turn to temp agents. There are a lot of temp agencies in the Netherlands. For instance: 
• europa.eu (several links to help you find a temporary job.) 
• www.jobrapido.nl (English student jobs) 
• www.geocities.com (site with links to all the international recruiters in the Netherlands)
We advise to go to student advisors and other students who have lived in the place to get tips on how to get a job. They know the systems and possibilities; hence you’d save a lot of time and frustration. 

Here is an example about the amounts you can get when you work at least 32 hours per week (monthly amounts for higher education):

Basic grant € 266.23
Supplementary grant € 244.6
Loan € 283.86
Tuition fee loan € 147.58
Salary (32 hours * € 6.5 per hour in average) € 208
Total € 1150.27 + extra from salary  

P.S. Bulgarian and Romanian students are not allowed to work in the Netherlands at least until 2014. 

Living expenses
We reckon it’s easiest to give you an estimate of average spending. It does differ depending on the city you are living in. Here are the living expenses of someone who spends rationally, but isn’t cheap: 
 
Accommodation (Student halls/Private) € 350/€ 300 
Food/Drink € 150  
Mobile/Internet € 15 
Clothes/Shoes € 50 
Leisure/Sports € 15 
Books/Stationary € 15 
Socialising € 75 
Travelling € 50 
Total € 720 +/- € 200 depending on lifestyle  


Denmark

Tuition
The good news is that studying in Denmark is for free for EU students. For non-EU students the cost is up to €15,000 per year.   

Grants and scholarships
If you are an EU student and work 10-12 hours per week while studying full-time, you can apply for SU grant from the Danish government. The grant is around €700 per month (in addition to the salary you earn). 

As to Non-EU students then they have a possibility to apply for special scholarships but not the SU grant. 

Loans
According to the rules at the moment, international (including EU) students are not eligible for the Danish student loans. It depends on the country, but it is possible to get a student loan from your home country. 
 
Job market
Grants and loans are difficult to get, hence there is no other option than to get a job if necessary.  
 
Finding a job is not going to be easy, but if you are active and motivated to get a one, it is definitely possible. The jobs are all very well paid, so take the first offer you get and move on from there. Students are allowed to work 15 hours per week during their studies. In the summer the number of hours is unlimited. Typical student jobs pay around € 15 - € 17/per hour and as a bonus you do not have to pay the taxes as long as you earn up to a certain limit (all students earn less than the limit and therefore are not required to pay any taxes off their salary). 
 
Living expenses
We reckon it’s easiest to give you an estimate of average spending. It does differ depending on the city you are living in. Here are the living expenses of someone who spends rationally, but isn’t cheap (average monthly spending): 
 
Accommodation € 250 - € 350 
Food/Drink € 200  
Mobile/Internet € 15 
Clothes/Shoes € 50 
Leisure/Sports € 15 
Books/Stationary € 15 
Socialising € 75 
Travelling € 50 
Total € 720 +/- € 200 depending on lifestyle

United Kingdom 

Tuition
Universities in England will be able to charge tuition fees of up to £9,000 as the government transferred much of the cost of courses from the state to students in 2012. The regular fee in England is between £6,000 - £9,000 for EU students. 
 
Universities in Wales will charge Welsh and EU students a tuition fee £3,465 as they receive assistance from the Welsh Government towards the tuition fee. 
 
The good news is that you can take a tuition fee loan which you might not have to pay back. Read further and you’ll get to know the system.

Postgraduate 
For postgraduate courses at all UK universities (including Scottish ones) EU students still pay the same tuition fees as ‘Home’ students. You should expect to pay between about £5,000 to roughly £9,000 per year for a standard Master’s course at a UK university. However, Master’s courses usually only last for 1 year compared to the typical 2 years in other European countries. 
 
It is important to note that if you are looking to study a postgraduate course in Medicine or Business, then your fees are likely to be far higher, reaching over £15,000 per year in many cases. 
 
Grants, bursaries and scholarships
There is a variety of grants, bursaries and scholarships available at universities in the UK. The amount of those depends on the university. Always check the university’s webpage to see what your prospects are. 
 
A bursary is financial support that basically all the universities offer for EU students. The sum depends on your parents’ income and generally varies from £300 - £1,100 per year. You do not have to pay it back and it is meant for all EU students if given by the university. 
A grant is a payment from the funds of a school, university, local government, etc. to maintain a student in full-time education. Grants are typically means tested.  
 
A scholarship will require students to meet certain requirements, both before and after they've obtained it. UK universities offer different academic, sports and merit-based scholarships. 
 
Tuition fee loan 
You can take a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of your studies. The Tuition Fee Loan covers the fees you’re charged each year of your course. It’s paid directly to your university or college. The amount they charge is a lot, but the good news is that you don’t have to start paying it back until you earn a reasonable salary. 

Students begin paying back their student loan once they earn more than £21,000 year (if working in the UK). You pay 9 per cent of your income over the threshold of £21,000 a year. For example, your course starts in September 2013 and you finish in June 2016. In September 2016 you’re earning £25,000. This is £4,000 over the £21,000 threshold. You pay 9% of £4,000 which is £360. This means from April 2017 you pay back £30 per month. When you haven’t managed to pay the loan back in 30 years, the remaining balance will be erased and you are loan free. 

P.S. The amount you have to earn differs country by country!
P.S. Postgraduate students do not get a tuition fee loan.

Job market
Since there is no language barrier in the UK, we reckon it’s not that difficult to get a job if you need one. Your own initiative is the most important – hand out your CVs, ask around, use connections. Bear in mind that he University Career Centre will support you when composing your CV and motivation letter and don’t forget to check:
• Job centres 
• Local newspapers 
• Temp agencies

When you do find a job, the minimum hourly wage for workers aged 21 and over is £ 6.08 and £ 4.98 for students who are 18-20. You will most probably not have to pay taxes and get the tax back (look for information from HM Revenue and Customs). 
 
Living expenses
We reckon it’s easiest  to give you an estimate of average spending. It does differ depending on the city you are living in. Here are the living expenses of someone who spends rationally, but isn’t cheap (average monthly spending)

Accommodation £ 400/£300 
Food/Drink £ 120 
Mobile/Internet £ 15 
Clothes/Shoes £ 50 
Leisure/Sports £ 20 
Books/Stationary £ 10 
Socialising £ 50 
Travelling £ 30 
Total £ 695 +/- £ 150 depending on lifestyle 

Sweden

Tuition
In Sweden the education for EU students is for free like in Denmark. At the same time for Non-EU students’ tuition fees start from € 7,000. 
 
Grants and scholarships
There are no scholarships or grants available for EU students since there is no tuition fee. You might have a possibility to apply for a scholarship from your home country. It’s not easy to get, but if you have academic excellence, it’s not impossible. Non-EU students on the other hand can apply for scholarships.

Loans
According to the rules at the moment, EU students are not eligible for Swedish student loans. It depends on the country, but it is possible to get a student loan from your home country. 
 
Job market
Grants and loans are difficult to get, so there is no other way than to get a job if necessary. 
Finding a job is not going to be easy, but if you are active and motivated to get one, it is definitely possible. The jobs are all very well paid, so take the first offer you get and move on from there. Typical student jobs pay around € 13 - € 15/per hour. ). You do need to be able to speak Swedish for most jobs though (at least on an elementary level).

Living expenses
We reckon it’s easiest to give you an estimate of average spending. It does differ depending on the city you are living in. Here are the living expenses of someone who spends rationally, but isn’t cheap (average monthly spending)

Accommodation SEK 2,500 
Food/Drink SEK 2,000 
Mobile/Internet SEK 2,50 
Clothes/Shoes SEK 500 
Leisure/Sports SEK 150 
Books/Stationary SEK 150 
Socialising SEK 500 
Travelling SEK 500 
Total SEK 6,050 (€ 735) +/- € 200 depending on lifestyle