As we all know, money is most often the most important element to consider before making any major plans about one’s career, education or life. Many students often jump into the admission cycle without having put aside the funds to complete the full application process. This can result in incomplete applications which are not considered by the university, and overall a bit loss in terms of time, money and effort. CS Study Abroad makes it a top priority to explain the details of financial expenses and prepare candidates from a year ahead about what to expect when applying, when actually accepting an offer of admission, when paying tuition for the program as well as living costs in the country where the student goes to study. Let’s look at some of the major steps and expenses in this process:
STEP 1: The Application Process
- Application Forms
The application process itself will have several steps. One of the first steps is to fill out an online form and submit it to the university where you are applying. In order to submit, you will have to make a payment that can vary from $30 to $150 depending on the university. This means, in order to begin your application with any university and open your file under their admissions office will cost between BDT 2,400 to BDT 13,000. This form expense is per each university for graduate level. In Canada (OUAC) and other countries, for a Bachelor’s application, you may be able to get an offer of paying around $300 and applying to up to 3-5 universities within that base pay. So, this amount will vary, but you should assume an approximate expense of $100 per each university that you are going to apply to for a particular academic year. At CS Study abroad, we highly recommend that an applicant apply to at least 5 universities for a given academic cycle. This means, you should budget $500 for the forms of the 5 universities you will be applying to.
- Standardized Tests
Most universities will also need you to write a standardized exam to evaluate your application in comparison to students from across the globe. This can include english language tests such as IELTS and TOEFL, and more advanced tests such as SAT (Bachelor’s level) and GRE/GMAT for graduate level. On top of that, they may require you to take some additional units with these exams such as Subject Gre and SAT-with Biology and so on. It is very important to consider expenses associated with these exams. Firstly, consider the expense of books and tuitions for the exams you will be writing. Secondly, consider the expense of registering for these exams. Here are some helpful tools to register for the following exams:
a) IELTS: http://www.britishcouncil.org.bd/en/exam/ielts/dates-fees-locations
b) SAT: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/international/fees
c) GRE: https://ereg.ets.org/ereg/public/signin
The typical cost of writing an IELTS exam from Bangladesh is BDT 15,800. The typical cost of registration for SAT is $50 from Bangladesh. If you have any problems in signing up, please feel free to contact our team for support or to answer your queries about the process. Once you are registered to CS Study Abroad, all these processes will be explained to you very simply and we can even help you do your online registration. Furthermore, if you need help to learn and prepare for the exams, CS can also help you find a tutor in your city, within your budget who can match your schedule and get your prepared for these important exams!
- Sending Off Documents:
This third step is just as important as the previous steps in order to complete your application process. Remember, your application to a foreign university will NOT be considered unless your application requirements have been fully met and all relevant documentation has been submitted. For this section, you will need to request copies of your SSC/HSC or O/A Level certificates from the issuing organization (e.g.Board/British Council Dhaka) so you can send original copies to the universities directly. This is also expensive as each copy issues as well as the mailing expense to each university in whichever country will be charged to you. The British Council will charge based on the country being sent to as well as the number of certificates being issues. It can cost between BDT2,000 to BDT 12,000 for each institution where you forward your scores. Although some countries and their universities are more lenient than others in requiring original copies to be re-issued. Usually, North American Universities (USA & CANADA) will require original copies which many European Universities may be willing to accept attested copies from your original. However, it is important to budget these in.
For graduate students, you will not be asked to submit high school transcripts but rather to send your most recent degree (E.g. Bachelors, Masters) degree certificates. Universities will re-issue original transcripts to send to each institution abroad and will hand them in a sealed envelope. Issuing each transcript can cost you about BDT 300 depending on the university. It can also take a very long time to process. It is very important to NOT open the envelope that is sealed and to mail it to the university immediately using a safe courier service such as DHL or FedEx. You may also have to send photocopies of your degree certificates as multiple originals are not issued for these. Here you must budget in the cost of DHL/FedEx to each university you are sending it to. You can save money by sending everything off very early, so you do not have to pay any rush fees. It can cost about BDT 2,000 per institution you send it to.
- Forwarding your scores:
By now, your standardized exam scores will have arrived. This means, you will get the opportunity to forward the scores electronically to 2-4 universities for free (depending on the exam). For the rest, you will have to pay a small fee to get the examining organization to forward the scores to the university of your choice. This must also be budgeted in.
Step 2: Paying Tuition
Tuition will vary greatly depending on the program as well as the university. It is also important to consider the currency in which you will be paying. Most universities in Canada are public and so the tuition variation will be less drastic. For a typical bachelor’s program, an international student can pay an annual tuition approximating CAD$22,000/year plus additional costs. For a master’s that can change. It is also important to consider that along with tuition, some universities will expect you to pay for your accommodation (dorm costs), food/meal plans (daily trips to the cafeteria), incidental feel, international health insurance and so on. To get a realistic budget, contact us at CS Study Abroad and we can prepare accurate numbers to discuss with your family and know exactly how much in tuition and living costs you will have to pay for each year. Most universities will also require international students to pay the full first year’s tuition all at once. This means the fall and winter semester will be covered after your first payment. Registering for a degree program full-time also means you can take between 4 and 6 courses (5 being the most common number) during each semester. You will also be able to participate in university extracurricular activities and avail student health care services as per the international student health care/insurance policy. Many universities also subsidize transportation costs by providing bus passes for local transport at a big discount for students.
Step 3: Living Costs & Other Expenses
Now it’s time to calculate the final piece of the budget puzzle. Living costs will include important things like rent, cell phone bills, internet, grocery bills, books, stationary, electronic, medication, clothing, and other utilities. This will be dependent on two factors: the city/town you live in and the type of accommodation you have. If you living on campus, the rent may be expensive, but facilities like internet and laundry may be included in the expenses. Many universities only hold dorm rooms for first year freshmen and second year sophomores. Third and fourth year students (juniors and seniors) as well as graduate students have to apply for spots in student housing or just rent shared apartments or studios in the city. As you may imagine, living alone in a studio or a one-bedroom will be quite expensive. How expensive that can be is dependent on the city you live in. In places like Ottawa, Canada you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for CAD$1000/month. While this number will be much higher in new york city and much lower if you are in a much smaller town in a rural area. On top of rent, you must remember to allocate funds for a monthly cell phone bill, internet bill, groceries and essentials. You should consider the cost of buying boots, jackets, and special attire as the weather of each country may be drastically different than that of your home country. So, the first winter is usually more expensive in terms of clothing and shoes. To live alone, you can rent a furnished place or even rent an empty room and buy your own furniture. We at CS Study abroad will be publishing tips and tricks on saving money in each of these circumstances. However, for now, remember to budget in all of these expenses when planning your study abroad.
Health Insurance: Most Bangladeshis going abroad to study may not be fully aware how the loopholes in their “health insurance policy”. While most international student health insurance will cover trips to the doctor, many diagnostic tests, and partially cover costs of prescribed medication, it rarely covers full cost of dental and prescription spectacles (glasses). So, it is important to bring enough back-up pairs of spectacles with you, or budget them in when you go to live abroad. Same goes for dental. As dental surgeries and root canals are extremely expensive and often not covered by insurance, it’s best to get check ups all done in your home country before setting off. If not, you’ll have to budget that in as well.
Step 4: Travel Costs
This section is dependent on how my trips back home and around the block you wish to make during your time studying abroad. Once you reach your destination and get settled in at your new university, you can travel back home for Christmas break, for summer break or as much/as little a s you wish. It’s good to limit the trips to a maximum of once each year so it does not get too painful on the bank balance. Apart from that, most students enjoy exploring the country they are studying in and getting a feel of the surrounding cities and towns. For this, you can get lots of special student discounts for travel using your student ID card. You should also budget in such trips in your annual financial plan.
For a more in-detailed and customized budget for your and your university of choice, join us as CS Study Abroad and we will prepare your personalized budget for the duration of your study abroad.