Guest blogger Written by

Martina Gardeva

My name is Martina Gardeva, I am a Bulgarian student currently studying a Master’s in Tourism Management and Marketing here at BU. Like me, I am sure you are wondering how you can finance higher education in the United Kingdom. Back in Bulgaria I did lots research on available funding opportunities and I am happy to share my experience with you.

Work and Travel USA (WAT) Program

Many Bulgarian students have had the chance to get involved in the WAT exchange program working in the USA. I have participated three times and if you’re like me, then you probably have earned a significant amount of money from this employment opportunity. Now is the perfect time to invest it in yourself and your future! Go for it, it’s totally worth it!

 UK Postgraduate Loan

The UK Postgraduate Loan is probably the most popular option for students from the EU and this is exactly what I used. The Student Loan Company (SLC) gives you the chance to apply for a loan of up to £10,280. The loan is paid directly to you in three installments if your master’s degree is one year or in six equal payments if you are doing a two-year program. There are several advantages of using this type of funding:

  • You can choose how much you want to borrow up to the £10,280 maximum.
  • You can cover some of your living expenses with the funds – the money is transferred to your bank account and it is up to you how to spend it.
  • You start repaying the loan only if your salary is more than £21,000 a year. Plus, the interest is low – only 3%.
  • The only conditions for this loan are that you are an EU student and have been accepted to a UK University.
  • The application was straightforward. All you need to do is mail the application form with your passport to SLC and open a UK bank account once you arrive.

Erasmus Master Loan

The conditions and requirements for the Erasmus Master Loan are similar to the UK Loan. However, with the Erasmus Loan, you can borrow up to €12,000 for a one-year course or €18,000 for a two-year course. You also have a one or two-year grace period (depending on your length of study) before you must start repaying the loan. However, this loan does not consider how much you are making to determine repayment.

Tuk-Tam Fund

“Go, study and come back” – this Bulgarian organization is giving away three scholarships of €5,000 each for students who want to pursue a master’s degree abroad and then come back to Bulgaria. The application process is through a cover letter and a face-to-face interview.

Good luck to all…pack your bags and start living the dream!

Written by Martina Gardeva (Bulgaria), MSc Tourism Management