A guide to financing your master's

Scholarships, part-time jobs, and having a sturdy budget are a few things that can make the whole master's process seem a little less daunting.
picture of a graduate student stressing over finances and assignments


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So, you have decided to pursue a master’s degree at Chalmers. Congratulations on finally taking the bold move and welcome to an unforgettable phase of your life! While this experience will be undoubtedly enriching, it will also be a massive learning opportunity in managing your studies, finances, and lifestyle. Here are a couple of ways for earning as a student that can make the whole financial part of this journey more bearable on both the mind and pocket.

Scholarships
Chalmers offers several scholarships, both for the first-time master's students as well as for the ones who are a bit further ahead in their studies. While securing a spot comes with global competition, it is one of the best options a student has to lighten the load on their pockets. 

The VOLVO scholarship for example, also provides ample internship, thesis, and even job opportunities for the selected students. The Swedish Institute scholarship, offered by the Swedish Institute,  on the other hand, conducts monthly trips and tours to different cities and companies, under their leadership development program which all the selected students are a part of. One of their recent trips included a fully funded weekend in Stockholm with a tour of the city and the infamous Stockholm City Hall, the very same place where the Nobel prize ceremony is held every year! 

There are many different options, categorized by the countries and status of applicants, and you can find the full list here​. All in all, financial help at Chalmers is always available to those in need. Seek and you shall find it!

Internships
The summer holiday season is almost upon us. Many students choose this period to build work experience and start earning professionally. Oftentimes, they find a great opportunity which then leads to becoming the first major base in their career. It is not uncommon for students to even pause their studies in the light of securing a great opportunity and starting their professional life early on.

The student career festival, called CHARM, at Chalmers is another great initiative by the university and the student union to help the students find their best fit in the professional world. Held annually, this fest is simply the easiest way to know, contact, and secure offers from different companies that visit the campus. You can read more about the career fair in this blogA summer internship is a great way of building contacts and accumulating funds while the full-time studies are on a break. While you probably won’t be able to earn enough to financially sustain your whole master's, especially if you’re a fee-paying student, you will definitely benefit from the experience and perhaps would be able to greatly lessen the load.

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Part-time jobs

Another great way of lightly lining the pockets is by partaking in the part-time job market. While it is slightly strenuous, as the master's studies are generally designed to be full-time opportunities with extra hours devoted to projects and revision, there are a lot of students who are involved in some sort of similar activity. Companies like Foodora and UberEats provide many flexible options for students to earn on the side, while food chains like Dominoes, Pizza Hut, and Mcdonald's are also open to hiring at a minimal wage. Some students also prefer to work in restaurants and cafés, especially when they come from a similar culture and speak the language.

Another popular option for part-time work is tutoring, either in the evenings or the weekends. At Chalmers, you can always sign up at Pluggstöd. It is a tutoring program that is carried out in collaboration with schools, sports associations, and aid organizations which also aims to bridge the gap between international and national students. This is a great way of meeting people and gaining teaching experience. You will also find that private tutoring definitely provides more financial support, while the language barrier would be promisingly eliminated when joining through the university’s channels.

Recreating, repurposing, and reselling
Are you a creative soul? If yes, then you might find a way to turn that hobby into a lucrative side business. The ever-growing online social world has helped many students across the globe to convert their creative juices into money-making opportunities and you can easily join their ranks. I recently got to know (now a) good friend, who creates handmade tufted rugs on the weekends which fetch him a good amount of dough that he spends to maintain his lifestyle. Depending on how good you are at what you do, by crafting and even recreating popular products, you can fund your lifestyle and perhaps even your education to a degree. Another novel way of earning as a creative student is by repurposing old items and upgrading their value. This requires a lot of creativity, time, effort, and not to mention some initial investment but the end results are usually very rewarding. Lastly, a lot of second-hand shops in Sweden have a system set for accepting old trinkets and clothes. Judging by the quality of the objects, you can fetch a decent amount from the stuff you no longer wish to use.

These were a few small and simple ways you can earn some extra cash on the side. While it is important to remember that most of them would not be enough to fully finance you for the duration of the master's programme, these ways will definitely help you lessen the load in the long run. Perhaps, you can even use the extra cash to travel, partake in different activities or indulge yourself from time to time. Hope this helps you in some way to find your financial footing as a student in Sweden!

pic of author and unibuddy, Sam

Author:
Smita

Page manager Published: Fri 10 Jun 2022.