I am from the Ivory Coast and I graduated in 2017. Thanks to the research I did and the people I met, I was able to learn a lot about funding my education which enabled me to attend this prestigious programme. At first, I thought I would have to stay in my country but with persistence I found ways to obtain the necessary money for my education goals.

Watch my video “Survival tips for international students” for my top 3 tips on how to finance your studies: 1) look for funding before you leave home; 2) be prepared to work part-time; 3) take a gap year.

Tip 4: Ask lots of questions

Thanks to my persistent questioning, I discovered the Benianh Foundation (Fondation Benianh International). By applying and going through a competition process, I was able to win funding I had never heard of before. Through my continued inquiries I also found out about resources specific to the region where I was going to school (in my case, Paris, France) such as the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship and the Ile-de-France Masters Scholarship and accessed even more financial help with the CAF (Caisse des Allocations Familiales) available to students to help pay for their lodging.

Tip 5: Don’t give up

At first, information on funding assistance may not seem easy to find but keep seeking it out. In the Ivory Coast, for example,the internet is not as developed as in other parts of the world and finding information online was not always a smooth process. I sought out other sources though and soon found alumni in my area who were able to give me invaluable input on financing my studies.

Alumni were able to give me invaluable input on financing my studies”

Tip 6: Get a little help from your family and friends

Don’t discount the helping hands of family and friends. My father helped with my living expenses and my uncle contributed to my funds in the second year of my studies. Friends may not be able to directly contribute to your finances but they can give great advice and often provide you with valuable new contacts and resources.

When I started my studies, I planned to begin working either in strategic consulting or in investment banking. I achieved my goal: I am currently a Strategy Consultant at Roland Berger.