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I was admitted to the MPhil masters program in "Advanced Computer Science" at Cambridge, UK, but unfortunately I wasn't offered a scholarship. I browsed the internet a bit, but as I'm not from England (though from the EU) I couldn't find any possibility of loans or studentships, that would cover the whopping 20000£ needed to cover fees and living costs for the 9 months the program takes.

Does anyone here have any experience what possibility for funding exist ? Cambridge, as it seems, of at most grant me a bursary which does not nearly cover theses costs.

Would it be a good idea at all to take a loan (supposing that that's possible) ?

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    @Roboticist The thing is that in my country there is no such thing as an MPhil. And the great advantage, for me, is, that this program takes only one year, as opposed to the M.Sc. program in my country that takes two years. REGARDLESS, Cambridge has a world-wide reputation, so not trying to use this opportunity would not be a good idea. – l7ll7 Apr 3 '16 at 15:19
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    World-wide reputation does work with SUFFICIENT FUNDING, simultaneously! You better stick to the more practical option. – Roboticist Apr 3 '16 at 15:21
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    @Roboticist Man, that sounds like you rather want to talk me out pursuing Cambridge. But I didn't ask to be talked out of it, I asked about what I can do to get in. – l7ll7 Apr 3 '16 at 15:22
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    @Roboticist I don't necessarily agree with this. Yes it's more likely to get a funded international PhD in the UK, but it is by no means common or easy. Most of the scholarships for international PhD students are extremely competitive and difficult to obtain. I wrote a pretty extensive answer about this. I think OP would have a better chance paying out of pocket for her/his MPhil via loans, and once obtaining a strong background experience, s/he might be more competitive for international PhD scholarships in the UK. – la femme cosmique Apr 4 '16 at 9:23
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    @lafemmecosmique Bear in mind that the asker is from the EU so they are not really an international student. There are many opportunities for PhD funding for EU residents. – MJeffryes Apr 5 '16 at 10:17
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If:

  • you have quite low debts currently, and
  • the evidence is that this degree would considerably increase your expected earnings (don't just assume it - tackle it like a research question: try to find the best evidence you can that's the opposite of what you currently believe, and assess it), and
  • the non-completion rate of the course (including drop-outs and exam failures) is not too low

then it may make sense to take on the debt.

Providing a list of possible sources of funding is out of scope for this site, but you will find such lists across the web: individual Cambridge colleges, charities, organisations to promote international study, and commercial sponsors may all be options.

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Here is the actual list of funding sources that may be available to you. http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

But you should give their financial aid office a call. They're the definitive source for this kind of information, and they should be able to give you advice that is not listed on their web site.

Since you're in an EU country, your tuition should be comparable to what the British people pay. And because you're coming from an EU country, funds may be available to you solely because of that reason. And yes, loans can be a good investment, especially for what you'll be studying.

Obviously, if you were studying something like Archeology or Art History, I would try to steer you away from taking loans.

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    "your own country should be able to fund you as well". Some countries may pay their citizens to study abroad; most, I suspect, do not. – Shane O Rourke Apr 3 '16 at 20:27
  • @ShaneORourke And afaik, the countries which give scholarsips to study abroad, do that for a limited amount of time, e.g, 6 months, for a thesis, an internship or for a course semester. – Massimo Ortolano Apr 3 '16 at 21:20
  • Ok, I've corrected myself, but still, I believe there is a very big difference between "studying abroad" for an exchange program and "going from an EU country to another EU country to study abroad". And I don't doubt for a minute that exchange programs have more limited funding sources available to them, but an exchange program is not what we're talking about here. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 4 '16 at 19:39
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Getting funding is usually the most difficult part.

There is some funding available available for MPhil programs (but not much - and they are very competitive). Most of it you would have needed to apply for with your course application (or before).

But check here and see if you qualify for anything.

Also check if your home country offers scholarships to study overseas.

I would strongly recommend not taking out a loan for it. It's not worth taking on the debt.

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