Many students already asked me this. They all want to do project work or just want to see what is cloud but not sure how that helps. So this post is for those students who are still wondering if they should install a private cloud or not.
Cloud is still new in the market. You want to have a look or just want to learn the basics. Having a private open source cloud will fit in your budget as you don't have to use a credit card (which most students do not have anyway). You can install them in your old desktop and keep learning different technologies in this field.
As in the last paragraph we know that with private open source clouds you don't have to spend money to learn.
After installing a cloud at your house or hostel room you can just use it to learn other latest technologies. You will not be spending time to setup new vms or computers, instances are cheap, after you are done with them or if you mess up stuff, you can just terminate them and start new ones. For example I used my cloud on my desktop to learn Ansible. I was creating couple of CentOS instances and trying out on them. When ever I wanted to test my scripts I just started new instances and run against them.
Almost every major Linux distributions release their own cloud images, which are small in size too. You can just install them in your cloud and try out the distributions. Fedora cloud sig always pushes newer images which you can use. To download them visit this link.