Join Us This Wednesday: Budgeting for International Students

March 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

pumping dollar sign187897805Going off to college on your own isn’t easy – let alone off to college in a whole different country. It’s an exciting and scary time, a chance to be independent and do what you want, when you want. But then it is also a chance to deal with all of the responsibilities as well – including managing your money!

No matter where your studies take you, studying overseas is expensive when you consider that you will probably pay more in tuition, and that you’ll have to consider other costs such as your living expenses, travel, etc.

Join International Student Loan this Wednesday at 2:00pm EST where they will walk you through the many steps of budgeting as an international student.

You won’t want to miss this Google Hangout focused on Budgeting for International Students. In this Hangout, they will be sharing the ways that you can improve your budgeting skills so that you can do all the must-do’s while you are studying overseas!

How Do I Join?

This week’s Google Hangout is free for all students! Simply sign up, set a calendar reminder, and attend the hangout this Wednesday at 2:00 EST. Be sure to check your local time so that you don’t miss it!

How Can I Join the Conversation?

You will not only learn more about budgeting from a Financial Aid Representative, but you’ll also get a chance to join the conversation and get your questions answered. Here’s how:

Questions and Comments?

International Student Loan will be available after the Hangout to get all your questions answered in real-time. Be sure to stick around and join our social channels to get your questions answered – and see what other international students are saying!


International Scholarship for Brazilian Students Provides Education Opportunities

March 11th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

favela188059788From primary school through university level, the Students Helping Street Kids International scholarship provides the opportunity for at-risk Brazilian students from impoverished and crime-stricken areas and households to attain an education: a privilege many from those circumstances unfortunately never get to enjoy. 

The Scholarship

Students Helping Street Kids International (SHSKI) is a non-profit organization based in Eugene, Oregon that organizes curriculum and donation efforts between sister schools in Brazil and the USA to provide scholarships for at-risk Brazilian youths. These scholarships allow younger Brazilians to attend primary and secondary schools in their communities, as well as the opportunity to study abroad in the USA after attaining a high school diploma.

SHSKI Scholarships Provide:

  • School Tuition/Associated Fees
  • Books/Supplies
  • Uniforms
  • School Lunches
  • Transportation to and from school
  • Monthly basket of staple food items for student and family, when deemed necessary

Where does the scholarship come from?

The SHSKI scholarship is made possible by the contributions of individual sponsors/donors, as well as pledges from universities, primary, and secondary sister schools in the United States. Individuals interested in donating to SHSKI or sponsoring an at-risk student are encouraged to get in touch with the organization.

Who is eligible?

Unlike a typical scholarship, wherein individuals apply and compete for a select number of slots, the SHSKI scholarship has its recipients determined by professionals with a number of NGO’s who work directly with the at-risk Brazilian youth. Student recipients are selected according to a number of criteria, including: intelligence, self-discipline and desire to learn, poverty level, having a fixed home, and parent/guardian agreement to allow student to follow through with education until at least high school graduation.

Are you Brazilian and looking for other scholarships? Check out our other scholarship awards available to Brazilian students!


Join Us Today to Chat About Scholarship Essays for International Students

March 6th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

connected people464897683Today, at 2:00 pm EST International Student Loan will be featuring their next FREE hangout on 8 Steps To Write A Killer Scholarship Essay. You will not want to miss this discussion, where one of their financial aid representatives will be discussing:

  • How to brainstorm your essay
  • Tips and tricks to make your scholarship essay stand out
  • Proofreading and editing

This discussion will all be focused on scholarship essays for international students, so don’t miss your chance to get the specifics. If you have used our scholarship search, then you know that most scholarships require you to have an essay enclosed in your application. The essay is one of the important considerations for the award panel and can be the reason an applicant is selected as the most deserving. You can spend hours applying for the many scholarships out there for international students, but it won’t matter if you don’t have a good essay.

Let International Student Loan help you with their Google Hangout today at 2:00 pm EST. All you need to do is click this link, and log in to join the conversation. You’ll also have a chance to ask all your questions live online, so be sure to create a calendar reminder and join the conversation.


Singapore Limits International Student Funding

February 20th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

singapore map175564741As many countries actively pursue an increase in international student enrollment, often facilitating such an endeavor with financial incentives and assistance, Singapore appears to be bucking the trend. Instead, Singapore has been reducing the number of international students receiving tuition grants and restricting the number of international students allowed to study at universities in the country.

Capped Aid

  • Since 2010 the number of international students receiving tuition grants in Singapore has decreased over 30%.
  • In private and polytechnic universities, around nine percent of international students received tuition grants to study in Singapore in 2010, where less than six percent did so in 2013.
  • In publicly-funded universities the current figure is 13 percent, down from 18 percent in 2010.

Moreover, this is in a country already famous for capping the number of international students enrolled in its country’s higher education system.

Capped Numbers

  • An announcement several years ago by Singaporean Education Minister Heng Swee Keat had indicated that Singapore would be pursuing a strategy to limit the number of international students enrolled in its higher education system.
  • The cap on the number of international students is intended to reduce the percentage of international students below 15% of the student body while advancing opportunities for Singapore nationals.
  • To that end, an additional 2,000 student positions were created and made available exclusively to students from Singapore at the same time the number of international students positions had been capped at 2011 levels.

So, if you happen to be an international student interested in studying abroad in Singapore (home to a university that has consistently been ranked around the 24th best in the world, and a highly developed economy) it would be in your best interest to act quick! Moreover, given the cut in tuition grants and funding available to international students in Singapore, searching through scholarship databases and finding alternate sources of funding would be your absolute best move (in the event you don’t happen to be one of the lucky 13%).


Free Discussion on How You Can Get An International Scholarship

January 27th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

hold money180121360Our partner, International Student Loan, will be hosting a free discussion to help you can get an international scholarship. Mark your calendars for this Thursday, January 30th at 10:30 am EST for a free webinar – full, now closed! where you’ll learn:

  • Where to look for scholarships
  • How to make your application stand out
  • Best practices to keep organized

Not only will you get to learn about important scholarship topics, but you’ll also have the chance to hear from three financial aid experts. With their background, you’ll have the chance to see what award administrators are looking for and how to put together an application that sets you a part from the thousands of other applicants.

This 30-minute long discussion on how to get an international scholarship will also give you the opportunity to ask your questions live! Experts will be able to give you the insight you’ve been longing for!

Space is limited so be sure to register now before the webinar fills up. Register now – full now closed! before it’s too late.

International Student Loan will be providing free webinars throughout the year so be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to be the first to register.


Get the Best Exchange Rate

December 29th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

money458058315Exchange rates can mean the difference of losing or making a few dollars with each transaction. When it comes to credit cards, cash, debit cards, wire transfers, and ATM fees, you should expect to pay more for the service of converting one currency to another. Be sure to understand how each of these methods work so that you have the lowest fee and the best exchange rate.

Know The Conversion Rate

With so many methods of payment, it’s important to contact your bank and credit card company to understand exactly how the charges work. Remember, exchange rates vary by the second, but that doesn’t mean that you will get that exact rate. You’ll want to ask:

  • What exchange rate do you use?
  • Where can I find this exchange rate?

Since the rates fluctuate so often, and in some cases dramatically, you’ll want to check the exchange rate regularly to know what rate you’ll get and when you should make large purchases.

Check For Any Fees

Credit Cards
Many credit cards charge an international transaction fee added on to each purchase. The good news is that there are some cards that waive this fee altogether. If you plan to go abroad for a lengthy period of time, consider looking into one of these credit cards and this can certainly save you money in the long-run.

Debit Cards
Not all banks are available worldwide and you may be charged a fee by your bank as well as the bank you use to withdraw money. Take some time to investigate the presence of your bank in your host country – do they have ATM’s in your destination country? If not, do they have a partnership with another bank in your destination country? Either way, it’s important to ask how your debit card will work overseas and what the fees are.

Exchanging Cash
Exchanging money is another way that you can get local currency, but try to avoid doing this at the airport, train stations, or over touristed areas since it is typically more expensive. Remember that the rates given by a bank or currency kiosk can vary, and thus you’ll need to evaluate your options. They all will include a fee to convert one currency into another. The best place is typically at a bank, although in some cases you can find favorable rates in hotels.

Overall, credit cards and debit cards are typically the best way to get local currency (that is, if ATM’s are available in your host country) and to make large purchases. Be sure to ask about security on your credit/debit card, however, to make sure you understand the policies in case your cards get lost or stolen.

Want to learn more about exchange rates? See how to make exchange rates work for you.


Search International Scholarships for Free Money

December 3rd, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

blackboardwithpiggybank159415722December is here! And before you head off for winter break, it’s important to also think about your finances. Set a few hours each day searching for awards and applying so that you’ll be in good shape in time for the new semester. Our Scholarship Search makes it easy to do, here’s how:

  1. Register
    Create an account to allow you to search, save and apply for the awards of your choice. Totally free, all you need to do is register here.

  2. Search awards
    Once you have registered, now you can search awards based on the name of the award, what you are studying, where you are studying, or where you are from. You will be able to narrow down the awards to those your are eligible for.

  3. Apply
    You will be able to get the information you need to apply for the scholarship. Fill out the appropriate forms and submit the information directly to the organization of your choice.

Not ready to apply? You can also bookmark the awards that you are interested in, and come back later to apply. Yes, it really is that simple!

Scholarships, grants, and fellowships are the perfect award as it is money given to you that is not required to pay back. Depending on the award, you may need to show that you need the money, or it may be based on merit.

If you still need additional help funding your education overseas, then an international student loan can cover the gap. Unlike scholarships, grants, and fellowships, loans require that you pay back the money with interest. Our Comparison Tool will allow you to select your school and citizenship, and find the available loans that will work for you.

Want more information on scholarships? Check out our scholarship blog posts.


Primary Sources of Funding in 2013

November 13th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

iie-logoThis week is a very important week in International Higher Education as it is International Education Week – and thus the week in which the Open Doors Report 2013 is released. In this report are facts and figures that show trends and changes with international students.

As we continue to sift through the data, we were of course especially interested to see what are the Primary Sources of Funding in 2013. As it comes to many as no surprised, the overwhelming majority of international students (63%) reported that their financial support was primarily covered by their own savings or with the help of their family. As a distant second, 20.7% of students said that US colleges and universities were their primary financial support.

In reviewing this data compared to last year, however, the majority of the increase in funding is coming from the U.S. and Foreign Governments. For those of you who have their finger on the pulse of international higher education, it comes as no surprise.

Saudi Arabia had a 30 percent increase in the number of international students in the US compared to last year. This brought the grand total of Saudi students to 45,000 in the US during the 2012-2013 academic term. The bulk of these students are finding their financial support through the Saudi government scholarship program which has given many students the opportunity to get their degree in the US.

Also seeing a spike in international students to the US is Kuwait, who has a governmental scholarship program that helped contributed to the 37 percent spike of Kuwaiti students in the US. This makes the grand total of Kuwaiti students at 5,100 – boosting them up to the top 25 sending countries.

That’s not all, Brazil also saw a 20 percent increase compared to last year, where the majority of the 10,900 Brazilian students are being supported on the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program that has also given students the opportunity to pursue their undergraduate degree in the USA.

Interested in seeing the data? Check out the Open Doors Report and let us know your thoughts.


Networking Tips for International Students

November 11th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

jobsearch124114057Dan Beaudry is the former head of campus recruiting at Monster.com and former associate director of corporate recruiting at the Boston University School of Management. On October 10, Beaudry presented “How International Students Can Find Employment in the US” to students at Drexel University, and shared his knowledge of the job search system which he has used to help international students.

Drawing on his own experience, Beaudry shared innovative networking ideas that are valuable for both international and American students. For many international students, the word “networking” is an intimidating term that begins following them the moment they set foot on campus, evoking images of overwhelming career fairs at which they find themselves jockeying with dozens of other students for the recruiters’ attention.

This association can prove especially daunting for international students. After all, how are international students supposed to compete with their American peers when they are often conversing in their second or third language? According to Beaudry, you may not have to.

Read the rest of this entry »


Top Colleges Offering International Students Financial Aid

October 2nd, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

helping hand147071720Many international students dream of studying in the US. However, the cost of such an education is quite high, and many international students end up having to pay that full cost, as international students are not eligible for federal aid programs such as Stafford and Perkins loans or many local scholarships. Some schools in the US offer need-based aid to international students, but such aid is generally offered on a very limited basis. For this reason, many international students believe that it will be impossible for them to study in the United States.

However, international students with a dream of studying in the US shouldn’t despair; US News recently conducted a survey of nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for their 2013 survey of undergraduate programs, and found that nearly 345 ranked US colleges offered financial aid to at least 50 international undergraduate students during the 2012-2013 school year, with the average scholarship totaling $17,721. The study found that some of the top ranked schools in the United States proved to be particularly generous to international students. Read the rest of this entry »