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%).


Taiwan Aims to Double International Student Enrollment

February 10th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

taiwan457951395International students looking for a particularly promising and exciting location in which to study abroad ought to seriously consider studying in the state of Taiwan.

Why Study in Taiwan?

Aside from Taiwan’s cultural features, proximity to China, and reputation as a stable and powerful economic world player, the nation has a highly praised education system— in fact, Taiwanese students boast some of the highest test scores in the entire world (particularly in the fields of mathematics and science). What’s more is, for international students, a new national directive has made studying in Taiwan more accessible than ever before.

International Student Enrollment Increases in Taiwan

Taiwan has recently issued a national directive and strategy to increase their international student enrollment to over 150,000 students by 2020. Over the next six years, Taiwanese universities will offer increased aid to international students seeking to study there, as well as permitting Chinese students who decide to study in Taiwan the ability to access healthcare and hold jobs (something Chinese students were previously unable to do in the state).

Taiwan’s Goal

Taiwan aims to double international student enrollment, making the number of international students over 10% of the total student population within six years. To do this, they plan on using a number of financial aid mechanisms to attract students from around the world. However, international students considering this opportunity should act quick—Taiwan’s international student population has more than doubled since 2008, and the current enrollment incentives won’t last forever!

—Study Abroad in Taiwan Recap—

  • East Asian island state with a population of over 23 million
  • Democratic government 
  • Highly developed and stable economic sector (considered one of the four “Asian Tigers”)
  • A renowned education system that produces some of the highest international test scores
  • Currently hosts over 78,000 international students
  • National initiative to attract over 150,000 international students over the next six years
  • The number of international students in Taiwan has far more than doubled since 2008
  • International students projected to make up over 10% of Taiwanese student population by 2020


International Students in China Hit Record High

November 3rd, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

China (1) When it comes to numbers of international students, the United States and United Kingdom top the list, with Australia at a rapidly climbing third place. However, a fourth country is attracting more and more international students every year: China. If you are considering studying internationally, you might consider China for your list of potential host countries.

On Thursday, October 24, the Ministry of Education reported that in 2012, a total of 328,330 international students hailing from 200 countries and regions studied in China. This number is up 12.2% from 2011, according to the ministry. The ministry continues to work to attract more international students to China; the director of the ministry’s international division, Zhang Xiuqin, said that “We plan to attract 500,000 overseas students by 2020, which will make us the largest receiver of international students in Asia.”

One method of encouraging international students to study in Asia is by offering scholarships to students who otherwise may not be able to study internationally. Last year, the Chinese government provided scholarships to 28,700 international students, according to Zhang. These students studies in the country’s 690 universities and research institutions, as well as other educational organizations. Read the rest of this entry »


Financial Aid in Norway

September 28th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

norway160248917Another one of our readers wanted to know about financial aid in Norway. Although by law, education is free for anyone living in Norway, Norway is expensive. The living cost in Norway is higher than most of the rest of the developed world. For this reason, students must plan well in order to manage their living costs. They can work part-time up to 20 hours per week, but in many cases this may prove to be insufficient. If this is the case, there are several financial aid and scholarship options available for international students studying in Norway.

However, the competition for these scholarships and financial aid is high. Acceptance for aid in Norway depends on the student’s academic background, the country in which they reside, and the course they study.

There are national programs offered by the Norwegian government, as well as various other programs offered by both private and non-profit organizations to provide scholarships and other types of funding for international students to help support their studies and stay in Norway. The Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) is a public administrative body under the Ministry of Education and Research in Norway that promotes international cooperation in education and research and administrates several programs under which international students are eligible for financial support.

Read the rest of this entry »


InternationalStudent.com Essay Contest Winners

September 26th, 2013 by Bryanna Davis

BlogsizeEssay Finalist Milan Djurasovic

We previously announced the InternationalStudent.com Essay Contest that was open for international students around the world to enter into to share their story and have a chance at one of the top three prizes: $200, $75 or $25.

The judges at InternationalStudent.com spent the month of September narrowing down each international student essay to find the essay contest winners. On September 19th the top six finalists were announced to be the following individuals:

  • Sofia Camacho
  • Atajan Abdyyev
  • Simone Lim
  • Eshul Rayhan
  • Milan Djurasovic
  • Maan AlBani

Today InternationalStudent.com announced the top three essay contest winners and here they are:

1st Place ($200)- Milan Djurasovic
2nd Place ($75)- Sofia Camacho
3rd Place ($25)- Eshul Rayhan

Read each of the finalist and top winning essays for an inside look at what it’s like to be an international student.


Financial Aid in Ireland

September 20th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

irelandOne of our readers asked us to do a special piece on financial aid in Ireland, and we thought – what a great idea. After all, many international students studying in Ireland find that they cannot do so without some form of financial assistance. If this is the case, there are several financial aid options for these students. We’ve compiled a short list of the types of financial aid in Ireland.

Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships for international students are available from the universities and colleges themselves. These scholarships are awarded solely at the discretion of the individual institutions that set down their own criteria for eligibility. To learn more about scholarships offered by your school, you are advised to contact the school directly. There are also scholarships available for other organizations – you can find a comprehensive list of available scholarships for study in Ireland on our Scholarship Search.

Read the rest of this entry »


Now Open: The InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest

September 10th, 2013 by Bryanna Davis

videocontestInternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest
Deadline: October 23

InternationalStudent.com has launched their 8th Annual Travel Video Contest! Like in past years- the contest is open to students who would like to study outside their home country, as well as to students who are already studying abroad and would like to take a trip.

Eligible individuals can enter their short video into the contest from September 3rd through October 23rd. The finalists will be announced the week of October 28th and the winners will be announced the last day of International Education Week: November 15th.

One grand prize winner will receive $4,000 toward their travels abroad along with their very own blog to document the trip on InternationalStudent.com! Keep in mind that judges want to hear about more than where you want to go and why you need the financial help to get there. To be the 8th InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest winner you will need to tell your story in such a creative and original way that it’ll make the judges want to watch your video on repeat! Just keep in mind that your video must be less than 5 minutes and you must be over the age of 18. Read the rest of this entry »


Schwarzman Scholar Program Sends Students to China

May 1st, 2013 by Ben Cohen

Schwarzman ScholarsBillionaire and Blackstone Group founder Stephen Schwarzman has announced the creation of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. It’s mission? Schwarzman Scholar Program sends students to China. The scholarships, to be funded by Schwarzman’s own $100 million dollar donation as well as $200 million more from other international donors, will function similarly to Oxford’s prestigious Rhodes Scholarship though will obviously allow students to study in China rather than the U.K.

Starting in 2016, 200 international Schwarzman Scholars annually will get the opportunity to study in China at one of the country’s most prominent educational institutions in an all-expenses-paid, year-long program in Public Policy, International Relations, Engineering, or Economics & Business. These elite students will then leave the program with a Master’s Degree.

Schwarzman hopes that encouraging students from around the world (though scholars from the United States will represent the largest proportion) to study in China will foster an enduring academic and cultural relationship between the rapidly rising China and the rest of the world. Classes in the Schwarzman Scholars program will all be taught in English, further emphasizing the program’s mission of connecting Western, English-speaking powerhouses like the United States and the United Kingdom with the increasingly relevant China.

The Schwarzman Scholars program’s international commitment is also reinforced by its impressive advisory board, which is graced by influential figures such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice, and even famous cellist Yo-yo Ma.

The Schwarzman Scholars program represents a very exciting new opportunity for U.S. students looking to study abroad. With its high level of prestige in its host university and advisory board, setting in an emerging world superpower, and its fantastic zero dollar price tag, the program looks poised to provide quality international education to students when it does kick off in 2016.

*Photo Courtesy of BusinessInsider.com


Taxes for International Students

April 9th, 2013 by Ben Cohen

shutterstock_131714795Tax time in the United States is here, with the IRS’s filing deadline of April 15th quickly approaching. Taxes are confusing for anyone, but taxes for international students can add another layer of difficulty given the varying classifications that international students can fall under.

The first thing for international students to determine at tax time is whether they are filing as residents or non-residents. Taxes for international students will mostly fall under nonresident filing status, but to make sure what category you fall under you should go to the Substantial Presence Test on the IRS website. Note that residency status is different from your immigration status, and depends on a number of factors revolving around the dates, length, and nature of your stay in the U.S.

If you find that you need to file as a resident, you can proceed to complete your taxes as any U.S. resident would. Remember that this includes your total worldwide income, not just money earned in the U.S.

But as most taxes for international students are filed as nonresident status, you’ll likely find yourself moving on to the next step: determining whether you’ve had a U.S. source of income. What exactly counts as a U.S. source of income is also outlined in detail on the IRS website.

All nonresidents must file Form 8843. Those without a U.S. source of income get to stop there; nonresidents with a U.S. source of income must also fill out a 1040 NR or 1040 NR-EZ. To fill out either of these latter forms you will need either a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If you do not have one, you can apply for an ITIN at the time of your filing.

Tax time is a notoriously stressful period for anyone in the United States, and international students certainly aren’t spared. Get started navigating the process as soon as you can so you have time to sort out any snags, and don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or school advisors for help! Check out our partner, International Student’s Tax Return Help, for more information.

* Tax, budget and calculator photo courtesy of Shutterstock


How to Budget for Your Spring Break Trip

February 27th, 2013 by Ben Cohen

With spring break just around the corner, now is the time for international students to be planning their budget for their upcoming spring break trip. Follow a few key tips and you’ll find you can have a great time without needing a massive spring break budget!

Book early

It’s no secret that airline fares and hotel rates rise steeply the longer you wait before you book; this is even truer for a notoriously high-traffic time like spring break. Yet with the hectic start of a new semester getting in the way of talking with friends and finalizing plans, many students wait too long and pay an arm and a leg for their trip. Get on your game a few months ahead of time and reduce your overall spring break budget.

School-sponsored trips

Many schools have organizations that will plan their own spring break trips, whether they involve the organization’s interest (an archaeology club trip to Rome, say) or whether it’s just a fun outing. These trips often come at a discount, especially when they are only open to the members of the sponsoring organization. See if you can find any enticing options like this to help you budget for spring break trip.

Get it all together

You can cut down your spring break budget a lot by booking as many parts of your trip as possible together. Get a flight paired with a hotel with a side serving of shuttle service to and from the airport, and you might save yourself a significant chunk of change.

Reduce incidental expenses

There are a lot of little costs that come with spring break that many students forget to include in their budget for spring break: meals, baggage fees, tips, and so on. Do your best to reduce these costs! Pack your things in fewer bags to avoid exorbitant baggage fees, or pay more for a hotel with a kitchenette and save on going out to eat for every meal. If you don’t include these expenses in your budget they can be an unwelcome surprise, but if you consider them you can curb your spring break spending by quite a bit.

Spring break is a time to explore and have fun, so don’t let a budget issue stop you. Follow the above tips to make sure you can do something great!