When moving to another country for a semester or year there are always unexpected expenses that arise, but the most important element to studying abroad is knowing where you will be living. The cost of housing while you are abroad will depend on the type of residence you choose and what your available budget is after paying for airfare and your program. When studying abroad one of the most expensive costs can be where you live, so make sure you consider your options and do the budgeting for overseas housing. Normally you have the option to live with a host family, live in student housing, or find your own apartment. In order to appropriately budget for your housing expenses it is important to consider all the possible costs. Here’s a quick guide to help you consider the expenses that come with each option:
Living with a host family
Often times if you choose to live with a host family, it is organized through your study abroad program. If it is organized through the program then you are usually expected to pay this before you arrive as part of the program’s cost of attendance. Taking care of this before you arrive means that you will not have to worry about paying rent on a monthly basis. Generally living with a host family also means that you will be provided with a room and meals. Because you will be receiving meals on a daily basis, buying your own groceries is not an expense that you will need to consider. Normally, families will provide you with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but any type of snack or special food outside of this will be paid out of your own pocket.
Living in student housing
Living in student housing is similar to living with a host family since you generally pay the amount upfront so monthly rent is not a concern. Student housing can differ from university to university so it is important to find out what type of residence they offer. There are some facilities that provide students with a kitchen and others that do not. Normally housing that does not have kitchens provide access to a campus dining hall. If you are living in student housing without a kitchen your food budget will depend on whether you have the option to purchase a meal plan or pay on a day to day basis. If you have a kitchen then groceries will be an expense. For those who are not quite ready to be chefs in the kitchen, will have to budget for eating out which often times is more expensive.
Finding your own apartment
If your program does not provide either a family stay or residence hall, or if you just prefer to live on your own, moving into a privately owned apartment always comes with more expenses. In some countries, such as Spain, it is common that apartments come furnished. However, in the U.S. this is not the case and apartments that come furnished tend to be quite expensive. It is important to do some research on this, in order to know whether furnishing your apartment with a bed, a desk, etc. will be part of your expenses. Another essential thing to consider is that you budget enough money to be able to pay the first month’s rent and a deposit, which is usually the same amount as the rent. Other expenses can include monthly or bimonthly bills for internet, water, gas, and electric.
>> Want to learn more about apartment costs? Check out Costs to Consider When Changing Apartments
Abercrombie & Fitch and the National Society of High School Scholars have teamed up to bring international students the Abercrombie & Fitch International Global Diversity & Leadership Award. Students who are currently enrolled in or will be within the upcoming academic semester at a college or university and will be attending class in Australia, China, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates or the United Kingdom are eligible to apply for this scholarship.
Nine awards will be granted to international students in the amount of $1000 USD. This award can go towards tuition, books, room & board, or other educational expenses. There is not a specific field that students need to be pursuing to apply for this scholarship; however, they must have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
Recipients of this scholarship are chosen based upon their academic record, recommendations and their responses to the questions on the award application.
The Abercrombie & Fitch International Global Diversity & Leadership Award is to help support the growth and development of future leaders. Eligible international students who would like more information on this award and how to apply can visit here.
The new school year is almost here and while you may know where you are planning to study abroad – and perhaps even know what classes you’ll be taking – you may soon realize that you still have to get your finances in order. After all, the amount of financial aid available to international students can be quite limited. If you have finalized your budget for school and found that you still need help covering your expenses, you can apply for student loans for your overseas adventure.
Now’s the Time
July and August are the peak months when most international students apply for their loans. While loans can be applied to year round, this allows sufficient time to process all the necessary paperwork, get approved, transfer the money from your lender to your school, and for you to receive the funds from your university or college.
Understanding the Loan Process
To apply for international student loans, you can simply compare lenders and find the one that works best to suit your needs. All non-US citizens will need to have a US cosigner who has been in the US for the past two years with good credit. The cosigner can only be a US citizen or US permanent resident. US citizens applying for loans are not required to have a cosigner, however this can reduce the interest rate and improve the likelihood of approval. Once you have your cosigner:
- You and your cosigner can complete the online application
- Depending on your lender you can get instant approval immediately (some lenders take about 48 hours)
- Give yourself 6-8 weeks to process your loan information
- Your lender will then disburse the funds directly to your university
- Your university will then apply the funds to your costs and refund you the excess amount
Apply for International Student Loans
To get started, you can use our comparison tool to see what options are available at your school. You will be able to apply for the total cost of your education minus any financial aid you receive. Remember, your school will need to certify the amount of money you take out, and because of this the lender must work with the school you’ll be attending. Our loan comparison tool takes all of this into consideration and only shows those lenders that work with your school so that it makes it easy for you to apply for student loans.
Students pursuing their bachelor degree as a first year international student are eligible for the international academic merit scholarship at Wilson College. Upon admission into Wilson College, eligible international students will be awarded the scholarship. There is not a specific application for this award; however, students must complete the Wilson College paper or online admissions application, along with a statement of finance- and be accepted into the college.
While this award is not a full-scholarship, this merit award has the potential to grant international students aid for up to 25%-50% of their tuition. Wilson College will review and evaluate past academic achievement of the individual under consideration. There is not a required field of study that individuals must be pursuing in order to receive this award, nor is there a specific home country that they should be from. There are approximately 10 awards granted each year in amounts varying from $5000-$15,000.
Wilson College is a Presbyterian-affiliated, liberal arts school located in Pennsylvania. At this all-women college, there is a strong focus on providing students with the one-on-one attention they need with a 10:1 student-ratio.
If you are interested in becoming an international student at Wilson College and receiving this award, visit here to learn more and apply.
Deadline: November 30
There are three Rolex Scholarships granted each year: one in North America, one in Europe and one in Australia. Each year the Rolex Scholarship award amount increases and it is now up to $25,000 for the North American award, £16,000 for the European award and AUS $30,000 for the Australian award! This award is open to individuals interested in a career in an underwater related discipline, with this scholarship they will not only receive the cash award, but also training from skilled leaders in the industry. The winning scholar will explore the underwater world in their region, but will also venture to other regions of the world as well. For one year the individual will be on the road, traveling extensively to the next expedition, the itinerary and scheduling of these trips will be organized by a coordinator.
Experience gained during the Rolex Scholarship underwater research will include: scientific expeditions, laboratory assignments, underwater research, scientific expeditions, equipment testing and design, photographic instruction and other specialized assignments.
To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be pursuing marine biology, plant sciences, travel/tourism, and sustainable development and biology/life sciences. If you would like to apply for the Rolex scholarship you can learn more here.
A recent New York Times article announced, “many public institutions that used to get most of their financing from state governments now rely on tuition for more than half their budgets.” It comes as no surprise then that with international students paying out of state tuition – which is higher than the in-state tuition – along with international student fees, that colleges are turning to international students to not only diversify their student body but to also help bridge the funding gap. With that being said, however, there are still schools providing financial aid to international students that show their hard work, dedication, and capability to rise above the challenge.
The U.S. News Report comes out with the list of top 10 schools providing financial aid to international students. This can be quite helpful as studying abroad can be expensive between, travel and tuition, student fees and programming – and after all said and done, the majority of international students are not eligible for federal financial aid programs.
Here are the top 10 schools providing financial aid to international students according to this 2011-2012 report:
|School||State||Average aid awarded to international undergraduates||Number of international undergraduates who received aid|
|University of Chicago||IL||$48,907||58|
According to this list, you’ll notice a lot of big name universities and colleges – and most are located in the Northeast in the United States. While applications can be competitive, and financial aid even more so, having an outstanding college application with strong test scores and high school stats can provide you with the opportunity to stand out among the rest.
The new school year is right around the corner and we want to help you save money! One expense you will run into during the first few weeks of the new semester will be buying books for your classes. It’s amazing how quickly you can spend thousands of dollars just on books for one semester. If you pre-plan, think ahead, and do your research, this could end up saving you thousands of dollars. Check out these 10 tips on how to save money on books for college:
- Find out what books you need early. You are all geared up for the new school year, and you know what classes you are going to take. Check online and in your syllabus to see whether your professor has listed the required books for the semester. Be sure to check that the books listed are for your semester – and not the one prior – to make sure you don’t buy the wrong book or the wrong edition.
- Avoid your school’s bookstore. It’s common fact that the bookstore on campus does not offer the best available rate. While the convenience is appealing, often times there are other stores that will offer their books at a fraction of the cost.
- Buy used. Brand new books can be appealing, but the sticker price isn’t! If you buy a used book – whether online or in the store – you’ll find that books are much more affordable. And really, who cares? You are going to use it for one semester, and likely mark all over it. Many times you can find a version that looks new, but without the price of a new book.
- Buy online. If you have done your homework and already know what books you need, buying online may very well be the best option. Be sure to find out the complete costs that includes any shipping or handling costs. Websites like Amazon, eBay, Chegg, and AbeBooks can help you find the best deal. You can also find it comparison tools that help you find the cheapest textbooks.
- Don’t buy, rent. That’s right, now you can rent your textbooks instead of buying it. As with buying online, make sure that you check the shipping charges to make sure you are getting the best available prices. ValoreBooks, Barnes & Noble’s, and BookRenter are just a few resources that do this.
- What about the library? Depending on the classes you are taking, it’s not impossible to find the books you need at the local library. While they do have a due date and you’ll have to make sure they stay in mint condition, this can be a great place to turn to save some extra $$$.
- Free books online. That’s right, with the World Wide Web you can now find free books right online. Flat World Knowledge allows students to have access to a complete catalog for a low fee – or none at all.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle books. While many courses may want you to purchase the newest version, there may not be a whole lot of difference between the different editions. We recommend contacting your professor to see whether an older edition will work for your class.
- Sharing. This may not be the easiest thing to do, but you can form study groups and share the books you are using. Be aware that this may mean going out of your way to study as a group, but it also means splitting the costs.
- Sell books when you are done. When classes end, many students want to put their class out of their mind. With that, goes the textbooks. Other people like to keep their books as a reference or memento. Keep in mind that the best time to sell a book is right after your class ends to ensure that you don’t have an out-of-date edition as that will reduce the amount of money you’ll get for your books. You can sell them online, use Craigslist or social media to give them to a friend, or sell it back to stores in your town. Be sure to check around to get the best price.
The American Swedish Institute grants the Malmberg scholarship for study in Sweden to one individual annually. This award is granted up to $10,000 for study or research in Sweden and can cover fees associated with items such as tuition, travel, books and housing.
The Malmberg scholarship for study in Sweden is open to U.S. citizens or residents who are full time students in a degree-granting program at an accredited US college or university- but who are able to supplement their current studies with time in Sweden or those who are qualified scholars that are able to enhance their study with research in Sweden. There is not a restriction on the field of study or research in Sweden that individuals can be pursuing to receive this award. However, award recipients must submit a final report on the study in which the grant assisted, as well as acknowledge the American Swedish Institute upon receiving an award associated with the work which the grant assisted with.
This award was established from a contribution from Cornelia Malmberg- an educator from Winthrop, Minnesota who spent much time abroad, and had a strong interest in Sweden and educating others on Sweden.
You can apply and find more on the Malmberg Scholarship for Study in Sweden by visiting here.
Bird-X is now hosting an essay contest for one individual to win the grand prize of $1000 toward their college education. To win, international students must share what effort they are making to live life more environmentally friendly. The essay must be 500 words or less and must address how they are living life greener, reducing their carbon foot print and minimizing their consumption/waste.
The Bird-X creative department will determine the top 5 essays which will be posted on the Bird-X website. International students who apply can share the post with friends and family via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to gain points toward winner consideration.
Those who enter to win the Bird-X generation green essay contest scholarship can also submit a photo of a pest bird in action to win the photo bonus award. The two top photo winners will win $200. All winners will be announced August 2nd.
To apply, the following rules must be followed:
- All material submitted must be original
- Individuals may only enter once
- A photo is not required to enter the essay contest
- An essay is required to enter the photo contest
Bird-X is the leading brand of humane bird control solution. Products are to prevent infestation, property damage, spread of disease and workplace liability without the use of chemical pesticides, poisons and dangerous traps.
You can find more on how to apply for the Bird-X generation green essay contest scholarship here.
Want to fund your studies overseas, but need help doing it? A recent trend has emerged – have you heard of crowdfunding? Crowdfunding allows individuals to raise money by asking people to invest in your trip or project. Over the last couple of years, websites have been popping up that are designed to gather small amounts of money from investors, and then pool a sufficient amount of money to finance a particular project.
Attention to crowdfunding has now made its way into the realm of international education. Colleges and universities, especially study abroad programs, are evaluating these fundraising websites as a means to help students fund their travels overseas.
The idea. Students create their own campaigns or websites that discusses the purpose of their trip and the total amount of money they are looking to raise.
Sharing. Next, students share their page through their social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, etc.
Affording. Depending on the site, students may be able to keep all contributions even if they don’t meet their goal, other sites require a certain level of money raised in order to keep the funds, while still others will require you to meet the complete goal otherwise no funds are gathered.
If you are interested in checking this out as an alternative way of funding your education, check out these sites along with a short bio about them:
- Fundmytravel.com – This crowdfunding site is designed for those studying or volunteering abroad. It is meant to give you a platform for your friends and relatives to help you fund your travel experience.
- GoFundMe.com – This site allows you to fundraise online for a whole host of reasons, from traveling to honeymoons to everything in between. This site gives you a donation page where you can raise money by reaching out to friends, family, and personal contacts.
- Indiegogo.com – This site allows you to raise money by creating a campaign and then helps you spread the word around the world. The site also includes social media tools to help encourage others to contribute.
- Projecttravel.com – Want to raise money for domestic and international educational travel experiences? Then check out Projecttravel.com. Here you can raise money by creating a project and letting your network of friends and family know. This site is limited to only US citizens and permanent residents.
- Kickstarter.com – This fundraising site is full of projects and has more than 4.2 million people pledge over $654 million. This site allows you to set up a funding goal and deadline, and if you meet the goal you’ll get the money. If not, then you won’t. This all-or-nothing model makes it unique from its competitors.
Be sure to do your research if you plan to get involved. Most of these crowdfunding sites do charge a fee so it’s important to compare and find the best crowdfunding platform for you!