International students studying in the United States may find themselves needing money from home for a variety of reasons. Students could need the funds to help with some sort of unexpected emergency, or wiring money from home could just be a regularly scheduled part of their family’s contribution to their education. Either way, there are a few main options that students should know.
Perhaps the most well-known method of wiring money from home is through retail money transfer companies like Western Union, RIA Financial Services, and Money Gram. While the exact logistics and fees differ from company to company, these retail money transfer companies let customers go in to one of their locations and transfer money from cash, a credit or debit card, or even a bank account. Delivery options are just as varied: the transferred money can be put directly into a specified bank account, wired to a certain city for pickup at a location with the recipient’s legal ID, or even delivered in cash to a residence. Multiple delivery speeds are also available, with the faster methods incurring higher fees. Also note that transferring money from a credit card tends to cost more, so try to use a bank account instead!
Another option for wiring money from home is to wire money directly through your banking company. This is often possible even when the sender and recipient have accounts with different companies, but check your company’s policy just to be sure. The advantage of a bank-to-bank transfer without a middleman is usually a lower cost and faster delivery time, while the obvious disadvantage is that you need to have an account with the institution involved (whereas with a retail transfer company you can wire cash with no account involved).
Recently, Paypal has also risen as another form of wiring money from home. Paypal transfers function much like bank-to-bank transfers, except they can only go between Paypal accounts and not to multiple financial institutions. Paypal transfers are almost instantaneous and are a great emerging option as more and more people get accounts.
Wiring money from home is a simple process, with plenty of options to make it work best for you!
* Money Transfer Picture From Shutterstock
The New School Competition
Deadline: January 27
Students from around the world starting their undergraduate program at the New School this January have the chance to obtain one of four partial scholarships or one of four full scholarships.
Those who would like to obtain this award will need to apply online for general New School admissions by January 27. After completing the admissions process, students can complete the competition process by following these steps:
1. Register: Sign up to take the challenge
2. The new school quiz: Take the quiz to show your knowledge
3. Logical reasoning test: Answer a few multiple choice questions and let the process continue
4. Select your school: Pick one of the four New School locations that you would like to attend
5. School specific quiz: Answer questions about your chosen school and field of study
6. Creative case: Showcase your creativity by uploading a video
7. Share the news: Let your friends on Facebook know about the contest and improve your chance to win
8. Apply to your school: Ensure your school application is complete
If you would like more information on the New School Competition and how to enter, you can visit here.
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Whether or not you celebrate any of the many religious holidays found at the end of the year, being at school and not home with your family during this time can get a little lonely. Unfortunately, given the added complications of travel for many international students, this is often the case at this time of year. Let’s take advantage of the situation and look at some things international students can do to keep busy while they’re away from home for the holidays.
A lot of international students get some financial aid through on-campus jobs, though the amount of work can be limited by competition from other working students and visa regulations. If you are fortunate enough to have a work study job that still requires staffing during holiday time, put in as many hours now as your student visa will allow! With the great majority of students heading back home, it’s a great idea to rack up some serious work hours as long as you’re away from home for the holidays.
Applying for Scholarships
The scholarships out there for international students vary in a lot of ways, and one of those ways is in their application deadlines. Still, a lot of these deadlines coincide with general application deadlines early in the year, in January and February. Since those months (usually representing the start of a new semester) can be busy for current students, take the time that you’re away from home for the holidays to get some of the leg work done now in researching and applying for the scholarships that are available to you.
Most schools have some sort of international advisor, but during the school year this person can be difficult to arrange a meeting with. Since school staff are likely to live around the school they work at and thus spend the holidays in the area, they may be available to you for some rare one-on-one time that you wouldn’t be able to get any other time of year. Meet with them to discuss anything from financial aid to student visas to just making the most out of your holiday time away from home.
Wishing you all the best in financing your education in 2013. Happy Holidays from IEFA!
* Happy Holidays Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
Media Correspondent Scholarship
Deadline: January 1
The deadline for the Media Correspondent Scholarship has been extended to January 1st! If you would like to apply, you still have time before the New Year. The Media Correspondent Scholarship is sponsored by El Nomad Immersion Programs and is awarded in the amount of $500.00 to two individuals. This award can be used toward any El Nomad Winter or Spring program.
The winner of the Media Correspondent Scholarship will be responsible for documenting and sharing their experience while on their El Nomad journey. This award is a great opportunity for individuals who are aspiring journalists, photographers and videographers.
Interested applicants will need to meet the following:
To apply for this award you will need to submit a completed application, transcript and media samples by January 1st. You can find more information on the Media Correspondent Scholarship and how to apply here.
Young businesswoman in the office photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Winter is here, and Christmas is fast approaching. Depending on where you’re from, you may be surprised to see how much the city that you are staying in changes during the winter months. Lights and decorations cover the houses of many neighborhoods and city streets, and friends and families buy one another gifts. If these customs are unfamiliar to you, or if you’re just unsure about what to get your newly found friends, then this international student’s guide to Christmas gift giving is for you.
The most important part of this international student’s guide to Christmas gift giving knowing that you aren’t obligated to buy gifts if you don’t feel comfortable with it. Some friends buy each other gifts and others don’t, but no one will judge you either way.
If you do decide to buy someone a present, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just get something thoughtful, possibly even homemade. Gift giving is hard though, so if you’re having difficulty thinking of something, here are some cheap ideas:
If you’re short on money, you can always bake something, like cookies or brownies, as a gift. Everyone likes sweet things!
Another inexpensive gift idea is to get creative and make something. From picture frames, to candles, there are all kinds of quick easy, and cheap gifts that can be made.
If your friend has a Christmas tree, then an ornament is something that your friend will use and keep with them for a long time to come.
If you’re completely out of ideas still, go for a gift card! Of all the gifts in this international student’s guide to Christmas gift giving, it’s definitely the most expensive. However, it’s a sure fire gift that the person will be sure to like. All you have to know what stores the person shops at!
* Gift picture courtesy of Shutterstock
There is a huge number of restaurants in the US, and you should really make time to try out some of what your town has to offer. Although eating out costs more than eating at home, there are several ways to save money. Here are a few tips for the person interested in going out to eat without going broke.
Research Online First
Most restaurants have their menus online. Being able to look at the prices of different restaurants allows you to compare different places without leaving the house. If your plan is going out to eat without going broke, then the first thing you need to do is find out what places fit into your budget and which places you should avoid.
Speaking of finding places within your budget, big cities usually have really good food trucks scattered across places with high foot traffic. The food choices are usually as affordable as they are diverse. You’ll find trucks with sandwiches, burgers, tacos, falafels, hot dogs, and many other quick and delicious food truck staples. Not only that, but depending on the city you live in you can usually fill up for less than $10!
Local restaurants will sometimes advertise special offers online and in print to motivate people to try their food for the first time. Whenever you see a deal like this you can use it as an excuse to try something new! Going out to eat without going broke sometimes means trying something new and unexpected. Even if you’ve never tried the type of food that the restaurant sells, you should use this as an excuse to expand your palate!
Restaurants make a lot of money off soda, beer, and liquor. If you’re looking to cut back on the price of your meal, then just order water. No matter where you go it will almost certainly be free. Most places offer free refills on soda, so it’s not terrible to order a coke, however, drinking liquor and beer is an easy way to double the price of your meal!
* Man with groceries picture courtesy of Shutterstock
CAORC Multi- Country Research Fellowship
Deadline: January 15
US Citizens interested in pursuing a research fellowship in political science or social science have the opportunity to obtain a fellowship through the Council of American Overseas Research Center (CAORC). The CAORC multi-country research fellowship is to support study within the humanities, social sciences and allied natural sciences outside the US. Awards are granted in varying amounts, up to $10,500, to those who conduct research in two or more countries outside the United States.
To apply for the CAORC multi-country research fellowship, eligible applicants will need to submit the following:
Funding for the CAORC Fellowship Program comes from the US Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, the Smithsonian Institution, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Getty Foundation and center membership dues.
For more information on how to apply to the CAORC multi-country research fellowship, visit here.
Cloud for business photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Master’s Scholarship in Education for African Students
Deadline: July 31
Students from Africa who would like to study in the UK with a scholarship to assist with tuition fees have the chance to attain both! The University of Huddersfield is granting all self-funded international students from Africa the chance to have 4000GBP. Students must intend to study education at postgraduate level in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield.
The Master’s scholarship in education is worth 2000GBP. However, when granted the Master’s scholarship in education for African students, individuals also have the chance to attain the international student award worth 2000GBP. Eligible applicants are automatically considered for this award at the time of application into the postgraduate program. If granted, the award amount will be deducted directly from tuition fees.
You can find more information about the Master’s scholarship in education for African students here.
Coins falling into a piggybank photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
The main goal is to avoid using your heater when you don’t need it. It sounds simple enough, but many times people unintentionally drive the bill up simply because they aren’t mindful enough. The best thing you can do is simply pay attention to your usage. Below you will find five tips to help you in your goal of saving money on your utility bills:
1. Turn down your thermostat when no one is home. This one is the most obvious and underutilized way to save money. When you leave for class during the day, turn your thermostat down. There’s no use keeping a house warm if no one is home!
2. Wear socks and sweaters around the house. If you wear comfortable and warm clothes around your house, you can reduce the thermostat even when you’re home. Just a couple degrees can mean a big difference in your monthly bill.
3. Have someone come out and check your house for insulation issues. Many states will send out someone from the utilities company to check out the house or apartment you are staying in for free. The person will make sure there are no obvious insulation or wiring issues and give you even more helpful tips on keeping you bill low.
4. Open the blinds during the day and close them at night. Letting the sun in during the day can increase the temperature of your house quite a bit, even when it’s cold outside. Just remember to close them at night though to help insulate against the cold!
5. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Having to heat your water contributes to the power bill quite a bit too. Make sure your hot water heater is set low enough that the faucet doesn’t burn you when its on its hottest. There is no reason to heat the water to a temperature that is so high you can’t use it and by turning it down it can ultimately help you in your quest of saving money on your utility bills!
* Icon of four power services thanks to Shutterstock