Away From Home For The Holidays

December 24th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

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.

Work Study

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.

International Advisor

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

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