Financial Aid for Studying Abroad

September 30th, 2021 by Al C

searching for financial aid

An adventure of a lifetime. A dream for many. A great opportunity to pursue your higher education in a foreign land – but is it affordable? Between tuition, insurance, travel and living expenses the cost of an international education quickly adds up.

If you’re thinking about studying abroad, it’s important to know your options for financial aid – and start saving!

One of the biggest factors in finding appropriate financial aid for a study abroad program is the location of the university you would like to attend. The availability of support for foreigners attending an American school is very different from that available to Americans pursuing an international education in Europe or elsewhere.

With that in mind, there is no simple answer to the best way to fund your study abroad adventure, but there are resources and opportunities for everyone, including undergraduate and graduate students.

From federal student aid to study abroad scholarships and from private sponsors, state organisations and your schools’s financial aid office – there is a financial aid package that will help you cover your study abroad expenses.

In this post we’re going to explore all the options and answer all the most common questions our readers have about securing financial aid for study abroad programs in the U.S., Canada and around the world. We’ll cover sections for Americans studying outside the U.S., international students coming to America, and those attending international schools around the world.

FAFSA and studying abroad: What American students need to know

This is a topic that comes up all the time with our readers. Many students ask “Can you get FAFSA for study abroad?”.

First, let’s explain that FAFSA is the the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a federal government form that determines your financial needs and informs most colleges’ financial aid offers. FAFSA collects information from applicants and parents, then uses a formula to calculate your capacity to pay for college in the United States and your financial aid requirements.

You won’t be able to receive any kind of federal financial aid in the US without completing the FAFSA, and it is very likely that you would need to complete it in order to receive financial aid directly from your college or university, too.

Can you use financial aid to study abroad?

Federal aid is available for U.S. students seeking to study abroad. The type of program, duration of study and your status as an undergraduate or graduate can affect your eligibility, just like it does at schools in the U.S., but there are some differences when applying for this type of funding.

Study abroad program or foreign enrolled student

One of the biggest differences in the financial support for international studies is the duration of the intended study abroad program. At IEFA we generally talk about 2 main categories of international study: Study Abroad and Foreign Enrolled.

all night study session

“Study Abroad” would be the term for those taking part in a short program of one semester or up to one academic year at a foreign university. Students on this type of program may be able to receive financial aid from the government if they fill out the FAFSA, meet the eligibility requirements and get the required paperwork completed by the financial aid office both at their home (U.S.) college and the foreign university they will attend.

Unfortunately, if your college is not part of the federal program then you would not be able to receive federal support for your study abroad costs.

A “Foreign Enrolled” student, on the other hand, is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is taking their degree program entirely at a foreign university. These students don’t have a “home institution” – a college in the U.S. They must therefore navigate the application process and study abroad experience themselves directly with their chosen school.

The good news for foreign enrolled students is that at many top universities around the world federal student aid is available and those same universities may have relationships with lenders who offer private loans for eligible students, too, meaning there are more funding opportunities and your study abroad dreams may be closer than you think.

Federal Student Loans

If you are studying inside the U.S. or abroad, there are a number of different federal student loan programs and financial aid options. If you’d like more information on federal loans, you can learn about Stafford Loans here. Stafford loans are for students attending college at least half time. They provide an excellent educational funding resource for US citizens and permanent residents.

Studying in the U.S. – information for foreign students

Funding options for international students in the U.S. are more limited than they may be in your home country.

In terms of the financial aid that you may be able to receive there are a few broad categories.

  • The primary source of funds for most international students in the U.S. is their own or their family’s savings.
  • However most are not able to cover all of their costs and the remaining funds come from a variety of sources.
  • Many colleges offer financial aid information and support, which may include partial or full tuition waivers, as well as scholarships which may be merit based or awarded according to financial need. They may also offer scholarships based on country of origin, a student’s degree program, sport, culture or need. Speak to your study abroad advisor or admissions counsellor.
  • Read more about types of scholarship
  • You may also be able to work on or off campus depending on your visa status.
  • There are also many private international and local organizations that can assist with study abroad scholarships, awards and more. Some people think of scholarships as “free money” but there are often conditions you must meet in order to keep the funds you have been awarded. scholarships can also be highly competitive to win.
  • Read about how to write a scholarship-winning essay.
  • If additional funding is required then a private student loan may be the next option. You can search for a loan servicer using the eligibility checker on our site or at International Student Loan.

Studying in Canada

Students in masks

Whatever country you’re from, if you’re studying in Canada you’ll face the same challenges as many other students around the world.

The great news is that as well as the funding that you may be able to find by talking to your study abroad office such as tuition discounts, waivers, scholarships and more, there are also student loans available at a number of top universities across Canada. These loans do not require you to have collateral or a cosigner. Find out more about international student loans in Canada.

Do you have any questions about funding your study abroad experience? Let us know in the comments!


Resources for International Students

September 16th, 2021 by Al C

Female international student on campus

Many international students attend college or community college in the USA or go to a university or other higher education institution in Canada, the UK, Australia or many other countries around the world.

At IEFA we encourage students to broaden their horizons and take on the rewarding experience of an international education just like the estimated 5 to 6 million international students currently enrolled at universities in all four corners of the globe.

Some international students may feel they are isolated in their new country away from friends and family. However, this does not have to be the case! You can find communities of other international students, clubs and societies with common interests and the local community who will help you with the transition to your new country. Many international students actually report that the social life and extra curricular activities many colleges offer is even more valuable to them in their future careers than the quality education they receive compared to staying in their home country.

There are also plenty of resources specifically for international students – from housing, to scholarships and even financial assistance – whether you attend a small college or a large university overseas. You will have access to an international student advisor who can provide assistance and guidance to you before, during and often after you’ve completed your degree program. Many schools have dedicated support teams, or an international student office, who can help with any student visa questions foreign students might have, financial aid and advice on funding sources and access to financial resources.

I hope that this article offers some helpful advice on what people need when they first come over to a different country; don’t be afraid or shy! If you ever need any help please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

International Students

International student on campus

International students, or foreign students, are individuals who choose to do all or part of their post-secondary education in another country and relocate there for the explicit purpose of study. Most international students (more than 40% of all international students around the world) study at colleges and universities in just four destination countries – The U.S., The U.K., Canada and Australia.

Requirements

Many countries require prospective international students to complete standardized tests to demonstrate language competence in the language of instruction or the main spoken language in that country. Students who do not have the required level of language to enter onto their chosen degree program may be able to take a Pathway Program at many colleges and universities. Pathway programs allow students to develop their language skills before proceeding onto their chosen degree programs.

Requirements will also vary depending on your chosen academic studies – whether you’re enrolling for undergraduate study or pursuing a graduate degree.

Student Visas

A student visa is one of the required documents for enrolment for many students. The exact student visa requirement will vary depending on the destination country, length of program and many other factors. Your chosen college or university will be able to give you the latest advice on whether student visas are required or not – for example for a short course of less than 6 months in Canada may not require a study visa as the course can be completed in the time allowed for many temporary visitor visas. Talk to the admissions office or international student office for guidance.

Financial Resources

Living expenses, travel, tuition fees, having a social life… the costs of your education soon add up. Of course this is great for a country’s economy! It does mean that you may have to demonstrate that you have the resources to pay for the total cost of your education in that country in order to be granted your student visa. If you will be studying in the U.S. then there is definitely a requirement to prove you can pay for your own education and living costs. You can do this by providing statements from your bank account, as well as information about whether you receive funding from other sources to pay for your education.

Isolation and homesickness

International students gathered

The feeling of homesickness can be very real for international students when they first study abroad. Most students go through a period of adjustment where they may feel very emotional and even want to return home.

It may feel like the people you meet don’t understand your culture, you miss your friends and family back home, or you can’t get used to the weather or find food that reminds you of home. It can be many things. But there are a number of ways for an international student to overcome homesickness:

  • Stay connected with people back home by sending them photos and updates on how things are going.
  • Socialize with other international students who are studying at the same university. This is a great way to get support, advice and make new friends that will be able to understand what you’re going through.
  • Join clubs or sports teams at your college or university – not only will it help you meet people, but you’ll have a great time doing it!
  • Make sure you’re eating well and exercising regularly. You’ll feel better about yourself and be prepared to take on the day with energy.
  • Get enough sleep! If you don’t, it’s going to be harder for you to face each day with positivity.
  • Use the support offered by your university – the international students’ office, counselling services, social and recreational clubs as well as your teachers, lecturers and support staff you interact with every day – they are there to help you get the most out of your education.

There are also plenty of resources specifically for international university students-from housing, to scholarships and even financial aid information, we have it all covered here!

International Financial Aid Resources

International Scholarships

As well as the IEFA international scholarship database you can also search internationalscholarships.com and speak to the advisors at your college or university as there may be some specific financial aid available for you. Many organizations and top universities offer financial and other aid to support talented students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access higher education at home or abroad.

You can set up a free account to use IEFA here.

International Student Loans

Many international students simply cannot afford to study abroad with only their own income and family support. Even after securing scholarships, awards and grants there can still be a gap between the funds available and the costs.

If this is the case most international students on graduate programs or in their final 2 years of their undergraduate studies at many Canadian or American universities may be eligible for international student loans.

Loans for U.S. permanent resident students abroad are also available (and Stafford Loan funds can be used for study abroad, too). The majority of international students studying in other countries will struggle to find loans available to them.

International Student Resources at Your School

Study time for international student

Whether it’s advice on financial aid or support with on or off campus housing, your university has one or more departments dedicated to getting you the advice and resources you need as an international student. Your education, happiness and welfare is their number 1 priority.

You will have access to

  • Financial Aid Office
  • International Student Advisors
  • Admissions Services
  • Housing and Accommodation
  • Cultural, Spiritual and Physical Wellbeing

Studying in the USA

Although the federal government doesn’t offer financial aid to those studying abroad in the USA, that doesn’t mean that there are no other funding sources. In fact, American colleges and universities are among the most generous in the world when it comes to offering international student financial aid in the form of tuition waivers or discounts as well as scholarships based on financial need, academic merit or athletic ability.

Studying in other countries

Wherever you are studying the advisors at your school or university should be your first port of call for any questions or concerns you have along your international student journey, from admissions requirements right through to job prospects and careers advice after graduation.


International Student Financial Aid: What You Need to Know

August 23rd, 2021 by Al C

international students studying

The cost of international education can be a difficult thing to bear for many people and their families without financial assistance. But what about international students who come from outside the United States? International financial aid is available, but it may not be presented in the same way for international students as it is for domestic students

Here are some important aspects of financial aid that international students wishing to study abroad should know about before applying – fees, how to apply and more!

Financial Aid is available for international students

Many international students are hesitant to apply to study abroad because they don’t have many financial resources and expect it to be unaffordable. However, not all expenses are born by the student – there are many financial aid options for international students including scholarships or a student loan.

In the U.S. international students may not be eligible for Federal student aid, but funding such as scholarships are available for a wide variety of fields of study. Some of them may require you to commit to certain countries or regions.

If you’re looking for a scholarship that does not restrict your study choices, there are also scholarships offered by individual states as well as federal scholarships.

How to apply for financial aid as an international student

Applying for financial aid as an international student depends on various factors, but most importantly the source of the funding.

If you’re applying through your school’s financial aid office, you’ll need to fill out the appropriate paperwork. This is the most common way for international students to apply.

If you’re applying directly through a federal or state agency, however, it may be necessary to go in person to their specific offices – sometimes even abroad!

And if you’re applying through a private or independent scholarship provider, you may need to apply directly through their website – there’s no standard application.

This is all part of the reason why it’s so important that international students start planning for financing early!

What you need to know about financial aid before applying

Before you apply, make sure you know the following:

– Whether or not your school offers scholarships specifically for international students. If not, ask if they partner with any external scholarship providers that do!

– Your total cost of attendance. This includes tuition as well as fees and more; it’s important to remember that just because tuition is cheaper doesn’t mean that it’s less expensive for international students once you factor in all of the other costs associated with attending that school.

– Any terms or conditions associated with the funding, such as maintaining a certain GPA, enrolment status or, if applicable, repayment terms.

– Any restrictions associated with the funding, such as specific majors or areas of study or even countries

international scholarships are available

While applying for financial aid can be a lot of work, and the logistics may seem frustrating, it’s important to remember that this is all part of the application process. The more you know about how much money you’re going to need, your options for getting it and the requirements associated with both funding sources and financial aid before committing to a program, the easier everything else will be.

Funding sources

There are many different sources of funding including:

  • The school or university you are attending
  • Official government programs in your destination country
  • Official government programs in your home country
  • Private sponsors
  • Loans
  • Study and work programs
  • Graduate opportunities that are funded

The cost of your higher education

When it comes to studying abroad, the price of tuition and other fees can add up quickly. You should also keep in mind that the cost of living in your host country could in fact be much higher compared to what you’re used to.

What can you do?

There are many ways for you to finance your study abroad program, so don’t get discouraged! Start saving early and keep track of where your money comes from throughout the entire process. This will help you keep a clear idea of what you have left to go, and how long it’s going to take you get there.

Students with undergraduate degrees can usually apply for fellowships, research grants or internships. They can also look into any available student loans, scholarships offered by their home country or even participating in the Erasmus+ program.

Graduate students may find it easier to get sponsorship or funded courses that include teaching or research.

The most important thing is to do your research to make sure you know about all the costs you can expect to encounter and all the funding possibilities out there.

Working while studying abroad

Even if you’re planning to only study abroad for a short period of time, it may be possible to find a part-time job in your host country to help support yourself financially. It’ll require some planning, but having at least one source of income can make things easier.

If you’re considering working abroad then make sure that your student visa allows this.

Get help from your school’s financial aid office

an international student loan may be an option

Your school’s office of financial aid office is going to be the most up-to-date source of information on financing your study abroad experience.

Additional resources

Find scholarships IEFA.org

Find international student loans at InternationalStudentLoan.com

If you’re an international student looking to finance your higher education, it’s important that you know about all of the various options available and what they entail. For example, if your country has a scholarship program for their citizens studying abroad then make sure to apply! Your home government might also have some programs in place that can help subsidize tuition costs or offer additional funding opportunities such as fellowships. If not, don’t worry- many schools partner with external organizations who provide scholarships specifically for international students. You should always research these before committing to a school so you’ll know which ones are worth applying for and which aren’t- especially since there is often more than one option per organization.


Proof of Funds for your F-1 International Student Visa

July 15th, 2021 by admin

Flag over US Embassy for Proof of Funds to study in the US

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of schools and confirmed admissions, the next step is to apply for an F-1 international student visa to get authorization to study in the US.

All prospective foreign students are required to demonstrate that they have the financial capability to support him or herself while studying in the US. This includes covering tuition and fees, living expenses, and any dependents – without working during your studies.

Proof of Funds

To meet the Proof of Funds requirement for your F-1 visa, you will either need to present proof of funds for yourself or do so through a sponsorship (such as a relative financially backing your education). It is important that you check directly with the consulate as this may vary by country and agency, but here are some general considerations and documents you should bring during your visit.

Proof of liquid assets

The consulate will want to see that you are able to cover your education and living expenses. While there are generally no specific documents that prove this, there are some commonly used documents that help support proof of funds including:

  • Original tax returns from the last three years (Form 16)
  • Three years of bank records and/or fixed deposit statements of your sponsor (which can also be your parent)
  • Pay slips, employment letters
  • Chartered accountant statements
  • Scholarships (which should be indicated on your I-20)
  • Property documents

The US government is concerned more with liquid assets such as savings accounts and checking accounts since they want to ensure that you have easy access to these funds. Investments with fluctuating values and property deeds are not generally recommended as proof of funds. The embassy is looking to see that you have immediate funds to cover the first-year costs of your education and that you’ll have access to funds for the following years needed to complete your degree.

Original Documents in English

Additionally, it is important that all of your documents are original, in English (or an official translation attached), and official. Your bank documents should be on bank letterhead with the name of the account holder, account number, and the total amount of funds indicated on the forms.

Sponsorship

If you are planning to study in the US but do not have sufficient funds, you can have a sponsor support you instead. Many international students have a sponsor, such as a family member, to help cover their educational expenses. Sponsors can be located inside or outside the US.

There are a lot of available scholarships that are designed specifically for international students. You can search for the latest listings of international scholarships.

All you have to do is to make sure that you are eligible for the scholarship. Some of the requirements are having the right positive attitude in school and towards one’s future career, the willingness to excel in his or her academics, and many more.

Affidavit of Support Form

If the student is sponsored by a US citizen, they would need to complete the I-134 Affidavit of Support Form that requires the sponsor to cover any expenses that the student cannot afford.

If the student is sponsored with funds outside the US, then the embassy would check to see if there are any fund transfer restrictions from the specified country. If there are any restrictions, the student must be equipped with evidence that the student will be able to access these funds during the period of study.

Consulate and Embassy

The final determination of sufficient proof of funds is determined by the consulate or embassy. Even if you provide these documents they can still deny the student visa. Be sure to check with your school and consulate to make sure you have all the proper forms necessary when arriving for your F-1 student visa interview.

Also make sure that you are prepared to answer all of the questions in the interview in the best way possible. Be eloquent, explain things clearly and in a straightforward manner, and always be at your best form. Doing these and matching it with your complete documents gives you a higher chance of being accepted for an F- Visa.

*Please note: you should always confirm he latest requirements with official sources as they can change and this article may not reflect the latest changes.


Study at a University in Europe as an International Student

March 25th, 2021 by Al C

Student in Europe

When you plan to study abroad, considering a European university might be a great idea for your higher education. Some European universities are amongst the best public universities in the world. You will have a huge variety of subjects to choose from. Also, some European universities have lower tuition fees and the cost of living may be lower in Europe than you may find at home. Some European universities don’t even charge tuition fees at all, and many offer scholarships to attract non-EU students.

Germany and Italy are two of the most popular countries when it comes to international students studying abroad. The UK, Spain, Poland, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and France are hugely popular among international students as well.

Europe has a huge variety of cultures, is rich in history, mysteries, and many more things to explore. When you study at a European university you’ll get the chance to explore beautiful places, learn languages, and experience different cultures, visiting famous and historical monuments and sculptures. It will be the journey of a lifetime.

Now, when we talk about the educational benefits there are numerous reasons to study at a European university. Europe has some of the finest colleges in the world and you can study your undergraduate degree, master’s degree or postgraduate level program. You will have the benefits of low tuition fees and living costs, and a wonderful quality of life as well. You will have a multicultural environment to study, and most colleges offer English-taught programs, too.

Which European countries are best for international students?

When we talk about Europe, influential art, architecture, history, and culture are the most common things that come up in our minds. Every country has its own specialties. You can add a world-class education to this list, too. Even some universities and colleges are famous all over the world. Tuition fees are low compared to many other countries. Some colleges don’t even charge any tuition fees at all. Countries like Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and France are famous for their educational benefits and programs.

Germany

Germany is one of the best countries to study in Europe. Whether you choose to study in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, or any other German city, there are multiple colleges available for international students. German colleges are particularly famous for their Business and Management courses. They also offer all the other undergraduate and postgraduate courses you would expect as well.

The best part is, German public colleges don’t charge any tuition fees to international students. The only exception is the Federal State of Baden-Wurttemberg. There you might have to pay a tuition fee of $3,500 a year. But otherwise, german citizens and international students can study at German universities without tuition costs.

Italy

Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world with many historic cities. Italy also welcomes thousands of international students every year. If you are interested in architecture, history, art and design or social studies, Italy is probably the best country for you.

Amongst the top most popular destinations, Italy is one of the cheapest countries. You can take advantage of low living costs, low annual tuition fees, excellent teaching, and a multicultural study atmosphere. You will also get the chance to visit beautiful cities and enjoy some of the world-famous Italian cuisine.

Italian colleges are also some of the cheapest for international students. The average cost of public universities for an undergraduate course is around $1,100-$5,000 per year and the cost for a postgraduate course is around $1,800-$6,000 per year. Private universities can charge up to $24,000 per year.

Spain

Spain is also famous for its rich history, beautiful environment, warm climate, and low cost of living. Spain also has some of the most prestigious universities in all of Europe. Madrid is famous for its wonderful social life but it is a relatively expensive city, however there are many alternatives.

Of course, Spain is a popular country if you are taking Spanish Language courses. Spanish universities are also well known for many other study programmes as well, such as Law, Arts, Humanities, Finance and Marketing, and many more. Spain has beautiful cities and places to explore.

For sports fans, La Liga is one of the greatest soccer leagues in the world. You can enjoy watching it with your friends at the weekends.

The average costs of tuition at public universities for an undergraduate programs is around $900-$2,500 a year and the cost for postgraduate studies is around $1,500-$5,500. The average living expenses in Spain would come to around $12,000-$16,000 per year.

France

France is arguably the most visited country in the world. France has countless things to explore. Cities like Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon, and Marseille are some of the most famous cities in France. Symbols such as the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, and The Cathedral of Notre Dame are some of the things that you can explore while you study in France.

French universities are world-renowned for quality education in Fashion Design, MBA, Sociology, Marketing, and Law.

The average cost of public universities for an undergraduate course is around $3,200-$5,000 a year and the cost for a postgraduate course is around $4,000-$7,000. On average costs of living in France are around $11,000-$16,000 per year.

Study in Europe as an American student abroad

Thousands of non-EU students, including American citizens, apply for degree courses, PhD level courses and exchange programs at Europe’s outstanding colleges and amazing universities every year. Because the average living costs and average tuition fees are low compared to back home – certain European countries are amongst the most affordable countries in the world to live and study in, making them an obvious choice for non-European students.

Foreign students are welcomed and there is a huge variety of courses available at world-class universities, making it a hugely popular study destination. There are plenty of options available for graduate and postgraduate students alike. Every country has its own advantages and specialties. Most offer English medium academic programs, so international and American students can easily understand all the classes.

Countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and the UK are some of the most famous destinations among American students.

American students who choose to study in European countries will have the journey of their lifetime. Thousands of historical places to visit, world-famous cuisines, multiple cultures, low living costs, and many more reasons. Europe has some of the top-ranked colleges as well. All the international colleges have either partial or full English taught programs for their international students.

Doing your master’s or bachelor’s degree in a European college is probably the best step if you choose to study abroad. With great academics and a multicultural environment, your life will be completely changed for good. You just have to make sure you carefully understand all terms and costs to study in European colleges.

Don’t forget that there are many funding opportunities for you if you are studying abroad. As an American citizen you should definitely fill out the FAFSA to gain access to federal funding for your university tuition fees. There are also private international student loans and many international scholarships for students that you can apply for at www.iefa.org/scholarships.


How to find an international scholarship in 2021

February 15th, 2021 by Al C

Whether you want to start your university or college journey, or further your studies beyond undergraduate level with a higher degree, an international scholarship program might be just the thing you need to make your dream of international education become a reality. An estimated $7.4 Billion is awarded in scholarship funds each year. That might seem like a lot, but less than 10% of scholars are lucky enough to benefit from a scholarship opportunity. It can therefore get quite competitive which is why this article will show you how to find international scholarships the right way.

International Scholarships Search

A scholarship is a financial aid gift that is awarded to someone for them to cover some of the costs of their education at university. There is no need to pay back the money the scholarship providers pay you. 

Thanks to technology and the wonders of the internet, it is now easier than ever to find scholarship programs to study abroad. There are a lot of scholarship opportunities available online that you can take advantage of. You could be searching scholarship sites today and by next month you could be on a flight to Sydney, Sao Paulo or San Francisco. 

Of course, it’s not an easy process, you have to put in the work. But if done right, you should have a fair chance of getting a college scholarship to put towards your tuition fees and education expenses.


1. Figure out what you want and plan for it first 

Planning is the key if you want to do anything right. This is also true if you want to go abroad and study. This is therefore the first step you should take on your scholarship search. 

One thing you will notice immediately when you start your search for scholarships is that they each come with different conditions. While some are micro – scholarships of just a few hundred dollars, others will pay for a full semester abroad, or you may even find full ride scholarships that essentially cover all of your expenses. Some look at your academic achievements, while others require you to have something special besides your grades. 

You should write a list of what you are looking for exactly. This is in terms of location or locations you’d like to study, majors or specific fields of study you are interested in, financial flexibility, culture diversity, and so on. This will make it easier for you to spot the most suitable offers, prioritize the most ideal options and allocate your time and efforts accordingly. 

You’d be surprised how many people miss great opportunities due to being disorganized. 

2. Do your research

Few opportunities come to you without you chasing them down in life. If you want to find the right academic scholarship, you should be ready to dig. There are more than 25,000 universities in the world and around 1.7 Million private scholarships that are awarded each year. Your job is to find the right scholarships and the institutions they can get you into. 

You can break this process into three sections; browser searching, social media searching, and direct inquiry. Google is very broad, so the best way to do your search is to start broad and narrow down to where what you’re looking for.

Broad searches

You can start with a simple “How to find international scholarships,” like you probably did to get to this article. Bookmark or save the offers that look interesting and actionable. 

From here you want to start searching for opportunities that are related to your interests like:

  • Scholarships for studying in USA OR,
  • Scholarships for Medicine students.

You also have to save any interesting offers along with their requirements. 

Specific searching

A detailed search is likely to give you the least options, but it will have the most relevant results. To get the best offers, you have to try thinking outside the box. For instance, Instead of just taking all results, use google and social media platform filters to refine your search. You can start by going to the scholarship search tool at  internationalscholarships.com for a start. They have helped thousands of students around the world so far. 

You can also take a shortcut by filtering your results. For instance, you can filter your results by date to find the most recent offers, considering that you will find the most recent scholarships for international students that haven’t yet been found by other applicants.

How to use google to find international scholarships

Direct inquiry

You can also get the answers you are looking for directly from the source. Through your research, you should be able to find a lot of contacts and connections. This allows you to directly call the institutions you find, contact the scholarship funders or education counselors, and build relationships with other people who managed to study abroad through scholarships. 

After all this, along with asking and searching the right queries, you should have a clear picture of what’s available, what the requirements are, and how it aligns with what you want personally. 

3. Apply as if your life depends on it

At this stage, you start writing your scholarship applications. This will probably take the most effort and time to do. This is where you’ll be writing, searching for documents, drafting and redrafting scholarship essays, and getting sleepless nights. 

As mentioned above, there are different types of scholarships for international students. Knowing each type will increase your chances of writing an application that convinces whoever is reading it. It’s easy for the administrators to tell when an applicant has done their research and when they haven’t. So make sure you write a separate application that is specific to each program.

Here is a brief breakdown of the main types of scholarship available each year:

  • Academic and merit-based scholarships

Based on your GPA (Grade Point Average) or other test scores such as the SAT, ACT or similar which you may have to take to qualify. The requirements will vary depending on the provider. 

  • Special Interest or Field-of-Study Awards

Based upon your chosen academic subject or sometimes a particular area of interest such as Arts or Drama

  • Need-Based Scholarships

These are awarded to students in the most financial need of assistance. 

You have to do your research on these as you can find grants and awards from institutions that are looking for someone like you already. Submit your applications in time and be sure to follow the application process to the letter. In-fact, just try to do everything way ahead of time so you don’t have to rush at the last minute. 

4. Stay alert for responses

My athletics teacher always said, “Even if you’re far ahead of the others, you’re not a winner before you cross the line.” 

Online meetings and communication

These days a lot of universities, colleges and sponsors like to see you or at least talk to you before they decide if you’re the right person and that you meet the eligibility requirements. Thousands of people might apply for the same funding as you, so award administrators are right to do their due diligence and make sure before a decision is made.

Sometimes they do background checks on social media. This means that you have to make sure all of your online profiles communicate the message in your application. You don’t have to start making big changes on your profile, but your application should not have information that can be easily contradicted. 

Quick responses

Always be on the lookout for replies that come in. This will help you to respond quickly. The last thing you want is to lose your chance because you responded too late. As they say – the early bird catches the worm.

5. Choosing an offer

If you get an offer – congratulations! If you get more than one offer and have to decide between them you’ve done a fantastic job of all the steps above! 

When choosing between options, you have to go back to the beginning and think about why you applied in the first place. Is there an offer that already aligns with what you were looking for?

For example, was there a specific international university you wanted to attend, or a particular experience you wanted to have? Maybe you had a specific goal or destination in mind. 

You need to do your research here as well. Talk to admission counselors, ask questions of your peers, find related institutes, contact the embassy for the country you want to go to, and get a full picture of all your offers. 

Once you have made a choice, don’t just ignore any other offers. Contact them to let them know that you are grateful and inform them that you have made other plans. After all, they were willing to help you. 

Good Luck!

The last piece of advice that I’ll give you is that going to a different environment and experiencing new things is amazing. Just make sure you don’t get too carried away and forget about your main priorities. Have a healthy balance between everything that you do. 

With all this, I’m sure you now have a clear picture of how to find international scholarships. 

All the best in your pursuit.


Stress-Free Budgeting: Tips for International Students

January 28th, 2021 by Al C

Yes, it can be stressful when you’re planning to study abroad. There are many perfectly understandable reasons to feel stressed or anxious. Tuition fees are high, you’ve got food costs, study materials, transportation, health insurance, and lots of other expenses. 

Even the currency exchange rate can be a concern.

When you don’t have enough financial means you might consider taking out a student loan. Paying back the student loan can add another layer of stress. But still millions of students can be found at international colleges every year. 

Students find ways to manage their financial situation and complete their education in international colleges.

Stress-Free Budgeting Live with ISI

Here are some budgeting tips for students who want to study abroad:

Tuition fees and other expenses:

The tuition fees are probably the most expensive thing you will face when you plan to study abroad. The yearly cost can reach up to five figures and for some private colleges it can even reach up to six figures (USD). The Financial Aid Office or Admissions Office at your college of choice will have up to date information about their tuition fees.

But tuition is not the only cost to consider, living abroad involves other expenses like transportation, phone bills, health insurance, food expenses, holiday expenses, accommodation and more. When we talk about the cost of accommodation, most colleges provide (or at least offer) dorm rooms to their international students. But you can still choose to live off campus — alone or with a group of people. The rental cost for private accommodation will depend on the location you choose to live in. 

It will be cheaper if you choose to live in a dorm. You can save money because you won’t have to pay for electricity, water, and internet bills as they will be included in the cost. You can also save money because you will be living on the college campus and therefore probably won’t have additional transportation costs. 

Part-time jobs:

Depending on your visa status you might be allowed to have a part-time job while studying. When allowed students can typically work for up to 20 hours a week during the semester and full-time during holidays and semester breaks. This could be a useful source of income to help you with your daily expenses.

Take advice from international student advisors:

Most international colleges have a dedicated advisory office for international students. They provide students the necessary advice so they can manage their experience — including their finances. They help students with budget plans, part-time job information, and other related information. It is a good idea to get their advice before making any decisions relating to your finances.

International student loans:

Although they might seem like a golden opportunity, remember that paying back your international student loans can cause stress and worry for some students. Getting an International student loan should usually be your last port of call for additional funds. We suggest you first look for financial aid and scholarships from schools and other sources. If you still find a financial gap after exhausting all the other sources, this is the time when international student loans come in handy. 

Summary: 

If you focus on your education and keep an eye on your budget, you’ll be able to enjoy completing your education at an international college. Try to avoid unnecessary expenses and focus more on savings. Here are a few examples of how you can save money: Use a bicycle to avoid transportation costs, try to cook your food at home rather than eating in a restaurant, so you can avoid food costs. Most importantly take advice from school advisors, they can assist you with your budgeting.

At the same time, look for ways to make the most of your time as a foreign student, take part in activities and explore your home away from home while you can.


How much does it cost for an international student to study at university in the US?

January 18th, 2021 by Al C

How much does it cost for an international student to study at university in the US?

Millions of students around the world dream of studying in the US. There are a lot of famous universities and colleges to choose from. Improving their future prospects, getting a high quality higher education, and access to better opportunities are just some of the reasons why so many students want to study at a university in the US.

But to get the best quality product you usually have to pay a high price. US colleges are some of the most expensive colleges in the world, but still millions of international students apply every year.

So, how much does an international student pay to study in the US? The annual cost can reach up to five figures.

Most colleges don’t have a standardized government fee system. It mostly depends on the college and the course you choose.

There are multiple types of institutions available in the US such as community colleges, private colleges, and public colleges. Most international students study at public and private colleges rather than community colleges.

Private colleges are the costliest of them all. On average public colleges charge between $35,000 and $45,000 and private colleges charge from $50,000 to $75,000 per year.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition fees for international students

Private universities charge more tuition fees as compared to public and community colleges.

Public colleges get their funding mostly from the state government and private colleges get their funding from private organizations and donations. Community colleges or two year colleges also usually get their funding from the government just like public colleges.

Subjects like the arts, education, and humanities tend to be less expensive than engineering, medical, dentistry, and other similar subjects.

Higher courses like masters are usually more expensive than undergraduate courses. The college tuition fees depend on the college or course that you are planning to pursue. They differ from college to college. However, international students almost always pay significantly more than American students.

  • Undergraduate Courses:

The cost of undergraduate degrees in the US varies greatly between institutions, and it is even higher for international students. International students pay $25,000-$35,000 per year at a public university and $30,000-$45,000 at private colleges on average. The cost can reach up to $50,000-$55,000 per year for some private colleges.

For a cheaper option, you can go to a community college. You will receive an associate’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree because community colleges provide 2-year courses. They can charge you $2500-$3000 per year. You can use the associate’s degree as a qualification for the first half of your bachelor’s degree and later you can apply for a master’s degree as well.

  • Postgraduate Courses:

All the fees depend on the courses that you choose. In general a Ph.D. or master’s courses will cost less than the MBA, JD, or MD courses. International students usually pay $20,000-$35,000 for public colleges and $35,000-$50.000 for private colleges per year.

Accommodation Costs:

Most colleges offer their international students on-campus residence. The residence is often called a “dorm room” or dormitory. Students usually share a room with 2 or 3 other students. Colleges provide daily essentials like water, electricity, and the internet. Students also share bathrooms, showers, and so on. It depends on the college how much they charge for on-campus accommodation. On average this is between $5000-$8000 per year.

international student accommodation costs

However, you can choose to stay at a non-campus residence as well. You can share an apartment with other students or you can live alone as well. The rent depends on the area you are staying in. The Midwest region is cheaper than the East and Northeast in the US. But, you have to pay your electricity, internet, and water bills along with the rent. The usual rate for a single bedroom apartment is between $6,000-$15,000 per year – depending on the apartment and location.

Living Expenses:

It will be a good idea to make some savings for your daily and basic needs like emergencies, shopping, groceries, food, water, clothes, books, and study materials. When you live abroad you should track even your smallest expenses. This will help you to keep an eye on your overall expenses and you can save or set a budget for a period.

living expenses in the USA

A good estimate would be $10,000-$12,000 per year for international students. The cost might vary where you are staying.

Student Visa:

A student visa is mandatory for all international students. It can be a long process as well. As an international student, you have to apply and get accepted by a Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) certified college. After the approval process, you will receive the I-20 from where all of your information will be recorded.

student visa required

Visa applicants have to pay a non-refundable fee. All students are categorized as F, M, or J, depending on their courses, merit, and colleges. They have to pay $350 as a SEVP fee and a visa application fee of $160.

Health Insurance:

Staying so far away from your home can be hard. Thousands of international students get injured or need medical attention throughout their courses. Student health insurance provides international students with financial support in these kinds of situations. International students must have proof of health insurance to get admission to US colleges. Without health insurance, international students can not apply for US colleges.

health insurance required

Under the age of 25, international students can expect to pay $30-$140 for health insurance per month depending on the college and the health insurance package.

Transportation:

Usually, most colleges provide dormitories to their international students. When you stay inside the college campus you won’t be using transportation too much, unless you are going somewhere off-campus. However, if you choose to live outside of the college campus, you will need transportation. Luckily, in the US transportation costs are not that high, and there are multiple options to choose from. You can get cabs, trains, and buses or you can use vehicle rental facilities.

transportation costs

Bus and train passes cost around $30-$50 per month for students. For additional expenses, you can expect to pay around $100-$120 per month in your total transportation. However, that cost mostly depends on where you are staying.

In summary:

Yes, it is costly to study in the US. International students pay around $32,000-$60,000 per year depending on the university and the course. It is a lot of money but there are various options and opportunities available for international students. You can get the facilities of international student financial aid, international scholarships, international student loans, and help from private and government organizations as well.


How to Get the Best Education Loans for International Students in Canada 2021

December 15th, 2020 by Al C

How can international students apply for a loan to study in Canada?

According to The Canadian Bureau for International Education, 642,480 international students studied in Canada in 2019. This represents a 185% increase in international students in Canada since 2010. Canada is the 4th most popular destination for international students, behind the USA, the UK, and China.

Why is Canada such a popular destination for international students?

The high quality of the Canadian education system

Canada is one of the leading first-world countries known for its economic abundance and high standard of living. Because of this, their educational system gets great reviews and that’s what international students are looking for. Canadian schools are equipped with the latest equipment and with proper resources required to get the best educational experience possible.

Canada has a reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society

Canada is best known for being one of the most tolerant countries when it comes to skin color and nationality. This makes it a prime destination for international students who wish to avoid the risk of encountering racism or xenophobia.

Canada has a reputation as a safe country

The crime rate is minimal in Canada because of its strict security and adherence to the law. Canadians are also naturally peace and law-abiding citizens, making it a great country to study in. No need to worry about distractions and potential safety hazards because its authorities are working round the clock to provide and maintain a safe and secure place conducive for studying.

Talking about stats…

96% of international students recommend Canada as a study destination, while 60% of international students say that they plan to apply for permanent residence in Canada. This is one of the top reasons why they want to get education loans for international students in the country.

Who are the international students in Canada?

In terms of student numbers, the nationalities with the largest representation of students in Canada are China (with around 22% of the market) and India (with around 34% of the market). US students represent only around 2% of all international students in Canada.

Where are the international students in Canada studying?

Across Canada, the province with the largest number of international students is Ontario (48% of international students) with the next most populous provinces being British Columbia (23%) and Quebec (14%).

Funding for International Students in Canada

IEFA.org can connect international students with education loan providers where they can access loans without cosigners, collateral, or credit history. These are available to students from 190+ countries pursuing degrees in any academic field.

International student loans are made available to international and DACA students studying in the USA and Canada. Undergraduate and graduate students within two years of graduating are eligible.

These loans can be used for past, current, and future semesters, and you can use the funds to pay for expenses including tuition, accommodation, food, insurance, and books.

The Benefits of an International Student Loan in Canada

  • For this type of loan, you don’t need a cosigner, collateral, or credit history
  • You can get an education loan with a fixed interest rate from $2,001 to $50,000 – making budgeting easier and stress-free
  • Students from over 190 countries can apply
  • 10-year loans with no prepayment penalties
  • Interest-only payment period during school and 6-months post-graduation
  • Undergraduate and graduate students within two years of graduating are eligible
  • Loans are available to students attending one of the 300+ schools in the USA and Canada

How does the loan process work?

  • Check to see if your school and program are eligible.
  • Complete your application.
  • Receive a conditional offer after submitting your application.
  • Upload your requested documents and complete any further required paperwork.
  • Receive a final approval after all of your uploaded documents are verified.
  • Your school certifies your enrollment status with the loan provider. Once that is done, your funding is disbursed directly to your school on an agreed upon date.

How much will the loan cost?

Please note that every case is different, but here is an example for informative use only – this is not a guarantee of costs for your individual circumstances.

An international (non-US, non-Canadian) student studying a Master’s-level program borrowing $10,000 USD would expect to repay $100.54 per month during their studies and for 6 months after graduation, and then $141.62 per month thereafter.

Find out more and apply for your International Student Loan in Canada today.

More on Loans That Do Not Require a Cosigner in the US and Canada

10 things you need to know about international student loans


Study Abroad by Numbers

December 1st, 2020 by Al C

The latest data covering international students in the USA and American students studying abroad has been released – here are the highlights:

International Students in the US:

Over 1 million international students studied in the US in 2019/20, including those taking an academic program and those on OPT (Optional Practical Training).

That’s over 5% of the total number of enrolled students, but it is almost 2% (or 20,000 students) lower than the previous period. Early indications suggest that due to the pandemic international student enrolment in 2020 could be down by a further 16%.

American Students Abroad:

Almost 350,000 US students studied abroad for academic credit in the 2018/19 academic year (the latest data available).

That’s almost 2% higher than the previous year – continuing the trend which has only been increasing for over 10 consecutive years.

Demographics:

Incoming students to the US came mainly from China (35%) and India (18%).

The top 10 countries of origin for incoming students were:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. South Korea
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Canada
  6. Vietnam
  7. Taiwan
  8. Japan
  9. Brazil
  10. Mexico

California was the individual state that hosted the most international students in total (with over 160,000).

The single most popular institution in the US for international students was New York University – hosting over 20,000 students from around the world!

Outgoing US students’ top destinations were the UK (11%), Italy (11%) and Spain (10%).

The top 10 destination countries for US study abroad students were:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Italy
  3. Spain
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Ireland
  7. Australia
  8. China
  9. Japan
  10. Costa Rica

For more on this data please visit https://opendoorsdata.org/annual-release/

If you’re studying abroad you may be able to fund part of your education with a loan:

Read more on the blog.

Or search our scholarships listings.


IEFA logo
Thank you for visiting IEFA.org
Providing information about international financial aid & scholarships since 1998
2021 Envisage International Corporation
224 First Street, Neptune Beach, FL 32266