Can You Get a Student Loan to Study Abroad?

December 29th, 2021 by Sagnik Santra

can you get a student loan to study abroad

The short answer to the question is: yes. The simple fact is that studying abroad can be costly, and most students do not have the money to pay in full. For this reason, most people will look into student loans as a possible option for paying for school expenses.

Since study abroad is an official academic program set up by your school, your student loan can be used to cover any of the associated costs. This could include airfare, room and board, tuition, and other related expenses. Studying abroad brings a lot of opportunities with it and should not be hindered by financial limitations.

You should keep in mind a few things if you are thinking about using student loans to finance your education abroad. Let’s explore what you need to know in a little more depth.

Why do you need student loans to study abroad anyway?

As we mentioned earlier, studying abroad can be an expensive venture. Some students will have the resources to come up with a large sum of money, but most will not. For this reason, students need to look into student loans as a possible option when it comes time to pay their way through school.

If you want to study in developed countries like the U.S. and UK, it is not surprising that the tuition fees are expensive. Even the living cost can be very high in these countries. For example, the tuition costs for studying at Harvard is $38,891 per year, while Oxford University’s one-year course fee is around the £18,000 mark (more than $29,000).

Therefore, it makes sense to look into student loans as a possible option if you want to study abroad in such countries.

Different types of student loans?

There are two types of student loans – Federal Student Loans and Private Loans.

1. Federal Student Loans:

Federal loans are the loans that are offered and regulated by the United States Department of Education. These loans are typically offered to students who cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for their education and living expenses. Federal loans are usually offered at a lower interest rate than private student loans.

2. Private Student Loans:

Private loans are offered by private lenders, such as banks and credit unions. These loans usually have a higher interest rate than federal loans, and they also come with a range of fees. The United States Department of Education does not regulate private loans. They are controlled mainly by private organizations like banks and credit unions.

Federal Student Loans vs. Private Student Loans

can you get a student loan to study abroad

When it comes to comparing Federal Loans and Private Loans, here are some of the differences between them.

1. Interest rates:

Typically, private loans have a higher interest rate than federal loans. The interest rates vary from 3% to 12%, depending on the borrower’s credit score, among other factors. Federal Loans are offered at an interest rate that the government determines. The current interest rate for Federal Loans is 4.29%.

2. Fees:

Private lenders usually have a range of fees, which can include an origination fee, a late payment fee, and a prepayment penalty. Federal loans do not come with any origination fees, late payment fees, or prepayment penalties, as they are considered non-profit loans.

3. Cosigners:

Private student loans typically require a cosigner. A cosigner is a person who agrees to be responsible for the loan if the borrower cannot repay it. And if you are applying for study abroad loans, it is essential to have a cosigner with a good credit score unless you are lucky enough to be approved for a loan without a cosigner. Federal loans do not require a cosigner.

4. Repayment options:

Private lenders typically offer a range of repayment options, including deferred payment, interest-only payments, and graduated repayment.

5. Eligibility criteria:

Federal loans do not have any eligibility criteria for income level or geographic location. They are not affected by the ability of the student to repay the loan or find a job after graduation. They mostly look into students’ academic history and credit scores. On the other hand, private student loans have very stringent eligibility criteria that are based on the credit score of the borrower and cosigner, as well as the borrower’s income level.

6. Loan amount:

Private international student loans usually offer a higher loan amount than federal loans when it comes to the loan amount. The annual limit for Undergraduate students is $12,000-$15,000 and $55,000-$60,000 total in federal loans. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,000-$22,000 annually and $135,000-$ 140,000 total. When it comes to private students loan borrowing, you can almost double the loan amount.

7. Default:

One of the most significant differences between a private student loan and a federal student loan is that personal loans typically have stricter repayment options if the borrower defaults on the loan payments. In the case of Federal Loans, there are no such repayment options, and the government can even garnish the borrower’s wages.

Which type of student loan should you get?

can you get a student loan to study abroad

Now that you know some of the differences between Federal Loans and Private Loans, it is essential to decide which type of loan is best for you. Private loans can be expensive and come with a lot of fees. Also, if you default on repayment, private lenders have more stringent repayment options. If you want to save money on interest rates and smaller or no fees, federal loans are the way to go.

However, keep in mind that there are stringent eligibility criteria for federal loans compared to private student loans. You must have a good credit score and meet the income level requirements. So, if you want to study abroad and do not have a perfect credit score or do not meet the income level requirements, you might want to consider getting a study abroad loan from a private lender. A cosigner with a good credit score can help you get a better interest rate as well.

Can I take both Federal and Private Loans to Study Abroad?

Yes. You can take both federal loans and private loans to study abroad. However, remember that you need to have a cosigner for any private loans you want to take, as they have stringent eligibility criteria.

As we mentioned before, federal loans only offer a limited amount of money for students studying abroad. And sometimes that amount is not enough. So, in that case, you can take a study abroad loan from a private lender. For example, you can use the federal loan towards your tuition fee and the private loan towards the living costs.

What should you consider before taking a study abroad student loan?

can you get a student loan to study abroad

Before taking a study abroad student loan, there are a few things to consider. If you are not sure whether it is the right decision for you, here are a couple of points that can help you make that decision:

1. Double check if you qualify for any scholarship, financial aid, or grant for studying abroad.

2. Make sure that you understand your private student loan repayment options.

3. Make sure to read all the terms and conditions of your loan before signing on the dotted line. Please do not take it lightly!

4. Increase your credit score so that you can increase your chances of getting a reasonable interest rate on your student loan.

5. Make sure that you do not borrow any more money than you need to study abroad.

6. Do not think of a study loan as a free ride to have fun during your stay overseas. You still have to pay it back with interest!

Conclusion:

Studying abroad is the dream of millions of students around the world. But the costs associated with studying abroad make it difficult for students to fulfill their dreams. If you are one of those students, getting a student loan is the key to making your dream a reality. This article will help you understand everything you need to know about getting a student loan to study abroad.


Just in: MPOWER Financing raises loan limits to $100,000 in the U.S. and Canada

October 29th, 2021 by Al C

borrow up to $100,000

Do you need a loan to pay for your college tuition in North America?

MPOWER Financing announced this month that they have raised their maximum loan limit for international students in the U.S. and Canada. You can now borrow up to $100,000 over the course of your studies! This means that you can get access to more money than ever before to cover the cost of your international education!

We understand how expensive it is to study abroad, which is why we want to help as many people as possible afford this experience by offering them a better way of financing their education through our partner lenders.

We know that studying outside of your home country isn’t cheap – but it shouldn’t be out of reach either! That’s why we work hard every day so that everyone has access to affordable education regardless of where they live or what financial situation they are in. Our goal is simple – make sure all students around the world have access to higher education no matter who they are or where they come from. And we believe that anyone should be able to study in Canada or the U.S. without having any financial barriers standing in their way!

That’s why we’re sharing this news today – because we want everyone around the world who wants an education at one of over 350 universities across North America to be able to find the funding they need! So whether you’re looking for undergraduate or postgraduate programs, find out if you are eligible today using our loan finder or find out more at mpowerfinancing.com


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.


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.


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 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


Can You Get Financial Aid For Studying Abroad

October 19th, 2020 by Al C

Study Abroad in Europe

If you’re a student from the United States, you could be eligible for financial support through the standard federal FAFSA program, meaning studying at a foreign university may not be as difficult to finance as you’d imagined! You might want to study abroad as part of an exchange program for a semester or an academic year, or even for your undergraduate degree or as a graduate student.

Do you have a dream of studying in the UK, France, Germany, Italy or somewhere else? 

What is FAFSA?

Technically the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” is the Federal Student Aid system operated by the US Department of Education.

Every year, many thousands of US students and permanent residents complete the FAFSA application forms to check their financial aid eligibility for their higher education. These could be grant programs or loans (or both). Of course the main difference between a grant and a loan is that you have to repay the loan.

Can you use FAFSA to study at an international school?

Yes! Federal Student Loan funding can be used to pay for your studies at an international school!

There are roughly 750 institutions outside of the US (about 600 in Europe and the rest in other countries) that have been approved by the US Department of Education to use federal funding or to defer other study loan payments. Unfortunately federal grants (i.e. Pell Grants) through this program are not eligible for study abroad.

Whether or not foreign universities are eligible for federal loans is decided by the US Department of Education. There is an official list of recognised international schools. You can find it at studentaid.gov.

Which universities in Europe are on the list?

Europe is home to some of the world’s most famous and most historic universities like Oxford and Cambridge in the UK and many around the continent offering high quality education and wonderful international experience. It’s an incredibly popular destination for international students from the US and around the world. Many universities are eligible for study abroad funding. You can find out if the school you choose is eligible by looking at the US Department of Education list, or checking a site like InternationalStudentLoan – because if a school is approved for private student loans then it must be approved for federal loans. Don’t forget that you must also be attending an approved program at the school.

Are there alternative funding options to the federal program for your study abroad experience?

If the Federal Student Aid isn’t enough or you don’t qualify, maybe you can get a study abroad scholarship or student loan from a private sponsor or lender – these are some of your financial aid options. Study abroad scholarships, grants and similar awards may be available directly from schools or private institutions. Loans may be available from private lenders, but in order to be eligible for private loans, a school must be eligible for FAFSA loans first.

You should speak to the financial aid office to find out what support the school offers to their international students.

Check to see if your chosen university is approved for FAFSA, and if they aren’t ask them if they offer financial aid packages or private loans for international students or know of any lenders that do.

Things to consider:

  • Cost of living. Living expenses vary greatly from country to country and within different regions. It’s a good idea to do your research in advance to decide if you really can afford an international education. Speak to a financial aid advisor at your destination school as they may be able to provide estimated living costs.
  • Exchange rates. Varying exchange rates can have a huge impact on your funds as a small change can have a big impact. Uncertainty around COVID-19 and Brexit have proven that nothing should be taken for granted, and local issues may have an impact on how far your money goes if the exchange rate changes significantly.
  • Interest rates. You will want to be aware of the interest rates, and of course, the repayment terms that apply to your loan.
  • Health Insurance. If you’re studying at an international school then your regular travel insurance just won’t cut it – you should look into international student insurance and make sure you have a plan that covers all of your needs.
  • Tuition fees. The tuition fees both for undergraduate students and those on graduate programs can vary hugely depending on the school and from your home institution if you’re enrolled in the United States. Speak to your financial aid advisor to get a clear estimate of the total cost of enrolment and your financial aid options.
  • Credit cards. It’s unlikely that a credit card will be a primary source of financing study abroad, but it is a good idea in an emergency – whether you have one from a US bank or if you are able to apply for a local account.
  • Bank accounts. It can be difficult at first to open an account overseas, but your university should be able to advise and help, and there are a growing number of online-only or app-based bank accounts in Europe that international students can access. 

Scholarship opportunities:

You should see if there are study abroad scholarships offered by your chosen school and private scholarships – you can search these at internationalscholarships.com

Find a loan:

Read Next: How to find study abroad scholarships


Studying in the United States vs. Canada

July 24th, 2020 by Al C

In this post we’re comparing studying as a foreign student in the USA with studying in Canada – if you’re interested in studying in either country then you’re in the right spot-as we will discuss some of the big advantages of studying in each.

Now let’s dive straight in!

Why you should think about studying in Canada

Studying in the United States vs. Canada

High quality educational services

A degree in Canada is just as good as a degree from the U.S., Australia, or the UK.

Canadian universities are doing well in international rankings and Canadian universities rate among the world’s top 50 universities.

There’s no question that a Canadian education is a world-class education, whether you’re attending a university, college, or technical school.

Relatively Affordable

The most important obstacle for most students seeking to study abroad is the cost.

And while international students pay higher tuition fees at Canadian universities than domestic students, the average annual tuition for a Canadian undergraduate degree for a foreign student is considerably lower than in the United States , Australia, or the United Kingdom.

Foreign students must also find housing and support their everyday lives. The cost of living in Canada is quite affordable compared with many other top destinations for foreign students. And when you consider the average annual cost of living to be lower than other countries with also lower average annual tuition fees, Canada tends to be a really good opportunity, indeed.

It is possible to get an International Student Loan to study in Canada, too.

You can also search our database of scholarships for international students.

Employment

While Canada is a relatively affordable option globally, studying abroad is undeniably expensive.

International students in Canada are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during school term and full time (30 hours a week) during scheduled breaks, such as holidays. Most students don’t have to get a work permit to work when studying.

Security

Another big reason many students choose to come to Canada is personal safety. Studying abroad can be frightening, because you are leaving your family and friends – your safety net – at home. The Institute for Economics & Peace ranked Canada 8th most peaceful nation in the world. The location and relative isolation of Canada geographically provides a bit of a shield against most international disputes.

Canada has a freely elected government, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada guarantees the fundamental rights and freedoms of those living in Canada. Canada’s worldwide reputation is as an inclusive and non-discriminatory society. Immigrants make up 20 percent of Canada’s entire population and Canadian regulations ensure that all citizens are protected from prejudice whatever their circumstances may be.

Immigration Opportunities

You typically get temporary status as a foreign student in the country where you are studying. You need to get back home when you graduate.

However, contrary to other countries, Canada has a variety of programmes that enable foreign students to be moved to permanent resident status after their studies. Options like the Post-Graduation Work Permit encourage students to live and work on an unrestricted work permit after graduation, which lets them gain some Canadian work experience. Most provinces in Canada have Provincial Nominee systems for applicants with studying or working experience in the province, and the point-based immigration scheme rewards Canadian job and education experience. Approximately half of all foreign students consider applying for permanent residency in Canada after completing their studies.

Economics

Canada is one of the world’s largest economies, and students are given plenty of opportunities to work. You have the chance to communicate with stakeholders of your chosen sector and network with them. And while you study, or after graduation, you could gain valuable experience working for industry-leading Canadian companies.

Your Canadian education and improved language skills in either English or French may provide global opportunities should you want to return to your home country or move abroad.

Canadian employers seem to prefer Canadian work experience over foreign work experience, so if you do chose to live in Canada your experience could make you stand out from other applicants!

Why you should think about studying in the United States

Flexibility in choosing your major field of study

It is estimated that 48 of the top 100 universities worldwide are in the USA. Flexibility in academic fields is one of the biggest factors which distinguishes US colleges from other universities around the world.

Usually, you are not required to specify your major until after your second year of study. Most students take advantage of these two years to explore different academic goals before deciding on a major. Students are expected in most other nations to determine their field of study before even applying.

A relatively diverse curriculum

Many U.S. colleges mandate that you take general or “core” education classes.

They provide you with the opportunity to learn about a wide range of academic topics – not just your major or concentrated research area. These classes, often entitled “liberal arts”, cover many subjects from writing to sciences and philosophy.

Internship opportunities & job prospects

With an internship, you will get a head start on your career – opportunities are provided by most US colleges. You will gain hands-on experience and exposure to your profession in the real world, plus the possibility of better-paid jobs after graduation because you already have some experience in the job.

Read about working in the US

Activities on campus

Colleges in the U.S. offer a wide array of sports , clubs, societies and events outside the classroom, so whatever you are interested in – you will find it right there on campus!

Cultural Diversity

Students studying in the US come from all over the world. You’ll be able to meet new people from various backgrounds every day , learn new languages, make friends and learn about other cultures – and share your own!

Professional assistance

Most schools have a dedicated office devoted solely to assisting their international students with any needs. They can help you develop your English, or deal with visa problems, financial support, and even help you adapt to cultural differences which can be quite a big deal in a new country.

When studying in the US one important thing to remember is that it can be very costly – far more costly than many other countries in the world. Through this article you will find out more about how to finance your education in the USA:::Link::

Then you can find out whether you qualify for a loan to study in the US:

You can also search our database of scholarships for international students.


And there you have it! Lots of great reasons why you would want to study in the United States or Canada! Let us know where you want to go in the comments below!



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