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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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%).
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.
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.
CAN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GET SCHOLARSHIPS?
Many colleges and universities around the world offer scholarships for international students as part of their financial aid packages. If you’re studying outside of your home country, you should definitely see if there are scholarships for international students available at the school you will be attending.
An international scholarship will help to offset the cost of attendance at a university abroad.
More than one million international students study at U.S. colleges and universities every year. With many more studying in other countries around the world, too.
Universities and private sponsors offer a wide array of programs with various amounts for tuition and fees. Many schools offer international student scholarships in order to attract a diverse range of students to study at their institution.
Getting a study abroad scholarship can make a huge difference if you want to study in another country. Why? Because the majority of schools often have two levels of tuition fees. One for residents of the state or country you study in, and the other for non-residents. Without additional financial aid it is difficult to afford an international education.
Full ride scholarships pay the cost of tuition in full – plus, other expenses like fees, meals and housing.
In the US alone, according to the Fulbright Commission, over 600 universities offer scholarships worth $20,000 or more to international students. Around 250 schools in the US offer ‘full ride’ scholarships.
The Rotary Peace Fellowship is one example of a full-ride scholarship for international students. This scholarship covers tuition, fees, housing and travel costs. It also covers internship and field study expenses. It is for international graduates who want to pursue a master’s degree in areas related to peace, conflict prevention and resolution.
The process of applying for an international scholarship will vary from one school to another – or if you are applying with an external sponsor. There is some paperwork to complete in order to apply. As a student from another country, this may be complex as depending on your destination country you may need to fill out forms that are not in your native language.
In many cases you’ll want to make sure to practice your English writing skills if you are applying to attend school in an English-speaking country.
It is quite common for scholarship applications to require an essay to be submitted along with the paperwork.
Before you apply, do some research on the values held high by your intended school. Apart from good grades many schools are looking for students with character. Leadership, experience in work or as a volunteer, and good communication skills are also highly valued.
Do your best to communicate all of the above in your application and adhere to any special requirements the school or sponsor has. And make sure you stick to the application deadline as a late entry will not usually be considered.
For listings of scholarships for international students, see IEFA.org.
Many study abroad programs around the world offer scholarships. You should look for nonprofit organisations in your field and check your university website for their undergraduate and graduate scholarships listings.
The types of scholarship program available might depend on your status – whether you are studying abroad for a semester or full degree. Your status as an undergraduate or graduate student also plays a role in the type of scholarship you may be eligible for.
In any case, the majority of international scholarships do not charge any application fees – if you are applying for a private scholarship and are asked for a payment up front in order to secure the scholarship, you should be very cautious and ensure that this is a reputable organization – be wary of scams targeting vulnerable international students.
Many countries have universities that offer scholarships to international students.
The United States is one of the most popular with students from other countries. But if you are an American and want to earn your degree abroad, there may be options too – just as if you are an international student in any country.
For example, if you want to study in China there are Chinese government scholarships.
There are tuition-free public universities in Germany. Norway, Australia, Sweden are other countries that encourage international students to study there through incentives such as scholarships.
Find an extensive list of scholarships at IEFA.org/scholarships.
US Citizens studying abroad: Can You Get Financial Aid For Studying Abroad
International Student sin the US: Financial Aid For International Students in the US: Explained
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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!