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!


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.


Can DACA students get a loan to pay for college in the US?

February 26th, 2021 by Al C

The DACA program was started in 2012 to allow undocumented children who came to the U.S. as immigrants a chance to stay and work in the country for two years.

Loans for DACA Students

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration policy initiated by President Obama in 2012 that allows certain undocumented immigrant youth, those who have come into America before their 16th birthday, with no criminal history and meet other requirements, to get temporary permission from deportation and be eligible for work permits. In 2017, then-President Trump tried unsuccessfully to end the program but has since rescinded his decision. The future of this program is still unclear; however, it remains one of Obama’s most significant legacies on immigration reform.

Who qualifies for a loan to pay for college in the U.S.?

The cost of tuition could be an obstacle for many in the pursuit of higher education. Thankfully, there are a number of private student loans to help fund your tuition costs! Student loans can provide up to the total cost of attendance at your school per year and you typically don’t have to start paying it back until 6 months after graduation.

Tuition is expensive. In fact, according to College Board’s 2017 report on Trends in College Pricing 1 out of every 10 college students drops out because they couldn’t afford their degree without putting themselves into debt. Fortunately, student loans might bridge the gap between what you earn at work or have in your savings and what your tuition costs.

Most college students with DACA status, like international students, can’t get federal loans.

The U.S Department of Education says that illegal immigrants are not eligible for federal student loans which includes those who have DACA status and work permits. In order to finance their college tuition, many DACA students will need private lenders or scholarships from colleges and universities they’re attending.

Schools can be expensive, so students might need a private loan to cover the cost. They’ll often need to provide a co-signer who has good credit and is either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to qualify for this type of financing.

When it comes to loans for college, DACA students are often at a disadvantage because they may not have any credit history or have a poor credit score. However, this is not the case for all loans as some student loan companies have stepped up and offered to offer student loan options without cosigners.

When DACA students need a loan, they often do not have access to a co-signer who is willing or able to help them with their financial needs. However, there are new rules in place that allow these individuals to make an application for loans without needing a cosigner. The bill requires any loan request from someone with Deferred Action status must undergo additional screening before approval and does not guarantee acceptance.

DACA students may be able to get a loan or receive financial aid through their college’s financial aid office. Getting a loan is not the only way DACA students may be able to pay for their education. Some options include grants, scholarships, and paid internships.

How much can you borrow?

You may be able to borrow up to the full cost of your education, minus any other financial aid you are receiving in the form of grants and scholarships.

When does the borrower need to start paying back their loans?

When it comes to student loan payments, all lenders are different and have different repayment terms. After graduation there is usually a 6 month grace period where your payment is either nothing or is lower than the full monthly repayment amount.

What are the interest rates for DACA students?

You can confirm the actual rates with your lender before you agree to take out the loan. Make sure you understand the rate that applies to your product and whether it is a fixed or variable interest rate.

Here are some example rates:

These are examples only and you should check the current rates from your lender.

Graduate DACA students: 7.99% introductory rate ( 8.89% APR ), reduced to 6.49% ( 7.52% APR ) if you qualify for certain discounts.

Undergraduate DACA students: 9.99% introductory rate ( 10.91% APR ), reduced to 8.49% ( 9.56% APR ) if you qualify for certain discounts.

What are the requirements to get a loan as an undocumented student in the U.S.?

In order to qualify for a loan as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, you need to have a Social Security number and be eligible for employment.

Can I still go to college if I don’t have a Social Security number or driver’s license and am not eligible for federal financial aid?

You can still go to college without a Social Security number or driver’s license, but you will not be eligible for federal financial aid.

Can DACA students apply for the FAFSA?

If you’re in the DACA program and have received a Social Security number, you can complete your FAFSA. You’ll even get a Student Aid Report outlining your eligibility to receive nonfederal aid! The Department of Education suggests that you talk to your high school counselor and college financial aid office before filling out the FAFSA. You might live in a state with an alternative application for undocumented students, so it is important to research this option.

What about scholarships?

There are many scholarship opportunities for DACA and international students. You can find a list of scholarships at 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 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.


How Can International Students Get Full Scholarships?

November 6th, 2020 by Al C

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CAN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GET SCHOLARSHIPS?

International Scholarships Search

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.

Can International Students Get Full Ride Scholarships?

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.

IEFA

How can I apply for an international scholarship?

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.

How can I get free scholarships to study abroad?

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.

Study Abroad Scholarships

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.

Which countries give scholarships to 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


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!



Financial Aid For International Students in the US: Explained

June 24th, 2020 by Al C

In this video we break down all the Financial Aid Opportunities for International Students in the US.

If you’re specifically looking for a loan, then you can use the tool on our site to see if you are eligible.

If you’re looking for a scholarship, then you can search through our database on our Scholarships Page.

The United States is the world’s top destination for international students.

It’s also the most expensive. International students have to pay for tuition, room & board, transportation, books, and supplies – and students may not have all that money saved in advance.

So how can international students pay all these expenses? It’s not easy, but you can realise the dream of studying in the US with hard work and some financial aid.

Getting Financial Aid from the US Government

The U.S. government gives international students limited financial support. But while most foreign citizens are not eligible for government student support, the U.S. Department of Education states that:

“Many non-U.S. Citizens qualify for federal student assistance. Don’t assume you can’t get help because you’re not a citizen.”

Under certain circumstances, non-citizens may be eligible for U.S. federal funding. If you are applying for an international student visa, you may be eligible for the U.S. government-funded programmes:

Fulbright
EducationUSA

However, as an international student, you are most likely not eligible for US government financial aid.

But there are other alternatives that can help fund your education.

Getting Financial Aid from Your Homeland

Always start looking at home. If you’re an outstanding student with great potential, your own country may be willing to send you to an American college or university to learn at some of the best institutions, and then return home to apply your newly acquired skills.

To give you some examples of these programs:

  • King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) — A generous scholarship for Saudi Arabian students that covers the total university cost along with material fees, and provides full medical and dental insurance, a monthly stipend, and coverage for airfare each year.
  • Brazil Scientific Mobility Undergraduate Program (BSMP) — This scholarship is designed for Brazilian students to study at US colleges and universities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for one year.
  • Kuwait Cultural Office Merit Scholarship — A scholarship designed for Kuwaitis studying at specific US colleges and universities to promote the needs and interests of the Kuwaiti government.

You should talk to the education department of your home country and your US embassy or consulate to see if government-funded programs are available.

Funding Direct from US Universities & Colleges

Universities are often flexible in offering financial support to international students. You can usually find plenty of financial aid information on the website of your school or by talking to your Admissions Office or International Student Services Office, or the Financial Aid Office.

You can find information on budgeting, the cost of your education, and any financial support you can afford.

Financial Aid Through the Admissions Office

For their students, most colleges have either need- or merit-based financial aid packages, which can come in various forms.

Some schools have introduced a “need-blind” admissions policy, meaning you’re accepted based on your academic merits and don’t look at your financials.

It’s important to talk to your admissions office about what financial aid you ‘re eligible for. You may be aware of additional completion forms and deadlines.

Schools differ greatly in the international financial aid offered to students. If the school is well-funded, wants to diversify its student population, or has special interests in certain fields of study, it may be willing to offer a generous financial aid package to attract international students.

Financial Aid Through the Athletic Department

International students can get up to a full scholarship to participate on their school’s sport teams. If you’re a talented athlete, this could be your ticket to a US school.

There are agencies travelling the world searching for students who have excelled in their sport and will match you with a coach recruiting for their school. The coach will have the final say as to whether you get selected — and whether there is a financial package to go along with that.

Financial Aid Through An Academic Department

Many schools are looking and have the funds to build a specific academic department. Whether you excel in math, business, or physics, there may be a scholarship for you. You’ll need to contact the Department Head to see if they’re willing to help you. These scholarships are often available in STEM fields — science , technology , engineering, and mathematics. These departments are seeking new research and expertise, so you need to show your track record and make the investment worthwhile.

Tuition Waivers

A tuition waiver allows students not to pay a portion of their tuition. While not all schools grant international students a tuition waiver, a handful to do. The school will specify the requirements to be met for a waiver of tuition. It can be based on citizenship, academic performance, or part of a fellowship or grant. Do your research, look at the school’s website, and talk to your admissions counsellor or an international student advisor to find out more about eligibility.

Private Scholarships, Grants and Fellowships

Many organisations worldwide have created scholarships and grants to help students study abroad. But these awards can be competitive. There are thousands of scholarships and grants out there, but remember to put the time and effort into each application to increase the likelihood of winning the award. Have your application reviewed and submit as many as you can. You can search international scholarships on IEFA.org.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) & Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Working in the U.S. to supplement your financial support is difficult for international students. F-1 students may work part-time on campus if they are in good academic standing or have completed their academic programme. For OPT or CPT approval, your work must be directly related to your major. Check with your International Student Advisor if you can work during your studies.

International Financial Aid from World Organizations

If you pursue higher degrees, some international organisations can help you study in the U.S., including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, to name a few. Again, these scholarships are extremely competitive, but they can be amazing if you have the qualifications and skills to do so.

International Student Loans

If you still need funds, there are international student loans that can cover your U.S. education’s total cost, including your tuition, transportation, living and food expenses. As long as you attend an accredited school, several lenders will work with international students. In most cases, you can apply online and get approval within days. Remember, international student loans allow you to borrow money, but you’ll need to pay back the money with additional borrowing costs. Check all the details and compare lenders to find the right loan.


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