An international degree from a world renowned university is every student’s dream. An international degree can be one of the most prized professional assets of the candidate. However study abroad programs aren’t known to be pocket friendly.
But with the host of funding options available, they are certainly affordable. More than half the students give up the idea of studying abroad just because the whole research process of funding options is too comprehensive and tedious. Don’t worry as we are here to make your job easier. Here are some funding options to finance your overseas education.
- Scholarships: Scholarships are a great option to fund overseas studies. Scholarships and grants are called “free money” because these funds do not need to be paid back, making them the most attractive method of funding study abroad. They are based on the student’s academic ability and performance. Hence, only a truly outstanding student may be considered for this type of award, before being enrolled at the university.
A full scholarship would pay for a student’s entire living expenses at that university, whereas a partial scholarship would require additional funds from the student.
- Financial Aid: A lot of private universities offer financial aid to international students to aid their education in the university. A student can receive financial aid for the costs of studying abroad if the student is enrolled in a program approved by the home institution.
Moreover, the student would be eligible to receive grants, loans, or work assistance without regard to whether the study abroad program is required as a part of the student’s degree. A student should keep in mind that financial aid is need-based, extremely limited and international students will need to file a Foreign Student Financial Aid Application (FSFAA) in order to qualify for funding.
Most of the Ivy League schools and liberal art schools in the US offer financial aid to international students. Most financial aid offered is for undergraduate students and very few graduate schools in the US offer financial aid to international graduate students. Instead they offer Graduate Assistantships.
- Graduate Assistantships: Graduate students may be eligible for an international fellowship or assistantship. Fellowships allow students to perform research or specialized work in a particular field at a university abroad. Assistantships are supportive roles provided to students to complement and support the teaching work of professors and universities.
In other words, it may be defined as form of funding in lieu of which a student works as an assistant to some professors or lecturers in a university. The financial aid can be full or partial exemption of the tuition fees and is a very good opportunity for the students to accumulate some valuable professional knowledge and to polish the teaching skills.
- Tuition Waiver: This means that the student does not have to pay the tuition fees at the university. However, general fees (for the use of university facilities like the library, computers, and sports and health services) usually have to be borne by the student. A tuition waiver is frequently awarded in conjunction with a scholarship or teaching/research assistantship.
- Internships & Working Part Time: Internships and Part time jobs are something which almost every international student considers after starting their journey abroad, it can be one of the most fool proof ways to earn some pocket money and pick up some skills along the way.
However before you go job hunting, keep in mind the relevant country’s visa regulations. In most countries, you can work full-time during summer holidays and to a maximum of 20 hours per week during the term.
- International Student Loan: And lastly, loans can also be a viable option. However, anytime you consider loans, be cautious about it. Remember, the difference between financial aid, and scholarships and loans is that you will have to pay back every dollar of your student loans after you graduate.
For an education loan in the US, international students are required to have a US Citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer to apply for the loan. The co-signer must have had good credit history and good employment history (or other income history if the co-signer is not employed). A good US co-signer is critical to getting your loan approved and priced reasonably.
The better your co-signer, the better your interest rate will be. The co-signer is responsible for paying back the loan should you default on it. So if you do not have a co-signer in the US, you cannot explore this option. However, there are some banks that waive the co-signer requirement for specific schools.
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