For most American students taking out a loan to pay for college is a given, but many students do not consider the possibility of using the money to help them study abroad to enrich their college experience. If a study abroad program has not been on your radar, it may be time to reconsider. In today’s globalized world, studying abroad is becoming an important investment.
What many students are unaware of is that many study abroad programs are sponsored by their university. What this means is that if you choose to study abroad for a semester or for the entire year, that time abroad is considered part of your ¨normal¨ college tuition. This is great because you will be able to use all of your financial aid during your time abroad. What normally happens, however, is that study abroad expenses add up quickly with the cost of tuition, books, transportation, travel fees, and living expenses. Due to this, all of your financial aid may not be enough, especially taking into consideration that you probably will not be working or have a stable income while you are abroad. If your financial aid is not enough then a study abroad loan can help. Below are 3 reasons why you should take out a study abroad loan and travel overseas!
- Travel Fees
Although a study abroad loan can only cover education-related expenses, taking one out will allow you to arrive at your destination feeling comfortable with money at your disposal. This is especially important because you may find yourself with quite a few pre-departure fees. How expensive studying abroad can be depends greatly on your chosen location, but common expenses include passport fees, visa fees, and airfare. Depending on where you are traveling, you may also be required to get certain immunizations. These pre-departure expenses may add up and possibly leave you without some of that money you have been saving up; however, with a study abroad loan you won’t have to worry about having your basic necessities covered.
- Federal vs. Private
When it comes to taking out a study abroad loan, you have an advantage because you may be eligible to receive a federal loan. If you are eligible to receive a federal loan, it is to your benefit because interest rates tend to be a lot lower and the repayment timeline tends to be a bit more flexible. In order to ensure that you have this option you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- A Bigger Traveling Budget
By having all your basic necessities covered by a study abroad loan, any money that you have saved or have set aside will be able available for your personal expenses. Part of the study abroad experience, for many, includes traveling around their chosen country or even traveling to other nearby countries. If all your housing, basic transportation costs, and tuition is taken care of you can then start to budget accordingly for all your exciting and eye-opening weekend getaways.
For more information regarding how to pay for a study abroad program read our Financial Aid for Foreign Students Overseas.