Are you an American student interested in studying abroad in Europe?
June 30th, 2021 by Al C

Street in Paris - Study abroad

Each country in Europe offers an amazing opportunity to study abroad. US students benefit from living and studying in a multicultural academic environment where you can find a plethora of courses taught in English. 90% of study abroad programs require English test scores from non-native speakers.

If you study abroad, even if language learning is not your primary objective, and even if you take only english-taught courses, you will inevitably learn a new language and uncover secrets of a new and different culture.

If you choose a host university in a European country you will make new friends, benefit from high quality higher education and experience the kind of cultural immersion that is not possible in the US – and all at an extremely affordable cost as tuition fees for study programs in popular European destinations tend to be lower than many domestic colleges.

The UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Portugal and the Nordic nations are some of the most popular countries that receive the most foreign students each year. Europe is full of cuisines, languages cultural activities, and is a relatively small geographic area making it easier to explore than you might think.

Europe is fascinating. A collection of 50 nations each with its own distinct identity.

Europe is one of the most popular study abroad destinations in the world. Immerse yourself with a homestay in Barcelona, step into the world of international business with an internship in Brussels. Develop your drafting and design skills in Berlin or hone your filmmaking chops in Prague. Celebrate Bastille Day by the Seine, or “The White Nights” by the Neva. Explore world renowned museums in some of the most beautiful cities in the world and choose from a truly diverse range of study programs and cultural excursions you won’t find at home.

Popular destinations

With so many amazing courses offered at some of the top universities in the world, it can be hard to choose between all of the European countries and the study abroad programs at universities there. There are, of course, some countries that will naturally spring to mind when you consider your options, but some of the more overlooked European countries also happen to be more affordable (and off the beaten path). If you want to expand your options beyond the stereotypical destinations, you could also consider many “less popular” destinations in Eastern Europe, for example.

But let’s start with some of the most popular European destinations:

United Kingdom

London (UK)

The United Kingdom (UK) attracts a wonderful mixture of thousands of international students from all over the world every semester. The country boast over 150 institutions to study. The UK is home to some of the world’s most prestigious and top-ranked universities, and there is a long tradition of welcoming foreign students year round.

International students flock to the UK for the incredible cultural experience, unmatched higher education standards, and history.

Spain

Spain is a hugely popular study abroad destination for Americans – especially those that want to learn Spanish as they study. Thousands of students choose to study at higher education institutions in Spain every year, placing it in Europe’s top 10 Study Abroad Countries in Europe.

Spain is known for both cultural experiences and culinary arts. Local history and culture make it a great study abroad destination. Enjoy tapas bars, great food, football and the country’s rich history.

If you’re looking for a dynamic, exciting, culturally rich experience, vamos a Espana!

Portugal

Portugal

Portugal is another popular destination for studying abroad in Western Europe. The country offers over 300 days of sunshine every year, a wide range of beaches, vineyards and wine. Enjoy the sun, food and nightlife, while taking a study abroad program at a historic university.

Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its beautiful mountains, delicious cheeses, yummy chocolates, and clean towns. Tuition fees at most public universities are the same for all foreign students, irrespective of where they are from, meaning that even though it can be an expensive destination, you are not penalised over an EU student when it comes to tuition fees. You have the chance to learn four languages – French, German, Italian, and Romansh in Switzerland. When you’re not hitting the books you can make the most of your study abroad experience and enjoy the beauty of the Swiss Alps, explore picturesque towns, and taste some of Switzerland’s mouth-watering cuisine.

Italy

Rome

Italy is home to a wide range of excellent academic institutions. International students are warmly welcomed in the country’s universities. Italy is known to have some of the best fashion design programs in Europe if you are interested in fashion, design, art and similar courses.

Immerse yourself in Italian culture and enjoy the Italian way of life!

Denmark

Denmark regularly ranks on lists of the most liveable, safest, and happiest places in the world. Why wouldn’t you want to explore the study programmes offered there?

The Danes are known for their sense of togetherness and cohesion, good news for international students trying to make new friends and adjust to a new culture and way of life. Danish universities are set up to promote creativity and innovation, so this is an ideal place to pursue creative courses.

Study Abroad Programs in Europe

Social sciences, life sciences, computer science, natural sciences, language studies, public relations, law, human rights, information technology, history or any other program – you will find the perfect course if you study in Europe.

International Students

Europe is incredibly welcoming to international students from all over the world. Europe has one of the highest study abroad participation rates globally. The European Union is dedicated to promoting cooperation and collaboration between countries including the USA, and higher education is one area where this is particularly prominent.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Europe can vary greatly depending on where you study, overall, however, if you’re coming from a big city in the US you’ll feel like the cost of living is generally lower unless you choose to live in one of the big cities like London, Madrid or Berlin.

Scholarships for studying abroad in Europe

Students working

European universities and government agencies offer scholarships to students studying in Europe. There are also scholarships offered in the US, such as Fullbright and Gillman scholarships.

For the most comprehensive international scholarships listing, see www.IEFA.org

Safety

Study abroad students should be vigilant when travelling in tourist hotspots as these tend to attract pickpockets and as a result petty thefts are fairly common. To avoid this, don’t leave valuables unattended and stay alert in crowded areas. Overall it is very safe to study abroad in Europe, and your university will be able to provide plenty of information about particular areas to avoid or anything to be wary of.

Study Abroad Loans

Study abroad loans are designed to help students from the US to cover the costs of their studies abroad on short programs of up to one year. That may be a short summer program of a few weeks, a single semester or a full academic year. Depending on your chosen program you could study in multiple countries in a single year (for example staking one semester in France and another in Italy).

Study Abroad Loans are available in the same way as if you required additional funds to cover tuition in the US – they are administered through your “home university” – the university in the US that you are enrolled at as a full-time student.

You may use federal funding, including federal loans, to finance short study abroad programs. For more details visit: https://www.internationalstudentloan.com/study_abroad/

Foreign Enrolled Loans

Foreign Enrolled Loans are for those students who enrol directly as a full-time student at a foreign university not just for a semester or two, but for the duration of their entire course of 3 or 4 years.

There are only a small number of lenders that can assist with this type of funding, and you can find more details here: https://www.internationalstudentloan.com/foreign_enrolled/

Frequently asked questions

Which country is best for study in Europe?

Leaving for college abroad is an exciting time in a student’s life. However, choosing where to attend can be overwhelming. Students often pick their school by location, programs offered, or scholarships available. Ultimately it’s a personal choice depending on your preferences and interests. There are many things that students should take into consideration, including cost of living, safety, and culture.

Which is the cheapest country to study in Europe?

Generally speaking in Western and Northern Europe the cost of living is more expensive, while in Southern and Eastern Europe it is cheaper. However the cost of living can vary greatly within a country – depending on whether you live in a big city or a smaller town. You should find the universities that you would like to attend, and get advice from the financial aid office or international student advisors. Remember that tuition fees for foreign students can range from free to very expensive depending on your program and you must factor that in.

What should I study abroad in Europe?

The program you choose to study in Europe depends only on your chosen career path or major. Whatever you choose, you’ll find a study abroad program that meets your needs. Of course, if you are a languages student, then it makes sense to visit and study in a country where you can use your language skills in daily life and really benefit from the language learning opportunity.

How much does it cost to study abroad in Europe?

It can be significantly cheaper to live and study in Europe from day to day – but don’t forget the additional costs like travel expenses and insurance, plus the extra money you might spend exploring the continent in this once-in-your-life experience.


What’s the difference between foreign enrolled and study abroad loans for U.S. students?
May 27th, 2021 by Al C

US Student study abroad

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your horizons and experience different cultures. It’s also an excellent opportunity for students to improve their language skills, or study subjects that are not offered in their home country. International students overwhelmingly report benefiting greatly from the experience during their time abroad and in the impact on their future careers as well.

One of the most frequently asked questions U.S. students ask themselves when they’re considering a study abroad program is whether they should apply for a foreign enrolled student loan or a study abroad loan?

This blog post will help explain the difference between these two loans so you can make an informed decision about how much money you need to borrow while you’re away from home.

Financial Aid

The first thing we always suggest to US citizen or permanent resident students who want to study abroad is to focus on all types of financial aid that they are eligible for as well as private student loans. In the case of US citizens, permanent residents and eligible non-citizens, this means looking for federal student aid, federal student loans, grants, awards and scholarships. Interest rates on federal student loans are usually more favorable than with a private loan program.

Getting an international student loan from a private lender would be the next course of action if for some reason you didn’t apply for the FAFSA, or you didn’t meet the deadline, don’t qualify for federal aid, or if you still need additional funding to cover the cost of your international education experience.

If you’re already attending college in the US speak to the financial aid office and the study abroad office at your school for their guidance.

International Student Loans

Study Abroad Loans or China

The international student loans we will discuss in this blog post are “Study Abroad Loans” and “Foreign Enrolled Loans“. These 2 loan types are for American students outside the US studying at schools or universities that are approved by the US Department of Education.

The difference is in the type of study abroad program that you are taking.

Study Abroad

These student loans are for those students taking on a short period of international study at an eligible school around the world – often short programs, a semester or a one-year course.

Study abroad students are enrolled at their “home” college, and only travel to international schools for part of their degree. For this reason more private lenders are available for these loan programs because more U.S. schools are approved.

It’s likely that there are study abroad counsellors to advise you on your funding options and help you chose the perfect university to visit.

Find Study Abroad Loans here.

Foreign Enrolled

These loans, in contrast, are for a US citizen, a permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen, who decides to enrol full-time at an overseas college for the duration of their degree – and these are for undergraduate and graduate students.

Foreign enrolled students have no “home” college in the U.S. because they are a full-time international students at their chosen university. This means that funding, and in particular loans are available at fewer schools, however there are many! You can check if your school is eligible here. For a school to appear on the lenders’ lists where a loan program is an option, they must first be approved for federal loans through the U.S. Department of Education.

Find Foreign Enrolled Loans here.

Eligibility requirements for student loans

Students studying abroad are no different from those studying on home soil in the eyes of the lender. No matter where you are studying, you will need to prove that you are creditworthy (meaning that you have good credit).

Because many students do not have enough credit history in their name to demonstrate creditworthiness, it is highly recommended that they ask a US cosigner to join their student loan application.

A cosigner (co-borrower, sponsor, or guarantor) joins the loan application in order to help the primary borrower to qualify, to improve the chances of securing a favorable interest rate on the student loan, and most importantly to guarantee to the lender that if the primary borrower fails to repay their student loan, the cosigner will do so.

With a cosigner, lenders will be able to use their credit score when making the decision on whether to approve the application.

Loan amount

Getting some or all of your education overseas can be expensive. The maximum loan amount that you can borrow will be set by the lender you choose, but your school must also approve this as you may not borrow more than the total cost of attendance.

Interest Rates

Interest rates on these loans are set by the provider. Applying with a cosigner is recommended to get the best interest rate available. To learn about fixed and variable interest rates see our resource here.


Repayment for International Student Loans in 2021
May 16th, 2021 by Al C

So much of life is made up of the choices you make and loan repayment is no different. Making the right choice when you take out your loan makes a big difference when you have to make those repayments.

Repayment for International Student Loans in 2020

Knowledge is power and the more you know about these choices the better prepared you will be to fulfill you loan obligations.

Your lender’s specific terms will be determined by the type loan you select and your individual circumstances.

Note that lenders have put in place specific programs to assist students since the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you currently have a loan and are worried about repayment, or if you’d like further information on the measures in place, read more about that in this post.

Broadly speaking, repayment terms vary in response to three different factors:

  1. How much will the monthly payments be?
  2. When will payments begin?
  3. How long students may be able to defer paying back the loan?

And in general there are three main loan repayment types available to international students.

Although the differences between these three options can seem complicated, taking the time to understand and make an informed choice at the outset can save students from a lot of uncertainty and worry in the long term.

  • immediate repayment loan
  • full defferral loan
  • interest only loan

Immediate Repayment

Students with this arrangement are required to begin making payments on both the interest and the principal of the loan as soon as it is disbursed.

The prospect of such immediate repayment is doubtless intimidating to many international students because most cannot or do not want to work while they study in the United States. They therefore have little chance of being able to make the repayments.

Long-term the repayments compound meaning that in total a borrower may pay less back with this type of loan than with others, and may clear their debt quicker as a result.

Full Defferal

A full deferral loan, by contrast, offers completely different loan repayment options. With loans like these full-time students are able to defer – that is, postpone until later – repayment of both the interest and the principal for up to four consecutive year or until after they graduate.

This means that in the short-term this loan would be most affordable as no repayments are due until a set date. In most cases the interest is accumulating during this time, and as a result it is likely that this type of loan will be more expensive and take longer to pay off.

Interest Only

A third option that splits the difference between these two ways also exists.

These so-called interest only loans require international students to make payments on the interest only (and not the principal) of their loans while in school and often allows them to defer the start of their principal repayment for up to 45 days after graduation.

Like the full deferral loan option students are only eligible to postpone repayment for up to four consecutive years and while enrolled full-time.


As you can see, the choices you make can have a huge impact on your bottom line!

Before applying for a loan, be sure to check with your lender the exact terms and conditions on repayment as this may change depending on the lender and the loan you apply for.

Find your loan using our loan comparison tool:


Are you looking for a study abroad loan? Or a foreign enrolled loan instead?

Read about how lenders are adapting when it comes to loan repayments during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The 5 Best Universities in Canada for International Students
April 27th, 2021 by Al C

International students are always looking for the best international university to study at. Many students first think of studying in North America and focus on the USA – forgetting that Canada has a lot to offer as a study abroad destination.

Woman holding a maple leaf. The best universities in Canada for international students.

Canada is a country with many great universities, but some of them are even better than others. In this blog post, we will go through 5 of the best universities in Canada for international students and talk about how they compare in terms of various factors such as tuition fees, living costs, reputation etc.

Canada has become one of the most popular international educational destinations in the world. Almost half of a million students from 150+ countries apply to a university in Canada for higher education every year. Canada has some of the finest colleges around the world according to world university rankings. Colleges like the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, McMaster University, McGill University, and the University of Alberta are some of the highest-ranking colleges in the world.

Canadian universities offer high-quality education at a low cost with degrees that are globally recognized.

Why study in Canada?

Canada is a wonderful place to study abroad. You will be immersed in a diverse culture and you can explore wherever your heart desires from coast-to-coast. Canada has everything from polar bears roaming the Arctic tundra, to multicultural cities like Toronto. Studying in this country will give you a front-row seat for all of the rich cultural tapestry that makes Canada great.

As one of the leading countries in the world, Canada has some of the top universities for international students. Universities in Canada focus on academic excellence and bringing out the potential of a student. They offer high-quality education with professional guidance.

Canada has a lot more to offer to its international students other than education such as a beautiful climate, cultural diversity, equality, and many more. Canada has wonderful views, beautiful weather and lots of things to explore. Canada is a very developed country. You can find all the opportunities and advantages you would expect there too.

Lower tuition and accommodation fees:

Most universities in Canada offer lower tuition fees than American colleges but they don’t compromise in education quality and students’ comfort. Canadian colleges are considered the best alternative to American colleges. You will most likely pay $20,000-$35,000 per year as an international student at Canadian universities. Accommodation costs are low as compared to America and UK. Most of the universities offer on-campus living facilities to their international students or you can live somewhere else if you want as well. The living cost will depend on the area you choose to live in.

Academics:

There is no doubt that Canada has some of the best colleges in the world. Universities like the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo are some of the top-ranking universities in the world. They offer both Graduate Programs and Master’s Programs to international students. MBA, Computer Science & IT, Business & Finance, Media & Journalism are some of the most most popular courses you can pursue in Canada. Other core courses such as Arts, Science, Social Studies, Engineering, and Medical Science are popular as well. Canadian colleges encourage open thinking, new ideas, inventions and want their students to leave marks in the world. They p[provide great support to research studies like agriculture, telecommunication, medicine, and many more.

Job placements:

Universities in Canada and the Canadian Government offer job placements to international students. They allow international students to work in Canada for up to three years after graduation. Students will gain three years of international job experience and can apply for other placements and jobs if they find better opportunities. The Canadian Government also offers a route to permanent residency for international students as well. 

Friendly lifestyle:

The multi-cultural environment makes Canada a great place for international students. You will find extremely welcoming and friendly people around you. The college campuses are clean and have full of greenery. You can walk around the campus while class breaks with friends. You can enjoy events and festivals at your college often. Canada is also one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world.

Canada has a lot of things to explore as well. Cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver have a lot to explore. All these things make Canada the best place to live and study. 

So, what are the best universities in Canada for international students? Here are our top 5: 

Choosing the best college to study in Canada is not easy. There are many universities that offer high-quality education. You should choose a university that allows you to pursue your choice of subject, fits in your budget, and doesn’t compromise on quality. So here are 5 of the best universities in Canada for international students:

1. University of Toronto:

Toronto - University of Toronto is one of the best universities in Canada

One of Canada’s top universities, The University of Toronto was ranked as the 19th among the top colleges in the world. The Times Higher Education Magazine chose this college as the best college in Canada. It is one the most research-intensive colleges and promotes open research. Thousands of international students from more than 150 countries apply every year. The college offers both undergraduate and post-graduate programs on subjects like Sciences, Finance, Economics, Arts and Computer Science.

International students pay around $20,000-$45,000 a year depending on their chosen program of study. 

2. University of British Columbia:

The University of British Columbia is a highly reputed college in Canada and it was ranked 34th among the top colleges in the world. It is one of the world’s largest research centers as well. It welcomes thousands of international students every year and offers them a good quality of education with well-balanced student management. You can pursue studies like Business and economics, engineering and technology, health and life science, history, law, and many more at the undergraduate and post-graduate level.

International students pay around $25,000-$40,000 depending on the subject of their course.

3. McMaster University:

Another one of Canada’s best universities, McMaster University has been ranking among the top 100 colleges in the world for a long time. It is also one of the leading research centers in Canada. It has a beautiful multicultural campus and provides proper guidance to its students. It offers Anthropology, Astrobiology, Biochemistry, Business, and Economics, Engineering and Technology, and many more at the undergraduate and post-graduate level.

International students pay $20,000-$45,000 on an average per year. 

4. McGill University:

McGill University is one of the best universities in Canada. Thousands of students from more than 150 countries apply every year. More than 30% of the students are international. So you will find a diverse and multicultural atmosphere around the university. You can pursue Political science, Economics, Arts, History, MBA, Marketing, and many more.

You can expect to pay around $23,000-$$45,000 a year according to the subjects.

5. University of Alberta:

Alberta - University of Alberta is a great choice for international students

The University of Alberta is known as one of the top colleges in Canada. It is also one of the world’s leading research universities. It offers a wide range of subjects to pursue at under and post-graduate levels. It has 18 faculties such as law, nursing, engineering, education, arts, agriculture, and many more. The University of Alberta offers individual schools and guidance for each faculty.

International students pay around $20,000-$45,000 a year on average.

6. Notable Mentions:

We’ve only been able to cover our 5 top universities here, but there are many Canadian Universities that would make a perfect study abroad destination, like Simon Fraser University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Calgary, the University of Montreal, Dalhousie University

In conclusion:

Canada is considered one of the best countries to study for international students. Canada welcomes thousands of international students every year. Canadian colleges are the perfect alternative to the US and UK colleges, They are a lot cheaper than other international colleges and don’t compromise on the quality of education. Accommodation costs are a lot cheaper as well. Canada is one of the peaceful and safest countries as well. You can expect friendly and welcoming people around you. Studying in Canada can give you an experience of a lifetime. 

If you plan to study in Canada, you may find that you need additional funding, which you can get in the form of a scholarship or loan.

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Study In Canada as an International Student
April 12th, 2021 by Al C

Study in Canada in Toronto

Studying in Canada can be a great experience. The people are welcoming, the education is top notch, and there are many opportunities for travel. But before you make any decisions about your plans to study abroad in Canada as an international student, it’s important that you know what to expect.

There are a few things that every prospective college student should know before they come to Canada: tuition fees, the cost of living (including average rent prices), immigration requirements (such as landing rights and work permits), safety precautions (including how often crimes happen), obtaining health care coverage or insurance, etc.

So before you make any decisions about studying in Canada, it’s important that prospective students have an understanding of what to expect. Hopefully this article will be helpful!

Living in Canada

Because Canada is such an immense country, it is extremely varied in its people, landscape, climate, and way of life. However,  what most Canadians have in common is a deeply rooted sense of hospitality and openness, which many international students find refreshing.

Canada, like the United States (and around world), is a melting pot of cultures. This means that people from all over come to live here; therefore Canadians are used to diversity  – not only ethnically but also culturally as well – so you might hear different languages spoken every day during your time in Canada.

Canada is regularly recognised as being among the top countries in the world for standard of living, and it is easy to see why. Canada offers safe, clean cities with good public transit systems, and the people are polite (because they care about others), and helpful when you need them most or have a question that needs answering.

It has to be said that in some locations like Vancouver, British Columbia, or Toronto, Ontario, the cost of living can be very high, though.

One thing Canada is famous for is universal healthcare, however international students must have their own healthcare plan, although some provinces do allow foreign students access. Canadian schools all offer guidance on healthcare plans so speak to your advisors.

Great Universities

Canadian public education is among the best in the world, attracting talented students and research from around the globe.

Canada offers some of the best universities in North America, with McGill University and UBC being ranked as among world’s top 20 schools by QS World Rankings 2018  (these are just two examples).

Accessible Student Visa System

One of the many reasons Canada is increasingly popular with international students is that the country has a clear, easily-accessible visa application process for international students.

The first step is to get accepted into a Canadian school. With so many top universities in the country, it should be relatively easy to find one that will accept you as an international student and remember that Canada offers some of world’s best scholarship opportunities.

To apply for school you will need to provide your high school Graduation certificate, the appropriate completed application form, proof of your English language proficiency (or in francophone territories your French proficiency) and evidence to show that you can support yourself financially during your studies. You may also need to write a letter of intent and include your CV.

To apply for the visa, students need only provide a letter of acceptance from the school they will be attending, along with a document as proof that they have enough money to cover their tuition fees and living expenses.

The process takes just two weeks on average for Canadian visa applicants (as opposed one month or more in other countries).

International students who are married or have children are allowed bring their families with them while they study.

Note that if you want to study in Quebec, visa requirements are a little different from the rest of the country.

Affordability

Canadian universities cost less than similar institutions in America and living costs are manageable compared to other countries. On average the cost of attending university in Canada will be around $11,000-$13.

In contrast American universities charge nearly US$20k/year tuition on average for out-of-state residents and this could be much more at an institution like Harvard University.

Tuition fees will vary greatly depending on your chosen course and university and living costs will vary from region to region.

Choice

With such a wide variety of options to choose from, the problem is not finding the program you are looking for, but choosing from all of the available possibilities! There really is something here that will meet everyone’s needs so take some time exploring your options before making any final decisions.

Speak to the academic advisors at your chosen school for the best advice on choosing a program that is right for you.

Nature

Study in Canada and explore nature

There are some great perks when you study in Canada, like access to nature, or the opportunity to explore it! Canada is a big country with lots of space for exploration and adventure, so make sure you take advantage.

The Rocky Mountains, wide open spaces, lakes and the sea are just some of the the nature that Canada has to offer. But watch out for those bears!

Some of the best nature to explore in Canada is found within its National Parks, which are protected parks and reserves that protect our natural heritage. There’s a national park for everyone – from Banff & Jasper with their snowcapped Rocky Mountains peaks or UNESCO World Heritage Site Niagara Falls on Lake Ontario.

Work and Study

International students are allowed to work 20 hours per week on or off campus during semesters. In vacations this rises to 30 hours per week.

However, it is important to note that work-permit regulations can vary depending upon whether your job is on-campus or off-campus, the length of time an individual has been in Canada and the course that they are enrolled on.

If you bring your family with you while you study, your spouse may be eligible for an  open work permit – this allows them to work full-time in Canada for the duration of your course.

International students can pursue Canadian permanent residency if they want to stay in the country after they graduate. The Canadian Post-Graduate Work Permit is specifically for international students who want to stay in Canada after graduating. Applicants can work for up to three years on this permit, but after just one year of working in Canada they may become eligible for permanent residency.

Funding – Study in Canada for free

Of course studying abroad anywhere in the world is a decision with financial implications. International students may not be eligible for the same kinds of financial aid as local residents. However, with IEFA.org you may be able to find a scholarship to help you cover your costs.

If you still need further help with your tuition, then a loan might be the right thing for you. With our partners you may be able to find a loan to study in Canada that requires no collateral and no cosigner. You can find out more about international student loans in Canada here.


5 Best U.S. Universities for International Students
March 1st, 2021 by Al C

Studying at a university in the U.S. is a great idea because it’s one of the countries that offer some of the best education in the world. Take a look at worldwide college rankings lists and you’ll see that U.S. schools rank very highly.

You’ve probably heard of many of them like Stanford University, Harvard or M.I.T.

 universities for international students in the US?

There’s just no denying that choosing America as a destination for your international education is commendable. After all, what prospective students want is to get high-quality education for their degree, at a fantastic school, in a country that’s filled with great opportunities, right? However, it’s important to note that it can be difficult if you’re not from the U.S.

That’s not a problem, though, if you sort out all the documents, formalities, and agreements. There are also a lot of U.S. schools that actively target international student enrolments because it’ll help improve their diversity and enable them to attract the most talented individuals.

If you’re confused about what university to choose, then you’ve just found the perfect article! In this post, we’ll show you some of the best colleges for international students. We’ll also talk about the factors to consider, as well as the benefits of studying in the U.S.

So let’s take a look our list of some of the best American colleges for international students:

Columbia University

Location: New York City, NY

Columbia University is one of the best US universities for international students to study at. It is located in New York City, NY, and is at the 6th spot of Forbes top US universities for foreigners.

This university is also located in the upper section of Manhattan, New York, right in the center of the most “international” city in the globe – making it a wonderful place to study.

What’s more, the international student body represents around 15% to 17% of all its students. This also makes it the 20th most foreign student-occupied university in the US.

University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Next on our list, the University of Southern California – home to more than 18,000 international students. And just like the other top universities in this list, its foreign student population is also growing pretty fast.

Approximately 6000 new foreign students enrol at USC every academic year. And that number keeps on rising Niche.com even named USC as the third-best college for international students in the US, while Forbes placed them in the 18th spot.

Yale University

Location: New Haven, CT

Then there’s the iconic Yale University which always features in the upper echelons of Forbes and College Factual’s top colleges for foreign students.

What makes Yale a great choice is that it has some of the most generous financial aid programs for international students of any school in America, with some sources saying it reaches up to $58,000 to $60,000 each.

New York University

Location: New York City, NY

New York University ranks 11th in Forbes and 10th in Niche.com’s top universities for international students. One of the things that makes this a great choice for foreigners is because they really welcome international applications. In fact, New York University currently ranks #1 for the highest international student population in the U.S.

Students at NYU can also easily integrate with the different thriving industries in New York, knowing that it’s also the global center for trade and finance. Foreign students are assured to benefit greatly from the bespoke curated university programs from this school.

Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, MA

Coming in last (but not least) in our list is Harvard University. This comes in at 6th place in College Factual’s list of top international student universities, and 24th in Forbes.

What makes this a great choice for international students is the high financial aid given to them, amounting to up to $60,000 each. This is expected to increase as the demand for more international students is rising.

There are also more than 10,000 overseas students at Harvard, with thousands of students expected to apply in the coming months for admission in future years. Harvard also placed huge importance on welcoming foreign students as can be seen in their published guide to “culture shock.”

Benefits of Studying University in the USA for International Students

High-quality education

One of the best things about studying university in the US is the level of quality of education you get. It’s not a surprise that more of the best universities in the world are found in the US.

Some of these are Yale, Harvard, MIT, New York University, and the University of Southern California, to name a few. These are just some of the most well-known names, but there are still hundreds of other prestigious colleges and universities scattered around the US.

You’ll also have lots of choices to upgrade your education knowing that each state has its flagship university. Furthermore, completing your studies at a US university will surely make you an elite candidate for your future employers.

Many degree options

Another nice thing about studying university in the US is that you have many degree choices to choose from. There are more than 5,000 universities in the US that offer undergraduate degrees.

There are even some that give you the freedom to combine your minor and major subjects, giving you lots of freedom on which career path you want. The United States is surely the best place to go if you want to try out different subjects and classes.

There’s no other country offering such a diverse range of courses and flexibility. You can even study the newest and unheard of subjects, or maybe interact with globally-renowned scholars who are going to guide you through your studying years.

A large number of universities also means you have lots of choices in choosing the kind of experience you want. Also consider their offered courses, location, size, accommodation, tuition fees, facilities, student body, and sports programs.

Enjoy the American student lifestyle

Whether you attend one of the many private colleges, community colleges or a public college, studying at university is not just about reading books and attending classes. You also need to live a good life and hang out with your friends while enjoying your youth, right? Well, all of those things can be found in an American university.

Studying in the US means that you can experience one of the most diverse and interesting cultures in the world. You can also interact with students from different corners of the globe so that you can be geared towards a global career.

Surely, most, if not every youngster has dreamed of living in the US at least once. Well, the easiest way to make that dream come true is to travel to the US for studies.

You can live on the university campus and join fraternities, clubs, or even sports teams to make your stay more worthwhile.

Improve your English

We all know that English is the universal language, right? This also means that the current job market needs professionals who have good levels of English. What better way of learning this language than by immersing yourself in an environment with English as its main language?

You’ll also get a better understanding of English even if you’re already good at it. The accent, vocabulary, and the way you use it to socialize and build your network will improve, which could then help propel your career.

Remember that you’re going to interact with native English speakers 24/7, so you can expect you’ll be good at it in no time!

Potential for an international career

US universities are well known for offering premium quality education. This means that companies would be more than willing to welcome fresh graduates with US degrees! This would greatly help you in your career’s success.

Studying in the US also puts you a step closer to a successful international career. You’ll have an opportunity to gain experience in your chosen career field from their Optional Practical Training program.

Studying in the US is ideal preparation for you in case you plan to work in an international workplace. You simply just have the skills and experience that many employers sought.

Things International Students Should Consider When Choosing a US University

Location

The first thing you should consider is the location of your chosen university. It’s important to treat this as a major factor to your college-searching because this will affect your lifestyle, studies, and academic success.

If you love the culture, architecture, and history, then maybe Europe is for you.  But if you’re the kind of person who loves to party, socialize with people, enjoy the beach while surfing, or perhaps soak under the sun, then the United States is definitely for you, most especially the coastal cities.

Consider your passion, hobbies, and personal interests when choosing a university. You surely don’t want to get rid of your favorite sports just for the sake of studying, right?

Being able to enjoy your passions aside from academics also increases your chances of success in your studies because you are more motivated.

University

Of course, you need to choose the university you want. It’s the time where you’ll spend most of your time.

Do intensive research on the university you plan to attend. Know its history, background, ideals, and the number of students there. Does it have a good reputation? Do you like to study there because of its reputation? Or maybe because of the programs it offers?

If you are a bit confused, you should speak to a professional education consultant so that you can arrive at the right decision.

Degree

This is one of the most important factors to consider. Ask yourself why you’re going to attend university. Is it because you want to pursue your dream career? Or is it because you want to follow in the footsteps of your parents who might be a doctor or an engineer?

If you still have no idea what degree to take, then know the course offerings of the university and how well-established their program is. There might be some schools that aren’t as popular as Cambridge or Oxford, but they might have specialty courses that are the best in the globe.

Finance

And last, but certainly not the least important is your budget. A huge challenge that stops students from studying in the US is the expensive tuition fees plus other education expenses and living costs.

Studying in the US might be expensive. But that’s because it offers world-class facilities, education, and instructors. However, you also need to note that there are many scholarship programs out there. There are even lots of universities offering a cheaper tuition fee to international students.

Also consider if you have families, relatives, or friends in the US. You should connect with them. Also consider the expenses of studying in the US, aside from the tuition fee.

Factor in housing, cost of food, transportation, and miscellaneous costs. Also, take note of international flights because you surely are going to go home now and then.

You may also be able to take out a loan to cover some of your costs.

Conclusion

Studying university in the United States to pursue a degree and achieve your dream career is possible. Not only can it open many doors in terms of academic and personal growth, but it can also advance your career in ways you never imagined.

The United States is renowned to offer some of the best educations in the world and experiencing this yourself will make you more superior to other job candidates in skills, talents, and experience.

You just have to choose the right university or college that will support you on this very crucial life journey. You can do this by first identifying your expectations and goals. Then look into the resources and degrees that the school offers. You can then weigh things out and see if it’ll help motivate you to pursue a career.


Loans for international students in Canada – cosigner not required!
January 16th, 2021 by Al C

Until recently loans for international students in Canada were not widely available – but things have changed. Read on for more!

Hand holding maple leaf - Loans for international students in Canada

The Canadian Bureau for International Education reports that over half a million international students studied in Canada in 2018. That’s more than a 150% increase since 2010. As a result, Canada has overtaken France and Australia to become the 4th most popular destination for international students behind the USA, the UK, and China.

Once students have exhausted all other available sources of funding such as family support, personal savings, and financial aid from their school, they often need to turn to a student loan to cover any remaining costs of their studies.

This was very difficult to do until recently because of the lack of availability of loans to international students in Canada.

Now, International Student Loan allows these students to connect with loan providers where they can access loans without requiring any credit history, without needing any collateral, and even without a cosigner. These loans are available to students enrolled in Bachelor’s and Graduate degrees in any academic field from countries around the world at 300+ colleges and universities across the USA and Canada.

Students who will be graduating within two years – whether they are undergraduate or graduate students – may apply.

The Benefits Loans for International Students in Canada – without Cosigners

  • For this type of loan, you don’t need any credit history in the US or Canada, a cosigner, or any collateral
  • You can borrow from $2,001 to $50,000 with a fixed interest rate
  • Students from over 190 countries are eligible to apply for these loans
  • There is a 10-year repayment period and no prepayment penalties
  • During school and for 6-months after graduation there is a lower, interest-only payment period, making it more affordable at the time
  • These loans are available at over 300 schools across the USA and Canada
  • Undergraduate and graduate students who will be graduating within two years are eligible
  • You can use the funds to pay for expenses including tuition fees, accommodation costs, food, student insurance, and books
  • They can be used for past, current, and future semesters.

How does the process work?

  • Check to see if your chosen school is on our list
  • Complete your application online in just a few minutes
  • Receive a conditional offer from the lender
  • Upload documents the lender requires to complete your application.
  • The lender checks to make sure everything you have provided is in order, then sends you final approval of your loan
  • The lender contacts your school to confirm your enrollment status. Once this is done, your funding is disbursed directly to your school

How much will the loan cost?

Every case is different. This example is for informative use only. This is not a guarantee of costs as they will depend on your individual circumstances and the lender you work with.

An international (non-US, non-Canadian) student, studying a graduate-level program who borrows $10,000 US dollars can expect to repay $100.54 a month while they are studying and for the first 6 months after graduation. After this time the repayment would be $141.62 per month.

Why is Canada such a popular destination for international students?

  • The Canadian education system is internationally regarded as being of very high quality
  • Canada is considered a safe country with a tolerant and non-discriminatory society
  • 96% of international students recommend Canada as a study destination, and 60% of international students say that they plan to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Who are the international students in Canada?

The nationalities with the largest populations of students in Canada are:

  • Chinese ( around 28% of all international students)
  • Indian (approximately 25%)

US students represent only around 3% of all international students in Canada.

Where are the international students in Canada studying?

The Canadian province with the largest number of international students is Ontario (with almost half of all international students). The next most populous provinces are British Columbia (a quarter) and Quebec (about one tenth).

Find out more and apply for your International Student Loan in Canada today:


More on Loans without a cosigner in the USA and Canada

How can an international student finance their education in the USA?

International Student Loans for Students from the UK


How can I afford college as an international student in the US?
January 12th, 2021 by Al C

Studying abroad and specifically in the US is a dream for millions of students around the world. More than a million students apply for colleges in the US  every year. But most of the students and their families can’t afford the tuition fees and other related costs. In 2019 international students paid over $26,000 per year for public colleges and $32,000 for private colleges on average.

Group of Students in the US - How can I afford college as an international student in the US?

So, how do they pay their international college tuition fees?

International Student Financial Aid:

Financial Aid for international students varies depending on the school and the degree chosen. This financial aid most commonly provides financial support to graduate students, and it is less common for undergraduate students.

Most of the financial aid for international students comes from research and teaching assistance programs. These programs provide paid research and teaching responsibilities to graduate students. Also, financial aid can be funded by grants and scholarships as well. Unlike a loan, you don’t have to repay these types awards in the future. 

Also, it can depend on the country you come from, your family assets and background, your merits, existing student loans, and other factors. 

International Scholarships:

Some scholarships are based on the country you come from or your average grades, chosen subject or skills. Some of the scholarships depend on your TOEFL score. There are also sports scholarships available in some schools. You must do proper research on the scholarships available in your school to see if you are eligible or not.

Students in the US graduating - How can I afford college as an international student in the US?

When you find a scholarship you’re eligible for, contact the scholarship administrators and apply for it. It is an effective way to reduce your overall tuition fees. Also, you might be able to win scholarships by winning contests and competitions.

You should search online for international scholarship opportunities and International Financial Aid.

International Student Loans:

International student loans provide financial support to students who want to study in the US. Mostly through banks and private organizations. The terms and policies and interest rates vary between lenders and organizations.

Private student loans are more expensive than federal student loans, but international students are usually excluded from Federal programs. You should consider choosing scholarships and grants as sources of financial aid first. If there is still a gap between the funds you have and the cost of your education, you should consider getting an international student loan.

Repayment also varies depending on the terms and policies of the lender you choose for your student loan. There are multiple ways you can repay your student loans: Immediate Repayment, Full Deferral, and Interest Only are the standard methods to repay student loans.

It may seem like it is very challenging to cover all the costs to study in the US. But it is not impossible. There are multiple opportunities available for you to explore.

Please note: You should be aware of scams and scammers while looking for funds. There are people ready to take the advantage of you, so always go for reputable and verified schools and lenders.


Study Abroad 2020 by Numbers
December 21st, 2020 by Al C

The IIE have released their latest data covering international students in the USA and American students studying abroad – here are the highlights we discovered:

International Students in the US:

Over 1 million international students studied in the US in the academic year 2019/20, this includes those taking an academic program and those on OPT (Optional Practical Training).

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That represents over 5% of the total number of enrolled students in the US, but it is roughly 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 as much as 16%.

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American Students Abroad:

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Almost 350,000 US students studied abroad for academic credit in 2018/19 which is the latest data available at this time.

That’s almost 2% higher than 2017/18 – continuing the trend which has been increasing year after year for over 10 consecutive years.

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Incoming Student Data:

Incoming students to the US came mainly from China (35%) and India (18%).

The top 10 countries of origin for incoming students were:

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  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 state that hosted the most international students in total (over 160,000 international students).

The most popular school in the US for international students was New York University – hosting over 20,000 students from around the world!

Outgoing Student Data:

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:

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  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:


In the Light of Covid-19
November 24th, 2020 by Al C

Congratulations to Fiqah Rahman for “In the Light of Covid-19” – the winning entry for the InternationalStudent.com TVC: Life After Lockdown.

Fiqah, from Brunei, is pursuing a Masters degree in Documentary Filmmaking at New York University and hopes to diversify the film industry by putting underrepresented groups in the spotlight. Based on her entry we thing the future holds great things for her!

Fiqah was awarded the $4,000 Grand Prize.

See also:

The $500 Second Place Winner: “The Home of an International Student” by Aashna Singh

The $250 Third Place Winner: “Dear 2021” by Anna Julia De Camargo Correa

And the $1,000 Viewers’ Choice Winner: “Story of My Life” by Larissa Silveira

Congratulations to all the winners and even among those that didn’t win there were some amazingly creative videos.


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