Where Do International Students Spend The Most Money?
March 5th, 2020 by Jennifer Frankel

All international students find out during their course of study that money matters. Having enough money to pay for all the necessary expenses is an important facet of international student life. Students must budget and keep an eye on their finances to ensure that they do not spend too much, but also that they make the most of their time abroad. So where do most international students spend their money, and how can they appropriately budget?

  1. Living expenses: International students find that the bulk of their costs are spent on their living expenses. This includes rent, water, electricity, internet, cable, and other housing expenses that can add up quickly. Be sure to think about these monthly costs and make your decisions wisely as these are typically services you contract for a designated period of time.
  2. Food: International students have to eat too! Buying groceries each week can be expensive, so plan ahead and try to use up everything you purchase. While eating at a restaurant can be fun, it is often more expensive (not to mention, not very healthy!) so be sure to consider how frequently and which restaurant you want to indulge in. To save money, meal plans or a strict budget can do the trick!
  3. Entertainment: The opportunity to get out and have some fun with your friends is paramount to an international student’s social life. But these costs can also add up. Trips, movies, sports games, bars and shopping can get expensive if you’re not careful. International students should budget out monthly “fun money” to enjoy themselves and relax outside of class – just watch out and make sure to account for it.
  4. Other bills: While this category is very broad, there are a number of other items that you’ll need to consider depending on your personal needs. You will likely need a cell phone which come with monthly fees and can costs hundred of dollars depending on the cell phone plan. You may also find that you need a car to get around, which can add on gas charges, car insurance or even monthly finance payments. Credit card bills and gym memberships will go right on top of those costs as well so be careful about what contracts you sign and make sure that you can keep up financially!
  5. Course materials and supplies: Next to tuition and room/board, course materials and supplies are one of the most expensive fees in an international student’s life. Students must pay for their books, software, lab fees, and perhaps even athletic fees. Some classes may even require that you have special materials beyond the normal pen and paper such as a specialized laptop computer or calculator. Oh, and don’t forget about parking permits!

With a well thought out budget and some planning and caution international students can avoid spending too much money and running up there bills. While students may have a few things to spend money, sacrifice and financial responsibility will always pay off!

Smart Budgeting for International Students

Need more help budgeting for school? Check out our resource on How To Budget where you will find more great tips along with a spreadsheet to start budgeting for the next school year!


When do you need a cosigner for a student loan?
August 24th, 2019 by Jennifer Frankel

The cost of a US college education continues to rise. The average cost has increased by approximately 25% over the last 10 years alone. As a result, an increasing number of students are turning to alternate sources of funding to finance their higher education goals.

Cosigner signing international student loan document

Both domestic and international students alike are making use of an increasingly varied array of school-sponsored or third-party scholarships and fellowships, as well as a wide variety of private loans.

Still, while increased costs affect all students, solutions may not be available to all.

For example, although Pell Grants are a mainstay for many domestic students, foreign nationals studying in the US on any “J” or “F” visa are not eligible to participate in the program.

In a similar way, the regulations regarding student loans are likewise different for domestic and international students. In this case there is a considerable difference between what is encouraged and what is required.

Consider, as an illustration, the issue of a cosigner for a student loan.

According to Citi Student Loans, for instance, “most undergraduate students will need to apply with a creditworthy cosigner” in order to meet the company’s income- and credit history-based eligibility requirements.

If a domestic student can satisfy these requirements on their own, however, no cosigner is necessary. The same is true of almost every private lender.

By contrast, almost all international students need a cosigner.

Indeed, by and large a US-based (citizen or permanent resident) cosigner with good credit is considered de rigueur for lenders and is therefore all-but obligatory for borrowers.

In this way the cosigner’s country of residence and credit history serve as an additional insurance on the part of the lender (and make the loan’s eventual collection that much easier).

If you are an international student without a cosigner, there are loans available with no cosigner required. These are available at certain US schools, and there are even no-cosigner loans in Canada.

In the end, though, it is important to stress that while not all loan options require a US cosigner, for an international student loan it is important to check with your college or university before applying.

By contacting them directly you can ensure that the loan in question is a good fit for you.



Read about how Coronavirus affects loan repayment

Find out about international student loans in Canada

Want to know where international students spend the most money?


2017 Travel Video Contest – Win $4,000!
September 6th, 2017 by Jennifer Frankel

Ever dreamed of studying abroad, but find that you don’t have the money? InternationalStudent.com’s 2017 Travel Video Contest is now open, and accepting your video submissions now through October 13th. One lucky winner will go home with $4,000 USD to help them pursue their dream of studying abroad or to take a special trip during their time studying abroad.

Here’s how! To enter, submit your video of less than 4 minutes about where you want to study and why. This video contest is open to any international student, study abroad student, or student interested in studying overseas. If you are currently studying abroad, then we want to hear about the trip you want to take, and how this money will help you get there.

A video? That’s right, we want to hear your story, and trip you want to go on, in less than 4 minutes. It can be sad, silly, funny, or inspiring! Whether you are showing off your story skills, singing skills, graphic design, or animation skills, we want to hear your story. Your video should be high quality, interesting, creative and explain why you want to study abroad.

Prizes! This year’s grand prize is $4,000, and there will be other prizes as well! Second place will get $500 and third place will be awarded $250. There will also be a Viewer’s Choice Award of $1,000 – so make sure you tell your friends (voting is open from 10/18/2017-11/3/2017)!

Who is InternationalStudent.com? InternationalStudent.com has been hosting the Travel Video Contest since 2006, helping students to finance their international education. Before you get that video camera out, be sure to read the rules and regulations and meet this year’s panel of judges. You can even see previous winners to get those creative juices going!

Enter the Contest Here>>


2016 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest Winners Announced
November 21st, 2016 by Jennifer Frankel

mariana-osorioWe are proud to announce this year’s InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest Winners for 2016. With 159 entries, it was a difficult decision for the judges. The caliber of the videos this year were exceptional, and reflected the talent and creativity from students around the world. After much deliberation, we are excited to announce:

$4,000 Grand Prize Winner: Mariana Osorio with “This Magic World”

Second Place Winner: Siti Fatimah with “Dream, Believe, and Make it Happen”

Third Place Winner: Michael de Beer with “The Urban Archi”

Congratulate our new winners as they take home their prizes and be sure to also check out the Viewer’s Choice Award winner, Marifer & Carlos, on their video, “A Couple of MBA’s.”

Follow this year’s winner, Mariana, as she writes about her experience as an international student in New York. She will be blogging this year on her very own Study in the USA blog, so be sure to take a look and connect with her.

 


2016 Travel Video Contest: Finalist and Viewers’ Choice Winner Announced
November 15th, 2016 by Jennifer Frankel

tvcInternationalStudent.com just announced both the finalist and Viewers’ Choice Award winner for the 2016 Travel Video Contest. With 159 entries from students all around the world, it was no easy decision to narrow it down to just 14 finalists.

The Viewer’s Choice Award winner is Carlos Roberto Gonzalez Meyer’s A Couple of MBA’s who tells the story about him and his girlfriend’s dream to study in Canada. Cute, funny, and inspiring, you won’t want to miss this couple’s upcoming adventure. Watch their video if you haven’t already, and congratulate them on winning $1,000 to help make their dreams come true!

Not only will they get passed to the finalist round, but they’ll join 13 other finalist for their chance to win the grand prize of $4,000. Stay tuned for International Education Week where on November 18th, InternationalStudent.com will announce the judges’ winner – and if you haven’t already, watch the finalist videos and let us know which one you like best.


Apply Now for International Student Loans!
June 1st, 2016 by Jennifer Frankel

student loanUniversities throughout the United States welcome ten of thousands of international students to their campuses every year. Going to school in the United States can be an extremely rewarding experience, but paying for it can be a challenge. Most students rely on several funding sources, such as scholarships, grants, family, personal savings, and finally, student loans. Many American students rely on government loans, but these are not available for international students. Fortunately, there are many international student loans available from private lenders.

By using our comparison tool, you can immediately see what lenders are available depending upon what school you plan to attend. You can then apply immediately online. Follow these steps to get the process started. Follow these easy steps to apply online now:

  1. Find a cosigner.
  2. Enter your information into our comparison tool.
  3. Compare lenders.
  4. Apply online.
  5. Wait for pre-qualification.
  6. Complete your application.

Read the rest of this entry »


10th Annual Travel Video Contest Winners Announced
November 20th, 2015 by Jennifer Frankel

posterInternationalStudent.com just announced the winner of their 10th annual Travel Video Contest! Amar Chaniago created the video “My Second Chance at Life,” which captivated audiences around the world, not to mention stole the hearts of the judges. His journey began where he overcame a car crash which left him hospitalized, and became the source of his reflection where he reevaluated his life and the things that were important to him. Amar will walk away with the $4,000 grand prize to help him study psychology in Australia. You can also follow his journey while he prepares to study in Australia by following his new Study Abroad Blog.

It was no easy decision in this year’s contest, where InternationalStudent.com received over 80 videos from students around the world. The second place winner, Michelle Leclerq, also wowed the judges with her video entitled, “Place Yourself Where You Want to Be.” Michelle is an aspiring musician with both vocal and musical talents, and she is looking to pursue her passion by attending a music school in California. Her video takes us with her into her past where she completed a Work and Travel program, that gave her enough money to travel around the US and explore her musical passion (and from her video, you’ll see her amazing talents!). Michelle will receive $500 to help her pursue her dream!

The third place recipient of $250 goes to Léa Kriger-Bécourt, for her video entitled “The Missing Piece.” Her video is both fun and innovative, as she puts the pieces of her life together before us, showing us her past and revealing her desire to go to Mexico to work on a community farm program called WWOOF.

Finally, our Viewer’s Choice Award went to Murtaza Ibrahimi for his video “The Flowers of Success”. Not only will he walk away with $1,000, but he has touched us all with his story about studying in the US to help build the future of Afghanistan.

If you are interested in watching the winner’s videos, along with the finalist, check out InternationalStudent.com’s Contest page for more.


InternationalStudent.com’s 10th Annual Travel Video Contest – Your Chance to Win $4,000
September 1st, 2015 by Jennifer Frankel

posterWe are excited to announce this year’s 10th Annual Travel Video Contest hosted by InternationalStudent.com. This is your chance to win $4,000 to help you study abroad!

To win, create a video that moves your peers, woos the judges, and tells your story about why you want to study abroad. You won’t want to miss the 10th anniversary, which is expected to be even bigger than ever.

With a large and diverse group of international educators and travelers as the 2015 judge panel, they will be on the lookout for a video that will blow the crowd out of the water. Funny, clever, creative, innovative, sad, heartwarming, or – could your video be something else that makes it stand out among the rest?

Want to win $4,000? Here’s how to enter:

  • Who: Eligibility is open to anyone who creates a video about a proposed study abroad. If you are currently studying abroad, then talk about a trip you want to take and why.
  • What: To enter, create a video no longer than 5 minutes in length and make sure to send it to InternationalStudent.com by October 22nd. Check out the previous winners to see what it takes.
  • Where: InternationalStudent.com – learn more about the contest details on their website.
  • When: Contest officially starts today, and entries will be accepted until October 22nd, so get recording today!
  • Why: Because who wouldn’t want $4,000 to study abroad?

Best of luck to everyone, and for tips and tricks on what it takes to win, be sure to review InternationalStudent.com’s Travel Video Contest for a complete list of rules, regulations, tips and the submission form.


5 Ways Student Loans Can Help You
September 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

Hand countdown 451879017Unlike scholarships and grants, student loans have to be paid back with interest. Therefore, you should always seek other “free” sources of funding before resorting to student loans. However, most students will require at least a small loan to cover the cost of their education, especially international students, whose funding sources are even more limited. But did you know that there are actually several benefits to taking out student loans? In this article, we will discuss five surprising ways student loans can help you.

1. Cover the Cost of your Education
Whether you need to cover just a few thousand dollars left over after a generous scholarship, or you have no outside funding and you need a loan for the entire cost of attendance, an international student loan can help pay for your education in the United States. Loans are especially helpful in covering a gap leftover after all the other various sources have been exhausted, but you can also take out a loan for the entire cost of attendance if you’re approved. If an American education seems out of reach financially, student loans can put it within your grasp.

2. Show Proof of Funds to Get a Visa
In order to get a student visa to study in the United States, you need to provide proof of funds. You may be able to use your loan to show the U.S. government that you have enough money to pay your tuition as well your daily living costs. While loans are not always accepted as a proof of funds, if you work with your school’s financial aid office as well as its Designated School Official (who assists with visas), your loan may help you get a visa. Read the rest of this entry »


Want to Win $4,000? Travel Video Contest Launched
September 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

2014-Travel-Video-ContestThe 9th Annual Travel Video Contest has just been announced, and you don’t want to miss it! With a grand prize of $4,000, the winner won’t just have extra money in their pocket – but international fame with students around the world. Here’s how to enter:

Submit a video no longer than 5 minutes long telling us about why you want to study abroad. If you are already an international student, then tell us about a trip you want to take a why.

DO: Be original!

DON’T: Title your video with the word Dream or Journey.

DO: Tell us your story – make us laugh, cry, think, or wonder!

DON’T: Miss the deadline!

Submit your video before the deadline, October 22nd. If you want to learn more about the contest, check out International Student’s Travel Video Contest for information on how to enter, as well as rules and regulations. If you need some inspiration, then check out our previous winners as they will be sure to make you swoon!

Good luck to everyone, we hope that you are one step closer to affording your international education!


Get the Financial Aid Newsletter!