As an international student planning to study in the USA, there’s no doubt that you’ve already started to contemplate the financial implications of this decision, and you are probably wondering what your options are for financing the cost of studying outside your home country; and you’re quite right to do so – as you may already have realised, there is little information about sources of financial aid for international students who want to study in the US, and often the information that you can find is unclear or even misleading – especially when it comes to unscrupulous lenders (or even loan scams).
But don’t let this put you off your search. We have created this extremely useful post to give you as much information as we can to help you fulfill your dream of studying in the USA and finding the funding to enable you to do that.
Here at International Student Loan we recommend that you first talk to your college or university before pursuing any other alternative funding sources. They may be able to guide you to their own funding opportunities or specific contacts that they have established themselves that are able to assist non-US residents studying in the US.
There are 3 main offices you should contact at your university:
- The Financial Aid office
- The department or faculty office of your chosen program of study
- The office for international students (often called the Office of International Student Services)
Much support for international students in graduate programs in the US is provided by the universities and colleges themselves in the form of teaching assistantships and research assistantships. These are often based on academic merit and not on financial need. In most cases you would be required to pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) in order to qualify for a teaching assistantship, but check with the school you’re interested in.
Some foreign schools have exchange programs with schools in the US. These exchange programs often include financial aid for the students. If you are already studying at a university in your home country and would like to find out about this type of exchange program the office for international student services at your home university would be the best place to contact.
Once you have established the financial aid that you can access through your chosen university or college, it is time to start looking further afield for other, alternative sources, too.
Such resources might include:
Yourself and Your Family
According to the Association of International Educators, more than two-thirds of international students in the US receive help from their families, in addition to their own resources, to fund their study in the US. Whatever outside help and financial aid you receive, you will also need to use your own funds and probably rely on support from family and friends to pursue your dream of an education in the USA.
Organizations in your home country
One of the best sources of financial aid for international students comes from organizations in their home country that want to invest in and develop the education of talented students, recognizing the benefits that an international education can provide.
Your own government may provide financial aid (often on the condition that the recipient of the aid returns to their home country on completion of their studies). We suggest you make contact with your country’s ministry of education and or ministry of culture.
Private organizations such as businesses, religious groups, and charitable foundations may also offer support in the form of financial aid for international students – often this is linked to the background of the student or the chosen field of study. We advise you to search online for these opportunities, and speak to local educational institutions who may be able to refer you to these programs.
You can use scholarship databases such as International Education Financial Aid and International Scholarships. These databases are free to use and contain information on the scholarships, grants, and awards that are available for international students.
Some of the organizations that offer funding for international students studying in the United States are:
- The United Nations
- the Organization of American States (OAS)
- The International Maritime Organization
- The International Telecommunications Union
- The League of Red Cross Societies
- The Soros Foundation
- The World Health Organization
- The World Council of Churches.
These awards are extremely competitive and are mostly for graduate students rather than undergraduates.
You usually have to apply for this type of funding from your home country, so if you have already embarked on your educational journey in the US you may not be eligible. It is therefore important for you to research these opportunities well before you travel.
The Fulbright Program works two ways: U.S. citizens may receive funding to go to a foreign country and non-U.S. citizens may come to the U.S. (Foreign Student Program, Visiting Scholar Program, Teacher Exchange Program, etc.).
In order to be considered for Fulbright programs, foreign candidates must demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, leadership potential, flexibility and the ability to interact successfully in the USA.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to conduct research and study in the United States
Fulbright grants are offered in many academic disciplines, but not in clinical medical research (research involving patient contact). Fields of study cover mathematics and sciences, the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Applicants are required to take the TOEFL and GRE or GMAT exams. Professional education, such as medical schools, is not eligible. Fulbright students are required to be on J-1 visas for the entire duration of their sponsorship.
You should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate, the Fulbright Commission office, or educational advising center for information about applying to the Fulbright Program in your country.
Of course, we couldn’t write a post on our own site about international financial aid and not mention international student loans. International student loans are available to help students cover the cost of their education so they can attend the US college or university of their choice.
With international student loans, students can borrow up to the total cost of their education minus any financial aid received. Our loans work for all nationalities, and students can apply from anywhere in the world including from their host country.
You can check what is available to you by using our international student loan comparison tool.
Interested in finding out about some common myths regarding international student loans?
US institutions are attracting students from around the globe and applications from Europe are on the rise. The number of UK students looking to study a graduate program in the US continues to increase, and undergraduate programs are only just behind. This article will tell you all the basics about international student loans for students from the UK who hope to study in the US.
A Whole New World
While the UK has several world-renowned institutions, the scope of courses available to study in the US in unequaled. As such, the number of British students studying a program in the US has risen by around a third since 2010 and continues to rise (according to studies by the Institute of International Education). Read another post about International Education facts and Figures.
There are over 4000 US institutions, many of which offer programs in specialisms many of us have never heard of. This allows students to find the degree that’s right for them, adding something unique to their CV.
One of the main deterrents for studying in the US continues to be funding. While university fees are subsidized in the UK, tuition fees and living costs in the US are on the rise. Many students now seek a student loan to support their education expenses.
FindingInternational Student Loans for Students from the UK
The easiest way to be considered eligible for a US student loan is to find a co-signer who is also an American citizen. A citizen with a good credit rating is the perfect candidate to cosign your loan, making the application process much easier. Many lenders offer loans to students with co-signers who have proof of income, as they can act as a guarantor for the funds.
A cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the US for the past two years and has good credit.
Your cosigner should have a stable job with a steady income and an established credit history. Lenders may look at how long your cosigner has lived at their current address and how long they’ve been employed at their current job.
Your cosigner is taking on the obligation to pay back your loans in the event that you cannot, so it’s important that the cosigner can afford to cover these expenses. International student loans and study abroad loans lenders will take into account the total income of your cosigner and their total debts (mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, and any student loans they may have on their own) when reviewing a loan application.
In the United States, the cosigner’s credit history is evaluated by a credit score that is based on outstanding debts and their payment history. Lenders will evaluate your cosigner’s existing and past loans and whether they were paid on time.
Cosigner Not Required?
However, this is not an option for everyone. If you do not have a cosigner and you’re looking for international student loans for students from the UK there are specialist lenders who offer this service. Lenders such as MPower Financing understand how difficult it can be to secure funding. They support students in the visa and college application process as well as providing funding, to reduce the stress over expenses. There’s information about finding a loan without a cosigner here.
To compare the best student loans for British students looking to study in the US, then look no further than our comparison tool.
As greater numbers of students from around the world are traveling to study a degree in the US, and tuition fees are rising, international student loans are growing increasingly necessary. Indian students, alone, accounted for 17.9% of the total foreign students in the US in 2017-18, second only to Chinese students at 33%. This article discusses the best international student loans for Indian students who want to study at a US institution.
The Indian Loophole
To be considered eligible for an F-1 visa and to be accepted to a US academic institution all international students must show proof of funding. This basically means that you, as a student applicant, must show you can afford to attend the college or university of your choice. You may pay for your education through personal funds, an academic scholarship from the institution, or through a student loan.
The most difficult part of applying for a student loan as an Indian student is finding the necessary evidence to be considered eligible. Indian banks often require supporting documentation showing the student’s acceptance to a US institution before considering a loan. However, most US institutions require proof of funding before offering a formal acceptance.
The simplest option is to seek a loan through a US bank specializing in student loans or a specialist lender. US lenders understand the difficulty with needing to provide supporting documentation for the university application and offer advice and help during this process.
Loan Options for Indian Students
There are a number of lenders that specialize in study loans for Indian students studying in the US. You can compare your options using our loan comparison tool for Indian students.
MPower Financing is a dedicated lender of international student loans and one of the options available to Indian students. The company understands the difficulties many international students have with finding funding and a co-signer. MPower takes the hassle out of the process by keeping everything clear and supporting both the visa and university application process. MPower also can provide loans without a cosigner at select universities in the USA and Canada.
To find out more about applying for a student loan as an Indian student check out our India International Student Loans section.
Are you planning to study abroad? There are International Student Loans available for students in your position who need funding. This might be for a semester or a full degree program.
Here at International Student Loan, we’re here to help. Find the information you’ll need to make an informed choice and apply for funding.
What a student loan can cover:
Tuition fees, books, accommodation, transportation, health insurance, and anything else an international student might need.
We’ve prepared this post as a one-stop overview of the information you’ll need whether you’re a student, parent, student- or financial-aid-advisor!
We hope you’ll find the student loan that works for you!
Financial Aid for Non-US citizens studying in the US:
International Student Loan
There are International Student Loans available for non-US citizens studying at a college or university in the United States. It’s very common for foreign students to apply for loans to help pay for college.
Studying abroad can be very expensive once all the costs have been added up.
We have a student loan comparison tool will match you with eligible loan options which you can review and choose the loan that works best for your circumstances.
Most international students inside the US will need a cosigner when applying for a loan. They must be a US citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the US for the past 2 years and has good credit history.
Find out more here.
Financial Aid for Non-US citizens studying in the US at select schools (No Cosigner Loans):
No Cosigner Loan
As mentioned above, most international students inside the US will need a cosigner when applying for a loan. Although a cosigner is required in most cases, international students attending a small number of colleges and universities in the US are able to apply for a no cosigner loan. If you aren’t able to find a cosigner then a no cosigner loan could be a good option for you.
Most international students in the US do not have credit history. With no cosigner loans the loan approval is based on the cosigner’s credit history, along with your academic success and career path.
Find out more here.
Financial Aid for US citizens studying abroad through a US school:
Study Abroad Loan
If you are a US citizen or permanent resident you may be eligible for a study abroad loan if you are participating in a study abroad program at an approved school in the United States. You must receive credit at your home college or university. If you are not sure if your school is eligible, see our complete list of eligible schools.
Our loan comparison tool lets you compare loans and find the loan that’s most suitable to meet your needs – and you can apply right online.
Find out more here.
Financial Aid for US citizens enrolled directly at a foreign school:
Foreign Enrolled Loan
If you’re a US citizen or permanent resident planning to enrol directly with an approved foreign school to complete an entire degree program overseas, you may be eligible for a Foreign Enrolled Loan.
There are hundreds of medical, dental, law and business schools, colleges and universities around the world that are approved.
Find out more here.
US citizens applying for federal loans:
Federal Student Stafford Loan
US students that need a student loan should complete the FAFSA and apply for Stafford Loans as well as applying for a Study Abroad Loan or Foreign Enrolled Loan.
Stafford loans are fixed-rate loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending college at least half time. They are provided under a federal government program, so interest rates can be very competitive.
Find out more here.
More About Student Loans for Foreign Students:
International Student Loan provides student loan information so that you are better informed and equipped to make the right decision on funding your studies. Whether you are looking for international student loans, foreign enrolled loans, or study abroad loans, we aim to always provide you with the very best of foreign student loan opportunities.
Finding a student loan for your international education can be difficult – but it doesn’t have to be with the help of internationalstudentloan.com
After receiving numerous video entries for the InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest, the 12 finalists, including the Viewers’ Choice Winner have been announced!
Like every year, students from around the world put all their effort, time, dedication and creativity into their video entry to express their desire to experience life outside their home country. Each entry was thoughtful and the InternationalStudent.com team had a difficult time narrowing the list of entries.
We invite you to meet the 12 finalists and hear their stories, as from that bunch three lucky winners will be chosen for the first, second and third place! As in past years, this year we have an incredible judging panel who will determine the three winners which will be announced on the last day of the International Education Week: November 16th.
Make sure you watch the Viewers’ Choice winning video: Leaving Routine Behind, where Kaleema Lowery shares with us how her life has become a routine that doesn’t bring her greater happiness. She wants to see the world, meet new people, learn new languages, make new memories and especially leave the routine behind! But she can’t do everything at once and for now, she chose South Korea where she’ll have the opportunity to live an experience different from what she has been living at home.
If you’re interested in entering this Travel Video Contest next year make sure you sign up to receive the latest alerts from InternationalStudent.com.
Yes, it’s that time of year! The InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest is back and you have another chance to win $4,000! From August 31st until October 9th, you can submit your video to participate in the contest and be one of the four winners:
1st Place Winner: $4,000
2nd Place Winner: $500
3rd Place Winner: $250
Viewers’ Choice Winner: $1,000
To be eligible you must be 18 or older and already enrolled or planning to enroll in college or university outside of your home country.
How to enter
Create an original 4 minute video specifically for the 2018 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest and submit it before the deadline. If you are a current international student, your video must describe any trip you would like to take. If you are not currently studying outside of your home country, your entry must describe your proposed study abroad.
The deadline to submit your application for the 2018 Travel Video Contest is 11:59 PM, EST on Tuesday, 9 October 2018. Don’t forget to have a look at:
Get more information on InternationalStudent.com.
If you’re moving abroad to study, you probably want to know the best options for money transfer for international students. Ideally, you want to avoid the high bank fees often involved with international money transfer but don’t know the best alternative. There are now several options for transferring money from your home country to your foreign bank account that won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Here the 5 best options currently available.
TransferWise, a UK-based money transfer site, has become increasingly popular in recent years because of its low fees and fast transfer options. It generally charges a 1% fee on the total transfer, which is much cheaper than many of its competitors. It’s only if you’re sending large amounts that it can get pricey. It uses real-time exchange rates, ensuring you always pay a rate that’s fair and accurate for currency conversions.
TransferWise offers a mobile app for Apple and Android so you can track your money as its being transferred. Most transfers are completed within 2 business days, depending on the bank you’re sending it to and the conversion. To check how long a payment will take TransferWise has a handy transfer calculator.
Paypal is widely trusted for online payments, such as online shopping for websites like eBay, and is even used to pay the salaries of remote and freelance workers. Now they have a new website, Paypal Xoom, which offers a money wiring service. This is about the fastest online money transfer service around, with most transfers being completed within one hour.
Xoom promotes itself as a place to send money, reload phones, and pay bills using their website and mobile app. If you have a Paypal account already, you can sign into Xoom using your existing details, making registration easy. Xoom allows you to track all transfers, offers 24/7 customer support and also has a fee calculator. Fees vary from country to country so it’s always best to check before committing to Xoom.
Australian money transfer service OFX offers real-time currency conversion and waives many of its transfer fees as part of its service. OFX has global support teams to answer any of your questions and an app to track your transfers.
OFX is good if you want to send larger amounts of money as the minimum transfer is around $200 US. Transfers typically take 1-2 working days depending on the recipient bank.
Chances are you’ve heard of MoneyGram or seen one of its offices. MoneyGram has been around for a while and is now competing with the new online options for money transfer. Keeping up with the likes of TransferWise and Xoom, you can now transfer online, on the app, or through Facebook using MoneyGram. If you prefer to wire money the traditional way, in person, there are over 30,000 MoneyGram branches across the US.
Fees can be slightly more expensive than online competitors but you have the guarantee of MoneyGram’s well-established reputation for money transfers. You can check MoneyGram fees online and can pay using your credit card or checking account online, or cash in store. Always check the exchange rates as they are often not calculated at real-time conversion prices.
MoneyGram is fast. If you transfer money to a specific location, it is typically ready to collect within 10 minutes! Online transfers are also guaranteed to be faster than many competitors.
If you need money to be transferred fast and reliably, then Western Union is considered as the ‘old faithful’ of money transfer. In branch and online, Western Union offers fast and simple transfers that can be tracked through the app. You can make transfers in cash, by debit or credit card or from your bank account.
Western Union provides money transfer options in 130 currencies to over 200 countries and territories. It also has 500,000 agent locations around the world if you want to wire the money in person. However, with the well-known and reliable name comes higher fees and, often, longer transfer times. This is a good option if you want to use an established transfer service or go to the branch. However, new online transfer services generally offer cheaper and faster services.
Different services offer different perks. It’s always useful to check the fee calculators and conversion rates of a couple of services before committing. If the speed of the transfer is important, opt for one of the faster services, which might have a slightly higher fee. Look into your options before you run out of money so that you’re well prepared and don’t have to rush the decision!
InternationalStudent.com just announced the winners of their 12th annual Travel Video Contest! Two weeks ago the International Student Team announced the top 15 finalists, including the $1,000 Viewers’ Choice winner, Juan Sebastian Bayona Carrillo. Today, we are proud to announce the final winners have been selected. Choosing three winners among those 15 amazing videos was a difficult decision for the judges, but we are sure you will be pleased with the videos chosen. Are you ready to find out if your favorite video was chosen as one of the winners? Let’s check it out!
The $4,000 grand prize winner was Dini Restyanti for her video “Finding My Ikigai”
Dini studied Visual Communication but even after she got her degree she never felt completely fulfilled. She was missing something in her life and that is when she realized that she needed to look for her Ikigai, which in Japanese means “a reason to wake up in the morning”. And she found it! Dini will walk away with the $4,000 grand prize to help her study animation in Japan.
The second place winner ($500) was Laura Rey for her video “Drawing My Trip”
At the age of 16, Laura decided to study Film and Television since she always felt admiration for Disney movies. Today, her biggest dream is to become a producer in the cinema industry and that is why she wants to study in Los Angeles. Laura will receive $500 to help her pursue her dream!
The third place winner ($250) was Eliel Freer-Sullivan for his video “New York, New York, My American Dream”
Eliel is an aspiring musician with both vocal and musical talents. He is already studying in Atlanta but he is looking to pursue his passion by attending a music school in New York City. Watch his video and get to know his story through his song!
Congratulations to each of the winners of the 2017 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest! Next year InternationalStudent.com will host again their annual Travel Video Contest and you won’t want to miss it out! Check back September 2018 for your chance to enter the contest!
Do you remember our post about the InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest? As you may remember, students from around the world submitted a short video sharing a proposed study abroad trip or for those already studying abroad, a trip they would like to take. The deadline was on October 13th and today we are ready to announce the the Viewers’ Choice winner along with the 14 finalist!
We are excited to announce this year’s Viewers’ Choice Award video: Making the US my new home where Sebastian Bayona. As an international student from Peru currently studying at Oklahoma State University, he shares his experience about what it means to move abroad and leave your friends, family, and home behind. He talks about how important it is to overcome homesickness, and how he’s really enjoyed the experience of making the US his new home.
Be sure to check out this great video, along with the other finalist videos. Every year, the contest gets bigger and bigger, and this year we had even more entries than last year! This year is not going to be an easy decision for our InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest judges as it’s now in their hands to choose who is going to be the winner of the 2018 Travel Video Contest. Stay tuned during International Education Week to find out who will be awarded $4,000 to help their travels abroad.
If you’re interested in entering this Travel Video Contest next year make sure you sign up to receive the latest alerts from InternationalStudent.com.
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>>