In School Student Loan Deferment
September 24th, 2021 by Al C

In today’s world where student loans are the norm, especially for international students, it is increasingly important to be aware of how you can defer your payments while still in school.

This article will take a look at what exactly student loan deferment is, how it works and how to request to defer your student loan payments. It will also discuss some resources for more information on this topic, including how deferment applies to federal student loans and private student loans.

What is deferment?

Let’s get started with the most important thing to cover – what does deferment mean? In general terms, deferment is when you are allowed to put off paying your loan for a time under certain conditions.

On the surface this seems like a great idea because you are allowed to stop making your monthly loan payments for a time – up to three years in some cases. However, deferring student loans should only be done if you have no other options because during the deferment period you are not reducing your loan balance but your loans accrue interest. This means the total amount you owe, and the total cost of borrowing will increase.

If you’ve borrowed from a private lender then your student loan debt will only increase if you stop making monthly payments. However, federal student loan deferment if you have subsidized loans or Perkins loans can be a good idea because you do not accrue additional interest on federal student aid during deferment.

In the case of international student loans, students who are enrolled at least half time may be offered a repayment plan by their loan servicer that includes a period when no monthly payment is required or the payment is significantly reduced. Often this is during full time studies and until up to six months after graduation.

Deferment, Forbearance and Loan Forgiveness

You have probably heard all three of these terms and you’d be forgiven for being slightly confused about the similarities and differences.

Deferment and Forbearance

Student Loan Deferment and Loan Forgiveness are very similar. Both are temporary solutions for borrowers struggling with student loan repayment. Deferment can be granted for up to three years and forbearance usually up to 12 months.

Both are available on most federal student loans, and interest is accrued during deferment with the exception of subsidized loans or the Perkins loan. Private lenders are not obliged to offer any kind of deferment or forbearance options, but many do – especially in the form of a payment plan where student loan payments are zero or greatly reduced (sometimes interest-only) during school and for up to 6 months after graduation.

Making use of approved deferment or loan forgiveness will not negatively affect your credit score – missing a payment before you have been approved will. However it will impact the length of time and the total amount you repay.

These options are short-term solutions, an income driven repayment plan may be a better option if you believe that your ability to repay your loan will be affected long-term.

Loan Forgiveness

As suggested by the name, this is when the lender writes off or cancels some or all of the outstanding payments remaining. This is only used in extremely rare occasions such as foreclosure, bankruptcy or some kind of government legislation.

How in school deferment works

To defer student loans, you need to meet the requirements set out by the lender (or the government). For example, you might have a maximum of 3 years where you can defer your loan.

To request deferment, you need to send your student loan servicer the completed application form and any necessary supporting documentation. If you qualify, they must grant you the deferment. It’s important that you keep making payments until you receive the official notification from them saying that the application was approved. If you stop making the required repayments before you get the approval, this can affect your credit in the future as it will be a missed payment.

How long does an in-school deferment last?

In-school deferment lets you pause your student loan payments while you are an undergraduate, graduate or professional student enrolled half time or more on an approved course of study at an eligible college and for up to six months after graduation. This includes studies on an approved graduate fellowship program.

How to defer student loans for grad school

The process of student loan deferment is the same for graduate programs as for any other students that qualify.

How many credits to defer student loans?

In order to qualify for student loan deferment you will need to be taking enough credits to be considered as attending school half time or more. In most cases an undergraduate is considered to be full time when taking 12 credits per semester – 9 for a graduate student.

References and resources about student loans and financial aid

For resources on International Student Loans visit the resources page.

If you are looking for an international student loan in the US you can find information here.

If you are studying in Canada loans are available for international students.

Find your international scholarship with the IEFA international scholarship search.


International Student Financial Aid Guide
August 27th, 2021 by Al C

Financial resources for international students

International student financial aid is a necessity for almost all international students wishing to study abroad and often times it can’t be obtained without applying for an international student loan.

Many international students, however, need a loan in addition to any awards or scholarships received. So what are these loans and how do you get them?

In this article we will explore both topics in order to provide some basic understanding of the complicated world of financial aid for international education, international student loans and how they work.

Read on if you would like some clarity into this confusing topic!

Why international financial aid is necessary

Financial aid for international students is necessary for almost all international students because the cost of studying abroad is more than the average student can afford – even with financial support from their family.

The average cost of studying abroad for a year can range anywhere from $30,000 to more than $70,000

Some of the most expensive in demand countries include the United States and the United Kingdom.

In both cases the tuition fees are more expensive for international students, and you need to add in other necessary costs such as accommodation and food.

The cost is around three times higher than what a student would have to pay at home for the same program.

How to get financial aid for international students

It is not easy to get financial aid as an international student and it requires you to work hard in order to obtain it. The first place to look for financial aid is with the school or university you will be attending.

Federal financial aid is not usually available for international students

In most cases students going to a school in the U.S. must first complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and apply for any government funding available – this is often the case even though international students are not usually eligible for federal aid.

Most universities have their own financial aid options and scholarship programs that international students can apply to. Some are merit-based while others are need-based. It is important to complete your application as soon as possible as most programs and scholarships only have a limited number of positions available.

There are also many scholarships for international students offered through private organisations that can be applied for online and there is no shortage of options. Search the database of international scholarships at www.iefa.org/scholarships.

Often times these scholarships have specific requirements, such as a minimum GPA and/or language proficiency but there are also general scholarships available. Once you have completed your application, it will be reviewed by the selection committee and if selected, you will be awarded a scholarship.

Lastly, remember that an international student loan is only a last resort after all other funding has been exhausted – it should never be used instead of applying for scholarships and/or government funding.

international undergraduate students

There are a small number of lenders who specialize in loans for international students, but they are not available in every country or at every school or university – a lender must have a suitable program for your chosen institution and you must meet their other lending criteria.

Another factor in the availability of loans for international students is that some lenders require you to have a cosigner (also known as a guarantor or co-borrower) who is legally responsible for repaying your loan if you fail to do so. That cosigner must be a U.S. permanent resident.

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Paying back your international student loan

Repayment of an international student loan will depend on the terms set out when you took the loan. Different lenders will have different repayment terms and interest rates.

Some lenders will allow you to defer repayments until after graduation while others will want you to start repaying your loan immediately.

Whatever repayment plan you have, your lender will be able to give you the exact details about how much you will have to repay and when – and you should be able to see the total cost of borrowing (including all interest and fees).

International student financial aid is a complex topic and it’s important for prospective students to research their options before making any decisions. There are many ways you can get financial assistance, but the first place to look should always be with your school or university. Your institution may offer scholarships that don’t require an essay; these are often need-based programs so if you’re struggling academically, this might not be a good option.

The next step would be to search the database of international scholarships at www.iefa.org/scholarships where there is no shortage of opportunities available (although some do have specific requirements).

Lastly, remember that borrowing money shouldn’t ever substitute applying for other sources of funding such as government grants or private scholarships – international loans should be used as a last resort. It is also important to look at the terms and conditions of your loan and understand where you currently stand financially before taking on any financial responsibility – if you have to take out an international student loan, make sure that it’s done with care.


How does studying abroad work?
August 18th, 2021 by Al C

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your world view

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your world view, build on your education and learn about different cultures. It’s also a great chance to make friends from other countries who can help you with your language skills. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, read on!

This article will answer questions about studying abroad such as: what are the steps and how it works? Who should do it? How much does it cost? What are some of the benefits of studying abroad? And more!

What do you need to study abroad?

Studying abroad is a great opportunity, but it’s also a challenging experience. You can’t just decide to study abroad and go. You need to know what you’re getting into first, including how studying abroad works and if it’s the right choice for you before making your decision.

If you’re thinking about studying abroad, start by asking yourself these questions:What do I want to get out of the experience? How will it help me in my career? Do I know where I want to live and/or study abroad? What am I willing to sacrifice for my education?

After that, make a plan. You’re going to need to decide on a host country and choose from available study abroad programs. Depending on your host country destination and the country where you are a citizen you may need a student visa. Make sure you apply for any student visas well in advance! Look at the costs of your departure, including airfare to get there. Think about some of the cultural differences and how that might affect you.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it can be – but it’s worth it in the end.

What about funding?

If you want to study elsewhere in Europe or another part of the world, you will probably have to apply for some programs and grants

If you want to study elsewhere in Europe or another part of the world, you will probably have to apply for some programs and grants.

Some of these grants are selective, so you can’t just apply for them if you want to! To find out more about studying abroad, we recommend that you visit your school’s international office or website. They have tons of information and many of them can help you with applying too.

There are also some scholarships available only for minorities or students from another country that are very competitive to get. Some of these scholarships will provide you with money to pay for your studies and living expenses, so this might be the right choice for you if you want to study abroad but don’t think that you can afford it.

How does studying abroad help you?

the long-term benefits in future career opportunities can't be understated when you enter the job market

Some people are reluctant to study abroad because they’ll be far from home or they worry about culture shock from being immersed in a new language and place. That is completely understandable, but studying a program at an international university can be a very rewarding experience. You’ll definitely get out of your comfort zone and learn more about yourself and different cultures in the process!

And the long-term benefits in future career opportunities can’t be understated when you enter the job market after returning from your host university. Hiring companies look at the way they can benefit from candidates’ experiences abroad where they have learned cultural awareness and communication skills better than they could domestically.

Studying or living in abroad will change you as a person. This is, of course, completely different than studying or living in your home town or even a different city in your country. Studying overseas will give you the opportunity to forge friendships with people from around the world – not just your new home.

You’ll get to know how things work differently there and are able to learn a little bit more about yourself while experiencing something completely new and foreign.

How long do you usually study abroad?

Most of the time that you study abroad it’s through a university program at your home university, which will usually take at least one semester. Some programs will be shorter depending on what you’re studying and where you are going to study, and some will be longer – such as a full academic year.

Some students chose to take their entire degree program at an international school – this is known as being “foreign enrolled”.

So it basically depends on the program and university you want to study at. There will be a lot of different programs to choose from, so you’ll have to make your pick!

Is Studying Abroad expensive?

Depending on where you study and how long for, studying abroad can be expensive. Many students get grants or scholarships to study abroad and have a job while they are studying. This is important to watch out for because sometimes the costs of living in another country will be more than you expected.

Tuition fees

A major reason for the difference in costs in your home country versus going abroad will be the tuition costs, which could range from being completely free to being much more expensive then if you were a domestic student.

Living costs

Travel and accommodation also add up. If you intend to fly home every vacation then this will not only severely diminish your overall experience, but will also cost a lot. Similarly the choices you make regarding where you live will have a big impact. Private accommodation is often the most expensive, while university dorms can be cheaper and really comfortable. To get really immersed in the culture, host families are a great option, and are often reasonably priced.

Depending on the place you go and your financial situation, planning ahead will help you get the most out of studying abroad.

What is the cheapest study abroad program?

If you want to study abroad, do your research and plan ahead. Make sure that the place you pick really is the best choice for you and your family (if they are joining you). If you want to study abroad in Europe, look at what your university offers and see if they have any programs that match your career and life goals.

Here are some of the cheapest countries that offer affordable study abroad programs:

  • Norway
  • Germany
  • France
  • Mexico
  • India
  • Poland
  • Argentina

How do I find a study abroad program?

If you’re a high school student and planning to study in college, there are many different programs that your university offers. Some of them will even provide you with financial aid just for studying abroad.

We recommend you to go to the college’s website or talk to the international office if you’re not sure what options are available. Many of them will have scholarships and financial opportunities for students who want to study abroad.

Also, you can look for scholarships to study abroad that are offered by other organizations and will help pay for your studies in another country and living expenses.

The main thing is to decide on the course and university you want to attend and then plan how to get there.

Which country is best for study abroad?

Different countries have different opportunities available for studying abroad

Fancy going to Costa Rica? The Dominican Republic? Maybe the Czech Republic or New Zealand? There are just so many options and no way for us to tell you which one is right for you. You can get a lot of information on the internet about different places you might want to study in, not just from the universities, but other resources too. This is good because you’ll be able to understand what the living expenses are like and how much it would cost you to go there for a semester or a year.

Different countries have different opportunities available for studying abroad. Some countries require you to learn the language of the country or have some background in their culture and traditions.

Some of the countries that offer the best living conditions and where you can feel comfortable living in are:

  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • Germany
  • England
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Poland

The United States of America is also a country that has very good living facilities and great universities to study in.

Is studying abroad really worth it?

For many students, it is very hard to decide whether studying abroad is worth it or not. It can be very rewarding, but also one of the most expensive parts of their education. So, should you study abroad? 

Studies have shown that students who study abroad are more likely to graduate in four years and get jobs after they’ve graduated than those who have not. Plus, students with study abroad on their resume are in more demand for jobs today. 

It is also important to know that the university where you study will help you find a job after graduation. They might offer you money or internship opportunities just for going there and studying with them! That’s why many people think that studies abroad should be a part of the public university system because it is a great skill that employers want and need.

So it is definitely worth it!

The best part of studying abroad:

The best part of being an international student is that you can live in a different place and explore the culture of another place. You get to meet new people and make new friends from around the world. People also say that the experience they have outside their home helps them grow up faster and become more mature.

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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/

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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/

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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.


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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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.

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.


Understanding Your International Student Loan
October 30th, 2020 by Al C

Student confused about international student loans

You’ve researched the total cost of attendance, done all your calculations and budgeting, you’ve applied for as much financial aid as you can from your school, and you’ve even been awarded a scholarship – but what if you’re still not sure if you can cover all of your costs?

Well, the good news is that an international student loan can help – but don’t just take on a loan without first understanding what you’re getting into.

What is an International Student Loan and How Do They Work?

International students have fewer options than domestic borrowers. Unless you’re an eligible noncitizen who can qualify for federal student aid, you will have to borrow from a private lender, as federal student loans are reserved exclusively for US citizens.

International Student Loans are specialized private education loans that are available for international students who are studying in the USA or Canada. We recommend that you only apply for international student loans after exploring all other options like scholarships, personal funds and other options.

Undergraduate students and graduate students can apply.

A number of lenders offer student loans for international students, but most require the borrower to have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to join the application. The co-signer will need good credit to be approved and to help you get the most competitive rates.

If you’re not able to find a co-signer, some lenders do offer loans without a co-signer, but only at select colleges and universities, and you’ll usually pay higher interest rates on these loans. 

If you need to borrow money to help pay for university, it is important to understand how these loans work before you sign the paperwork.

Student loans typically have lower monthly payments and lower interest rates than other types of private loans, and repayment terms are also usually more relaxed. But remember that the total cost of the loan is greater than the amount borrowed due to the cost of borrowing. Most lenders don’t require full payments while you are still attending school, in fact many offer a period of time after graduation before repayments even start.

The funds of your student loan will normally be paid out (disbursed) directly to your school at specific times to pay for direct university-related expenses. Funds are not usually transferred directly to the student, however any surplus funds will be paid into your nominated bank account after you have covered all of your university costs.

How do I apply for a private student loan?

Learn about applying for a private student loan

One option is to research all the private student loan lenders and fill out all their applications. This can be time consuming and frustrating, because you may find out after all that work that you aren’t eligible for a loan with that lender.

Another option is to first find out if you are eligible and compare lenders using the loan comparison tool at internationalstudentloan.com/apply – it takes less than 10 seconds to find out if a lender is available for you based on your school and circumstances.

You can then apply online directly with the lender, knowing that they should have a plan that works for you.

After that, approval of your loan can happen in just a few weeks.

Who is eligible to apply for these loans?

To apply you should not be a U.S. citizens or permanent resident, and you must be attending an eligible U.S. or Canadian college or university. In most cases you must be attending full time – part time students may not be eligible. Undergraduate students as well as those taking graduate degrees may apply in most cases.

Also, borrowers are required to have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen permanent resident for most lenders. You and your co-signer will undergo a credit check.

Loans that do not require a co-signer are available at a number of schools, and these will be shown in the loan comparison tool. If you do not have a creditworthy co-signer and you are an undergraduate student you may find it harder to secure a loan until you are within 2 years of your expected graduation date.

Your field of study usually doesn’t affect your loan application, although there are special categories of loans for medicine.

Use the loan comparison tool to see which loans you are eligible for.

What can the funds be used for?

what can funds be spent on?

Like all private education loans, loan funds can be used for education-related costs including tuition fees, books and supplies, other school fees, insurance, transportation, room and board (living expenses) and other school-related expenses.

Speak to your school’s Financial Aid Office to check their published Total Cost of Attendance which will give you an official estimate of the total amount of funding and financial aid you will need to cover all of your costs.

Application Process

Begin by using the loan comparison tool. This will show you the options available to you and allow you to choose the lender best suited for your situation and needs.

You will then apply directly with the lender. You and your co-signer (if required) will need to complete the entire online application thoroughly and supply any documents requested by the lender.

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Interest Rates Explained

interest rates graph

When you take out a loan through a lender, you will be responsible for paying back the amount of money you borrowed (called the principal) plus an additional amount charged by the lender for the loan known as the cost of borrowing.

This interest rate is calculated based on an “index” plus a margin that will add an additional percentage interest rate depending on your or your co-signer’s creditworthiness. Every lender’s range of rates varies so it is important to do the loan comparison and review the interest rate and repayment terms.

The two most common indexes used for international student loans are the Prime Rate and LIBOR Rate.

When your application is approved, the lender will provide information on your specific interest rate and you can then decide whether to accept the loan or not.

Interest begins to accrue (build up) as soon as the funds are disbursed to your school. Interest will accrue on your loan while you are in school, even if you are allowed to defer repayments until after you graduate.

Repayment Options

After you select the loan that works best for you, you will need to review the terms or contact the lender directly with any questions. 

Repayment terms will depend on the lender and details of the loan you choose. It is important to consider how much your monthly payments will be, when these payments will start, and how long you may be able to defer (delay) beginning to pay back the loan (known as periods of forbearance). The repayment period typically ranges from 10-25 years, however the larger the loan the longer the repayment period.

You may be offered the following repayment types by your lender:

Full Deferral

You may be able to defer payment of both the interest and principal until up to 6 months after graduation as long as you continue to be enrolled full-time. Payments can be deferred for a maximum of 4 years – the typical length of a degree.

Lenders may refer to deferral as periods of forbearance.

Interest Only Repayments

You start making repayments while you are at school, but only pay the interest for up to 4 consecutive years of full-time study. You can then defer repayment of the principal until 45 days after graduation. With an interest only repayment type you may have to start repaying the principal immediately if you drop your course load to part-time.

Immediate Repayment

You immediately start making payments on both interest and the principal once the loan has been issued and disbursed.

What about Federal Student Loans?

Federal loans and federal student aid are not normally available for international students.

What is the FAFSA I always hear about?

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even though international students are usually not eligible for this type of aid, your school may require you to complete the application in order to help them determine your eligibility for other funding.

What if I have specific questions about my loan?

Once your loan has been approved, if you have any questions you should contact the lender directly for support.

We really hope this helps you with understanding your international student loan!


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