If you want to study abroad for a semester or year of college and don't have the financial resources to pay for the program, you may be eligible to apply for one of several study abroad scholarships. Getting financial aid for study abroad programs can reduce the burden of having to pay for the extensive costs of travel, accommodations and school fees overseas, and you may be able to apply for more than one of several study abroad loans and study abroad grants based on your academic history, educational goals and current academic standing.
Study abroad student loans can help to finance a significant portion of you education and support you for a semester, a summer or an entire year depending your educational track and program of interest.
How Study Abroad Scholarships Work
Many colleges and universities offer their own set of study abroad scholarships for current students, but you may also be able to apply for study abroad student loans through a financial institution or through a private entity. Study abroad scholarships are designed to pay for program fees, textbooks and other school-related expenses when you attend school overseas.
Over 200 colleges and universities in the United States are affiliated with the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS), an organization that supports thousands of students each year who are interested in studying abroad. This organization offers several study abroad scholarships based on high academic achievement, academic standing and other criteria. You can apply for either a semester or summer study abroad scholarship through this organization.
Study abroad scholarships and study abroad loans make it possible for students to experience a whole new culture and earn college credit. Students must apply for a study abroad program and then find the financial resources to support their goal. Many students turn to financial aid for study abroad programs, study abroad grant sand study abroad student loans for financial help.
Types of Study Abroad Scholarships and Loans
Many organizations that offer study abroad scholarships and loans divide their funding options into the following categories:
General study abroad scholarships and study abroad loans- applicable to all students
Diversity in study abroad scholarships - designed for underrepresented student such as minorities and women
Nontraditional country study abroad scholarships - funding for students who are enrolling in a study abroad program in a country in third-world countries or parts of the world where only some students choose to study overseas
Applying for Study Abroad Student Loans
Thousands of students in the United States choose to study abroad each year but paying for an international education isn't always easy. Study abroad loans help to cover tuition, fees and living expenses for the study abroad program, and are designed only for students who are already enrolled in a school overseas.
Whether you plan on studying in France, Switzerland, China or Japan, you can find a study abroad student loan program that best meets your needs. Most study abroad student loans require the following:
Proof of U.S. Citizenship or permanent residency
Proof of enrollment at an undergraduate or graduate level
Co-signer who is also a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with good credit and high income
Completed application with supporting materials
Many study abroad student loans have very flexible repayment terms and will provide funding up to the total cost of attendance, minus any other aid the student is receiving.
Getting Financial Aid for Study Abroad Programs
If you are already receiving financial aid to pay for some of your college education, you can use some of the funds to pay for a study abroad program. You will need to talk to your financial aid advisor to determine whether you are entitled to use financial aid for study abroad programs. The decision will be based on the type of loan you are receiving, and the study abroad program you plan to enroll in.
You may be eligible to apply for financial aid for study abroad programs through federal and state government agencies, as well as through private and public organizations. Your study abroad advisor and financial advisor can guide you through the application process and make a recommendation on the type of financial aid or loans you should apply for.
Information About Study Abroad Grants
If you do not qualify for a study abroad loan or do not meet the requirements for using financial aid for study abroad programs, you may be able to get a study abroad grant instead. Study abroad grants are typically offered by private organizations and honor's societies of colleges and universities, and provide funding for students without the condition of repayment. These grants are designed to support undergraduates and graduates complete their academic program by studying abroad at their destination of choice.
Eligibility requirements for study abroad grants may be very different than most study abroad student loans and scholarships. Some grants may also have certain limitations and restrictions. Still, the funds from these grants will cover the cost of tuition, fees and some living expenses for students who are enrolling in a study abroad program.