Studying Abroad and College Education Cost

After careful consideration and in-depth research, you have made the decision to attend college overseas opposed to staying close to home.  For many students, the opportunity to study abroad only adds to the overall experience of earning a college degree.  Just as you would have amazing choices for colleges and universities within the United States, many foreign countries also boast excellent accredited schools.  Obviously, the goal would be finding a school that offers expert instruction for your desired area of study, as well as a school in a safe area and one that is affordable.

Because there are differences in the way financial aid works for one country to the next, we wanted to provide you with information to help.  With this information, once you determine the country, as well as the specific college or university you want to attend, the process of applying and being approved for financial assistance would be relatively easy.  Obviously, you want to do everything possible to improve the odds of being approved for financial assistance while in another country so the only thing you need to focus on is your studies.

People working in the financial aid office would be extremely helpful since they have the expertise and knowledge pertaining to college funding.  You would have assistance in completing the appropriate forms, submitting them to the right office for approval, and so on.  College counselors are also qualified to offer guidance.  Both resources would be invaluable for helping you secure money needed to start school.  Obviously, you want to conduct research and communicate with schools of interest prior to traveling abroad.  Otherwise, you could find yourself in a different country but without needed funds to start college.

An excellent option is to look into foreign scholarships.  Considering there are thousands of different types of scholarships and for different award amounts, you could easily find several that would be beneficial.  Depending on the scholarship and the school, the money could be enough to cover all college expenses such as tuition, books, room, board, etc.  However, receiving any financial assistance would certainly make the prospect of studying abroad more enjoyable.

One thing to think about is that in most cases, studying abroad means dealing with more expenses.  In addition, while there are some similarities in the way financial aid is handled in the United States compared to foreign countries, the process overseas is often a little more complex.  As an example, in addition to standard expenses you would expect to deal with in the US such as tuition, books, room, board, and school supplies, expenses in foreign countries are often comprised of more things such as airfare.

A huge benefit is that if you were approved to receive financial assistance in the United States, whether in the form of a government grant, scholarship, or work study, and more, there is a good chance that same money could be used for attending college in an overseas country.  Of course, you would need to confirm this for the country of interest, but this is relatively common.  According to the Higher Education Act of 1992, also known as HEA, if a student is enrolled in a financial aid program by a home college or university, that student would qualify to receive financial aid while studying abroad regardless of the area of study.

The primary resources for providing financial aid overseas include state and governments, public organizations, private organizations, and foundations.  However, to avoid miscommunication, if you have decided to get involved with a study program in another country that is sponsored by a different educational institution, it would be imperative to get everything in writing.  For this particular situation, using financial aid approved in the United States may be an option.

The following are just a few examples of specific programs that exist in foreign countries for financial aid although many more exist.

•    DAAD – Offered through the German Academic Exchange Service, funding and a variety of programs are offered to help students, as well as researchers and faculty achieve goals for higher education.

•    The Gilman International Scholarship Program – With this, scholarships as high as $8,000 are offered to undergraduate students from the United States who are currently receiving financial aid in the form of a scholarship or Pell Grant.

•    Boren Scholarships and Fellowships – Finally, for undergraduate students from the United states, as well as graduate students pursuing languages and cultures for certain parts of the world such as Eurasia, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and others, up to $20,000 is available as a Boren Scholarship and $30,000 for a Boren Fellowship.

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