Managing Student Loans

Studying abroad at an international school is a wonderful way to enhance your education and make your resume stand out from the crowd. The opportunity to travel to a foreign place whilst studying will broaden your horizons and improve your language ability. It could also give you an added maturity before entering the world of employment.

It can work out more expensive to study at an international school though, because of the extra costs associated with the travel and accommodation. Don’t be put off by this though as the bulk of your costs will be covered in the same way as they would be if you studied in America, but additional help is also available.

You need to look first at the same considerations as any other student. Locate your school and examine the usual routes of finance to see if there are scholarships or grants available, bearing in mind that you will still be eligible for a Federal Stafford loan. Always look for scholarships first before applying for any kind of loan. Use the International Student Loan Centre for advice on financing international study. This is linked with the I.E.F.A. which is the International financial aid and college scholarship site, which offers a scholarship search, grant listings and international student loan programs.

If family funds are not an option to financing your studies, and scholarships and grants still leave excess funding to find, then apply in the usual way for a Stafford loan, which is the federally subsidized loan which should always be considered before any other type of loan, as it is the cheapest method of finance available through a loan program, for students. To qualify for a Stafford loan you must be able to show that you are enrolled in school at least part time, and this requires certification from the school you will be studying at.

This loan will cover your tuition and fees whilst studying at your international school, and you should borrow as much as is possible from Stafford before looking at other loan sources to cover any additional expenses. If there is a shortfall then you will need to look at other alternative loan programs which you can find through searching on the I.E.F.A. You could also consider a PLUS loan which is a loan given to the students parents to cover extra costs but unlike a Stafford loan it is credit based.

In summation, if you are planning to study at an international school, approach it in the same way you would if studying at home. Look first at any family assistance, scholarships and grants, then if necessary borrow the maximum you can from a Federal loan program. A loan from an international student program should then be considered as a means of funding any additional expenses.