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There's no doubt you've got more to do than your friends who are playing it safe and going to an American school. That means you're going to have to plan ahead and make sure you are well prepared.
If you already have a particular school in mind where you want to study, find out if they offer the degree you want, how much tuition costs, what their enrollment policies are for international students, and anything else like resources and dedicated programs they have to help international students to study there.
As you're researching everything, make a to-do list. Keep track of what paperwork needs to be done – like visa forms, housing applications etc. In some countries international students are required to register with the police. Do you have a valid passport? Make sure you get that well in advance! Who will you list as your emergency contacts? Do you have friends or family already in the destination country? You'll need medical insurance, too. You should make a file to help you organize all your documents and the information and correspondence you get from your school.
If possible, find out the name and contact details of the person at the school who will be processing your application. If you're not sure who that is, the best place to start is the school's international student office.
If you plan to get your entire degree outside the United States, then it could be possible for you to use federal student loans. The type of aid will depend on whether or not you go as an undergraduate or graduate and what kind of program that is.
Federal student loans often don't cover the full cost of attendance at a foreign university, which is why American applicants turn to a private educational loan as an additional source of funds. These can be from a bank or private lender.
If you want to study your degree at an international school, make sure you are eligible for the Foreign Enrolled Loans program! In order to be eligible for these loans, both you and your school have to meet certain requirements.
There are several requirements that students must meet in order to be eligible to receive federal student aid for attendance at a foreign school.
First of all, the student must be enrolled as a regular student. This means that the student is enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) for the purpose of earning a degree, certificate, or other recognized credential offered by the school. The school in question must determine separately for each individual student whether he or she is a regular student. Undergraduate students and those on graduate or post-graduate level courses can apply.
Secondly, the student must be qualified to study at the postsecondary level. This means that the student has earned a high school diploma, a secondary school completion credential, or its recognized equivalent in order to be considered qualified. These equivalents include General Education Development tests, state certificates, and secondary school completion credentials from foreign schools. Students who are enrolled in foreign schools cannot qualify by taking an “Ability to benefit” Test.
In order to qualify to receive aid, you must be enrolled at least half time. This means that you must be taking at least half of the workload of a full-time student. You must also make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with an acceptable SAP policy set by your school. You must have a valid social security number (SSN), and you must not be in default on any Title IV program loan (unless he or she has taken prescribed steps to cure the default), be in receipt of excess Title IV loan amounts or grant payments, or have property that is subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the US. Additionally, you must satisfy Selective Service registration requirements, and cannot be subject to ineligibility based on drug conviction.
The maximum loan you can receive would be for the total cost of attendance at your school. If you receive any additional funding in the form of other grants, awards, scholarships or loans this would reduce the amount you can apply for with private lenders.
Your loan funds are usually paid directly to your university abroad to cover tuition and your school will receive payment within a few weeks of your successful application in most cases, and any remaining funds after all university education costs have been deducted any remaining amount will be paid into your nominated account.
The entire process can now be done with an online application. First use the loan comparison tool on this page. Select Your nationality as U.S. Citizen if you meet the citizenship requirements above. Then select your destination country and find your school. You will then be shown any lenders that offer loans for international study at that school.
If you meet the eligibility requirements of the loan servicer you will be able to proceed with your application. There are no application fees with our partner lending institutions.
Begin the loan application process here.
Typical loan terms that lenders offer might be a 10-year repayment term. They may offer fixed and deferred repayment options, too.
Repayment terms will vary with your lender and your particular circumstances, and you will be provided with all the relevant options either at the time of application or after initial approval but before you sign your agreement.
Your lender may have a range of fixed and variable interest rates for their student loan products.
Learn about repayment here.
You as the student will be the primary borrower. Most first-time applicants don't have the required credit history or minimum credit score to apply on their own, so a co-signer is recommended for all applications. This helps to secure the loan and the best interest rates.
Find out more about cosigners.
Study Abroad Loans are those that cover a shorter study-abroad program such as a semester abroad or year abroad. These Foreign Enrolled Loans are specifically for you if you want to take your entire degree program overseas.
Learn more about Study Abroad Loans.