Getting some type of international education is extremely popular right now. Many students are spending at least one semester, if not an entire year, studying abroad.
You can find study abroad programs at most major colleges and universities in the United States. These programs partner with universities in other countries so that you can get credit for your degree back home.
It is estimated that more than 270,000 US college and university students studied abroad last year, while more than 720,000 international students came to the US to study. Here is what you need to know when getting a student loan for these programs.
Getting a Student Loan to Study Abroad
If you're a US student looking to study abroad, you can apply for a student loan to cover the cost of the study abroad program. In order to qualify, the study abroad program must earn you credit towards your education program at your home college or university.
The safest option is for you to get a Federal Student Loan for your study program. You can qualify for one of these types of student loans by filling out the FAFSA each year, and then working with your school's financial aid office to process the student loan.
You can also get private student loans, which are riskier than Federal student loans, but do provide more flexibility with loan amounts and other programs.
The bottom line is that you can get student loans for your study abroad education in the same manner as you would for your education at home.
Can an International Student get a Student Loan to Study in the US?
Now, if you're an international student studying at an approved school in the United States, you can apply for a loan up to the total cost of your education. The big cache is that you must have a US Citizen or permanent resident co-sign the loan for you.
This co-signer must have lived in the United States or the past two years and have good credit. This applies for Canadian students who wish to study in the United States as well.
It's important to remember that with the soaring cost of tuition, it is important to calculate the benefit received with any student loan or education program you select. You don't want to find yourself over your head in debt after graduation with no prospects of getting a job.
Readers, what are your thoughts on studying abroad? Value-added to education, or a waste of good money?