I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of studying abroad. Several of my friends spent time at a university in Spain. They came back with awesome stories and Spanish speaking skills far superior to my own — yes, I’m still jealous, but I digress.
Some students choose to study abroad for a semester or so through an exchange program with their home university. Others choose to seek their degree in a different country.
In each of these scenarios, federal funding from the U.S. is usually available. Foreign schools can choose to participate in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Of course, before you borrow, consider options for grants and scholarships that you won’t have to pay back after you graduate. There are some notable scholarships designed to help students study abroad.
Just like when attending a U.S. school, you’ll work with your financial aid office to get your funding squared away.
If you do need to borrow for your education, your first step to federal aid is still the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). But you might have to do a little extra work. Some foreign schools may not be able to receive the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) electronically, so there might be additional steps to the process. Check with the school to see if they need you to mail a paper copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).
And if federal aid, coupled with scholarships and grants, isn’t enough to fund your education, some lenders offer private loans for study at foreign schools. In general, Wells Fargo isn’t a lender at colleges and universities abroad. However, there are some exceptions.
If you’re looking for more information on funding, NAFSA , an association of international educators offers a great resource page for students pursuing education abroad. Or don’t be shy about talking with your financial aid officer.
Pip, pip, cheerio!