Studying in a different country can be very exciting and adventurous, as well as being an experience to be relished. The thrill of being in a different culture, being with people of a different nationality, being new to almost everything is one that cannot be explained. However, along with these things is the possibility of encountering difficulties. Aside from a possible language barrier, managing finances is a thing that can be quite difficult for some people, particularly for foreign exchange students. They often feel helpless due to their being in a different country.
However, foreign exchange students in the US must not think it’s the end if they’re about to run out of finances. They can always get some financial help, thru different means, in order to aid them as they are completing their studies. There are three popular ways on how to get financial aid for students working toward an American degree – these are a private sponsor, via international scholarship programs, federal financial aid, or through a locally based foreign exchange program.
In many different countries across the world, particularly in the Americas and Europe, there are wealthy individuals and families that offer sponsorship for highly capable students, particularly within their local communities. Most of these wealthy persons do not expect anything in return other than for the student to get good grades and do well in all aspects in school. Some of them don’t want the recognition and would prefer to remain anonymous. Some experts such as visa lawyers would advise you to look for a private sponsor for financial aid, particularly when the need arises, since they know you cannot support yourself by being employed outside of school.
There are several organizations that offer a number of different scholarships that are available for foreign exchange students. An organization like the Rotary Foundation offers scholarships to foreign students that will be able to share goodwill back to their home country. An association like the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners offers scholarships for those studying accounting or criminal justice at an accredited university. Unplag, which is an organization against plagiarism, offers financial aid via a $2,000 scholarship for one who can write an original essay against plagiarism.
Federal financial aid
Federal financial aid is available to non-US citizens that meet a certain number of criteria, found in their website. If you feel that you are qualified, just file an application. Bigger amounts of financial aid in the form of private scholarships can be the result, if the authorities deem you are indeed qualified.
Local foreign exchange program
While you may not be in the US physically, you will be getting American education thanks to the accredited exchange partner university. You can enroll in the degree of your choice.
Steps to take
Here are the different steps to take in order to get financial aid.
- Choose your degree and career path.
- Choose appropriate schools or universities that will help you in that path.
- Talk to an international affairs person in a local school, as they might be able to give you scholarships.
- Talk to friends, family, and other possible private sponsors. They might be able to help you more than official programs or financial aid packages.
- Search for various private scholarships that are in line with your chosen degree or career path.
While it is true that you cannot work in the United States as an international student (on a student visa) except in certain circumstances, getting financial aid is not impossible, as shown above. If you want to study in the US as an exchange student and money is a problem, follow the steps above and perhaps you will be able to get the aid you need.