Thursday, March 31, 2011

How you can afford to study abroad

This particular tidbit applies to Americans. As I've written about earlier, you can study in many countries, such as Germany or Norway without paying tuition (not all schools in the target countries are free, but many are, even to foreigners).  And as hinted at in that Germany write-up, many people will find it cheaper to study abroad because they can't afford US tuition. But that being said, how do you start your educational journey abroad?

University of Vienna¹
Photo by http2007
You're likely going to be applying for Federal student aid. This aid can be spent on your living expenses rather than tuition. However, not all schools that you can attend participate in Federal student aid programs. Those which do have a Federal School Code. Here's where you can get a list of 2011-2012 Federal School codes. So if you download the PDF version, you'll notice that the last 10 pages are crammed full of schools in many foreign countries for which federal student financial aid is available.

All you need to do is research the schools you want, pick one, apply there as a transfer student and, if accepted, apply for a student visa from the country in question. I would also strongly recommend you consider schools in less exotic locations. If they have cheap or free tuition for foreign students combined with a low cost of living, why the heck not? And if your student visa allows part-time work, then yes, it's easy to see why it would be less expensive than a degree back in the US.

1. Note that the University of Vienna does not participate in the US Federal Financial aid system, however, non-EU students only have to pay €416 a semester.


  1. I need to file this away for when the kids are old enough for college. Since they will all have only gone to international schools overseas it makes sense that they would continue their education outside the US. Now the question is what to do with a 10 year that is requesting to go to boarding school in BALI? He would like to leave yesterday, please.

  2. This is fantastic, thanks, exactly what I have been looking for.