August 13, 2023

Studying abroad for American Citizens

Many students get federal student aid to help pay for their study at international schools, either at the undergraduate or graduate level
Whether you plan to study abroad for a semester or get your entire degree outside the United States, you may be able to use federal student aid to pay your expenses. The type of aid you can get and the process you must follow will depend on the type of program (study-abroad or full degree) you plan to enter. Your status as an undergraduate or graduate student also affects the type of aid for which you’re eligible, just as it does at schools in the U.S.
Study Abroad for a Semester or Year
You may receive federal student aid for a study-abroad program, if you meet the aid eligibility criteria. If you aren’t already in the habit of filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form each year for college, be sure to learn about the federal student aid programs and the FAFSA process. You’ll need to fill out a FAFSA form before you can receive federal student aid to study abroad.
To determine which types of aid you’ll be able to use for your study-abroad program, contact the financial aid office at your American school. (If your American school doesn’t participate in the federal student aid programs, then you won’t be able to get federal student aid to help pay for your study abroad.) Start early, because it’s important to get all necessary paperwork done on time, both at your American school and at the international school.
Get a Degree from an International School
If you’ve decided to get your degree from a school outside the U.S., congratulations. Now let us help you find out which international schools participate in the federal student aid programs and guide you through the process of getting federal aid to make a dent in that tuition bill.
How can I research schools and their requirements?
First, don’t panic. You’re on your own, but if you’re organized and determined, you’ll be okay. In this section, we’ll share some tips about preparing to study at an international school and some resources to help you learn about schools that participate in the American federal student aid programs.
Here are general tips:
• Start early. You’ve got more to do than your friends who are going to American school, so don’t think you can apply for financial aid this month and use it to pay your tuition next month.
• If you’re interested in a particular school, check its website to find out about program availability (does it offer the degree you want?), cost, enrollment policies, and resources and programs for international students.
• Do your research and keep a to-do list. For instance, what paperwork needs to be done? (Visas? Housing forms? Registering with the police? Valid passport? Emergency contacts? Medical insurance?)
• Create a file to organize your documents and information from your school.
• Find out who at the school will be processing your financial aid. Get their email address, and contact them when you have questions. (If you’re not sure where to start, try the school’s office for international students.)
• Don’t forget that you can get help filling out the FAFSA form either within the form itself at or by phone at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hard of hearing 1-800-730-8913).
Here are resources you can use as you decide which school to attend:
International Schools in General
International Schools That Participate in the Federal Student Loan Programs (this list is updated quarterly, so check with your intended school to be sure it currently participates)
International Medical Schools (for each school, find pass rates on the United States Medical Licensing Examinations, student loan debt for American medical students, and completion rates for American medical students, among other information) Note: International medical schools must annually report and meet certain eligibility requirements to remain as participants in the federal student loan programs. Additionally, an international school may be eligible to participate in the federal student loan programs, but the school’s medical program may be ineligible to participate. This list is a resource only and you MUST contact your intended school to confirm that its medical program is currently eligible and participates in the loan program.
• American University of Antigua
• American University of the Caribbean
• Flinders University
• Jagiellonian University Medical College
• Masarykova Univerzita
• McGill University
• Medical University of Bialystok
• Medical University of Lublin
• Medical University of the Americas
• Ross University, School of Medicine
• Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
• Saba University School of Medicine
• St George’s University, School of Medicine
• St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine
• Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
• Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine
• Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara
• University College Cork
• University College Dublin
• University of Queensland (The)
• Univerzita Karlova v Praze, First Faculty of Medicine (The)

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