With U.S. college costs continuing to rise, many students are considering going overseas for their degree, where universities are cheaper.
According to the most recent data from the Institute of International Education, more than 47,400 Americans are pursuing a degree abroad as of 2015. That’s a sharp increase from previous years.
For students who need higher credentials for their field, graduate schools abroad for Americans can be a way to get necessary degrees at a steep discount.
Is going to school overseas worth it?
Schools in Europe, South America, and Africa can be significantly cheaper than universities in the United States.
For example, a year at Oxford University—one of the most prestigious and well-known schools in the world—costs under $40,000 for overseas students when you add up annual tuition and college fees.
By comparison, a year of undergraduate study at Princeton University—a highly-ranked school in the United States—costs more than an estimated $66,000 a year.
If you’re willing to go to a university in other countries, the cost can be even less. For example, in Germany, tuition for American students is free. There are even scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service that students can use to cover their living expenses, such as rent or insurance.
Graduate schools abroad for Americans
When you’re looking at a degree that could be free versus one you could be paying tens of thousands of dollars for more, the decision may seem obvious.
However, going to school overseas isn’t necessarily the ticket to an affordable education. Here are four factors American students should consider before packing their bags and heading to university abroad.
1. Not all degrees transfer
Depending on your intended field, your degree from a school in another country may not transfer to the United States.
For example, if you want to be a dentist or a doctor you may be tempted by cheaper medical school options overseas. But, keep in mind that you’ll have to jump through hurdles and spend a lot of money before you can practice in your home country.
Essentially, to practice as a doctor with a foreign degree, you need to pass several medical licensing exams in the U.S. You also need to and complete a residency program in America. Having a degree from a medical school overseas can make it more challenging to find a program that will accept you for residency.
So before enrolling in graduate school abroad for Americans, make sure you understand how your industry views foreign degrees.
2. Hidden costs
While tuition may be cheaper overseas, there are other expenses you should keep in mind. Some common expenses include a student visa, health insurance, housing, and transportation.
For example, a student visa in England costs more than $400. There’s also an additional health surcharge of about $190. Plus, since many international students are not eligible for the U.K’s National Health Services, you will need to pay for your own medical insurance.
What’s more, you may have to pay a premium to rent housing near your university. Also, flights abroad and plane tickets to visit home for the holidays can add thousands of dollars to your university abroad bill.
Before deciding on a school, calculate the cost of other expenses to ensure you’re still getting a good deal.
3. Lack of employment opportunities
When you go to college, a part-time job or side gig can be a great way to manage your expenses.
But depending on what country you choose to study in and the type of student visa you qualify for, your job opportunities may be limited.
Some student visas do not allow you to work while you’re abroad. Therefore, you may be ineligible for employment. That means you’ll have to live off your savings or rely on credit cards to fill the gap.
4. Paying for school can be tricky
Even though foreign universities can be cheaper, getting the money to pay for them can still be difficult. U.S. federal student loans can be used to pay for some international schools. However, you need to navigate the process on your own.
When comparing schools, check to see if they are on the Federal Student Aid’s list of International Schools Participating in the Federal Student Loan Programs. If your school is not on that list, you will not be able to get federal student aid.
Do your research before getting your degree overseas
If you’re considering graduate schools abroad for Americans because the universities may be cheaper, make sure you do your homework.
Cheap tuition may not be enough to make up for your other costs. But in some cases, you can get a degree for a fraction of the price of an American school.
For more information on how to reduce your college costs, check out this article on the pros and cons of dorm living.
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.54% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
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3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.54% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.54% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
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|3.23% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.43%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|