International students have more expenses than the nationalized or US-born student. International students are often charged extra fees. They also often have to pay extra for transportation and do not often have the option of living at home while attending school. If international students also come from a country with an unfavorable exchange rate, they may well need a loan in order to attend school in the United States. Despite this, many types of loans are earmarked specifically for international nationals and citizens.
This does not mean that international students cannot attend United States schools. However, it does mean that students need to seek harder to find international student loans. Even though when it comes to student loans, international students have fewer options, there are still many choices and many types of available funding that they can draw on.
Taking Tests to Attend US Colleges
International students often have to take tests in order to attend school the United States. Commonly, international students need to pass the TOEFL to demonstrate that they are fluent enough in English in order to attend school in the United States. Often, in order to attend college or university in the United States, a high TOEFL score is required.
Additionally, students wishing to study in the United States must pass the SAT or ACT to demonstrate a basic knowledge of math, English, and reasoning skills. While both United States citizens and international students must take this test, they can be more challenging for international students, who do not always have the cultural references and language skills. In order to do well on these tests, international students may need to study longer or may need to seek help from qualified tutors. Doing well on entrance tests can help international students secure funding such as some scholarships, bursaries, and even loans.
Some colleges and universities may also require international students to take additional, school administered tests. Contact your intended schools well advance to ask for the exact qualifications, required tests, and procedures for international students.
Applying for Visa as an International Student
International students must also apply for a visa before they can arrive in the United States and study at a university there. In order to apply for and secure a student visa, you will generally have to show evidence that you have already been accepted to a college or university. Your school's international student office may be able to help you with the application process.
If you have good grades, you may find it slightly easier to secure a visa. Your visa will tell you exactly how long you are able to stay in the country to study, and will outline whether or not you are allowed to work while you attend school the United States. If you are allowed to work while attending school, you may find that you are limited to specific jobs; many federal work-study programs may not be available to you. Unfortunately, this may make it even more important for you to secure college funding and college student loans, simply because you may need to rely mostly on savings and loans to pay for your education, rather than creating a diversified financial aid package.
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