Not all students who desire the opportunity to study abroad can afford the expense of a regular college education, let alone the cost of a student exchange program.  Fortunately, parents and students may apply for a study abroad scholarship, Fulbright scholarship, grant or even a student loan.

Even students who plan to participate in an international student exchange program may consider transferring their financial aid from their home institution.  In cases where, financial aid is non-transferable, serious consideration should be given to applying to a scholarship for international students – an example is a Fulbright Scholarship.  These programs work similar to other scholarships. The difference is that they are applicable to student exchange programs.

But in the realm of financial aid and a student exchange program, the opportunities for seeking tuition assistance include any of the following financial tools: student loans, study abroad scholarship, a Fulbright Scholarship, grants, or work-study.

If a student can prove the financial need for a student loan for a specific exchange student program, they may qualify for either the Federal Stafford Guaranteed Student Loan or The Federal Direct Ford Student Loan.  Generally, the government covers the interest on the subsidized loans.  However, there is a financial requirement and minimum enrollment guideline.  Alternatively, a student endeavoring to participate in a student exchange program may elect to remit interest-only payments on the unsubsidized loan.

Additionally, the Federal government funds both the Fulbright Scholarship Program and the National Security Education Program (NSEP)  — offering fellowships and grants for both undergraduate and graduate students of student exchange programs.  In Germany, another program offers funding of study abroad scholarships, called the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Tips on Applying for a Study abroad scholarship, Fulbright scholarship or student loan:

For students excited about the prospects of studying abroad, confer with a study abroad program advisor, financial aid director or bursar to learn about the details of enrollment with another institution.  Since the guidelines and policies vary from colleges to institutions of higher education, certain prerequisites may be required to qualify for a student loan, study abroad scholarship or a Fulbright scholarship.