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Use your financial aid for a Master's Degree overseas!
By: Eric Tiettmeyer "Mr.Student Traveler" (justin) 2012.11.08

Hundreds of international universities accept financial aid (FAFSA)! Study abroad for a summer, semester, or even finish your Bachelors or Master's overseas. It's easier than you think and usually cheaper than a U.S. education! Simply fill out the fields below and we will forward a list of colleges to you. You will not be spammed.

Ilexis Kleinman was surprised when a college friend at UMASS Amherst told her she could get a Master's Degree in London. Her first name came from her great-grandfather who lived in London. "My dream was to fully immerse myself in the British culture and walk in the same steps that my great-grandfather once did, though different. This time it would be me and my journey."

Kleinman is working towards a Master's degree in Event Management at the University of Greenwich, the largest university in London with over 28,000 students. The university, located four miles southwest of the City Centre of London, is located right on the Thames River in the former British Naval Academy -- now a UNESCO world heritage site.

More college students are looking abroad, especially the United Kingdom, to get their post graduate degrees. Why? Well, for one you can get a Master's Degree in one year, and a PhD in two-three years. Even high school students are looking to the UK to get their bachelor's degrees since it takes three years.  Also, the tuition of University of Greenwich is just under $17,000 USD for the Master's, whereas a Master's degree at UCLA is over $29,000. In addition, students can use their FAFSA loans and grants to cover most or all of the costs for a degree abroad. Not all international universities allow using your financial aid, but most UK universities including University of Greenwich, which has the code G36193 for FAFSA. Finally, like it's socialized education that keep costs low, UK students enjoy FREE medical insurance.

The United Kingdom is not the only place where you can use financial aid. FAFSA released an updated list of FAFSA international universities that are effective for the 2012-2013 school year. The list is updated each year, but colleges from over 20 countries worldwide accept FAFSA! While FAFSA and financial aid may seem like your golden ticket to continue your studies overseas, there are restrictions.

New regulations are in place for the 2012-2013 that deal with FAFSA changes. Most notably, graduate students can only use unsubsidized loans. This means that you must pay the interest on the loan you take, as opposed to a subsidized loan where the government paid your interest while you were in school. Also, Pell Grants are awarded for 6 years (or 12 semesters) total. So if it takes you five years to graduate from college, you can only receive 1 more year of Pell Grants while overseas. Coincidentally, most UK universities offer a 1 year Master's degree so it is possible to get that Master's in one year if you go overseas! There are other changes for FAFSA that include a change to the Expected Family Contribution, grace periods on loans, and repayment incentives. So visit the link above to find out all the details.

University of Greenwich is unique since it such  a large university (over 28,000 students!) but only has 55 Americans attending. So if you don't like being around other Americans, it's a great place to go. And with 145+ degree programs to choose from, and 47+ for post grad work, there is a program to suit your post grad. Specific masters' degrees such as Event Management, Forensic Science, Sports Science, and Film and Television that are hard to find at other universities are quite popular at University of Greenwich.

There are many universities outside the U.S. that accept FAFSA to cover most or all of your tuition for a Master's Degree and/or PhD. These countries are Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom have the most universities but you can get a Master's in Poland, China, Costa Rica, and even Russia!

In the next few weeks, Student Traveler will highlight the colleges in all these countries that accept financial aid. Now that you have experienced your U.S. education, why not take take a year to do a Master's in another country?


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