Are you an international student thinking about studying in the USA or Canada? Wondering what opportunities exist that will help you lower your costs abroad, or help you earn some extra cash? Below are five ways most students are able to lower their costs, allowing them to realize their dream of studying abroad.
1. Work on campus. All students who have an F-1 student visa, can legally work up to 20 hours per week in activities on campus. These activities (typically in computer labs, the library, book store, etc.) are relatively easy jobs and with minimal planning and organization, will not disturb a student’s academic and/or athletic performance. Many student athletes and non-athletes work on campus and can earn on average of about $500 to $700 per month (depending, of course, on the number of hours worked). In order to get on campus employment, students should look for the Career Services and International Office at their school to learn more and apply for current openings. Just remember: These jobs are not guaranteed, and there is often a waiting list. So, it is important to contact and apply as soon as possible!
2. Live off campus. Most schools have a policy that requires students to live on campus for their first year (Freshman students only, not Transfers). This is a good way to make friends the first year and really get a chance to see what college life is like! However, living off campus is a great alternative for those students who want to save. Not only will students be able to share the rent of the apartment with more people, they will also have the freedom to prepare their own food, which will save on having to buy meal plans.
Finding a place to live off campus and roommates is easy, as many students who already rent apartments and have rooms to rent, post ads all over campus. Information can also be found in the Housing Department and several sites also feature options Off-Campus Housing (do a search on Google by typing Off-Campus Housing + the name of your college to find the options in your area).
3. Academic scholarships. There are many opportunities for students to earn scholarships to schools based on their academic performance in school and/or from their SAT/ACT scores. However, the options and types of academic scholarships available varies greatly from school to school. For example, some scholarships are automatic, but others have additional applications to fill out and are competitive to get. If the student has a GPA above 3.5 and is on the Dean’s List at their school, chances of earning an academic scholarship is very high. Read more about the 4 categories of academic scholarships available here.
4. Athletic scholarships. Sports scholarships are offered to students for a wide range of sports. Students interested in competing in college, but are not interested in playing “professionally” also have many chances to earn scholarships. The USA has many collegiate level leagues, ensuring that there is a school in need of all levels of athletes. When a student is offered a scholarship to play sports at the school, it generally is a fixed sum per year. However, at the end of each year, it is common for athletes to talk to their coaches in an attempt to renegotiate the granted value.
The chances of getting an initial sports scholarship increased is directly dependent on the student-athlete’s ability to surpass the coach’s expectations during the year that has passed. Traits that demonstrate maturity and growth to coaches generally are: resilience, posture, positive influence, dedication and results. The student-athlete needs to demonstrate that she/he deserves it by showing examples throughout the year that demonstrate her/his worth to the school and team (playing as a starter, winning big games, be a motivational force and example for the team, etc.). These are the aspects that the coach will take into consideration, not the financial situation of the family or the country from which the student comes from.
5. Work summer camps. Summer Camps in the US for children and youth are very common because the summer holidays are long and parents need to engage their children in extracurricular activities during this period because parents don’t have a summer break from work!
The options for camps are numerous and range from equestrian (horse back riding), theater/drama, band (music), sports and a number of others. Summer jobs are available to college students, international or domestic, on a part-time basis or for a full month which requires you to sleep on site at the camp. Think of this job as being a camp counselor. As there are many options available thorughout the US, the chances of finding a camp that fits into your profile is high. Search for your region online and see what camps are offered in the summer. Talk with teammates, classmates, advisors, coaches, the International Student Office, Student Center, etc. for more tips or recommendations.
Working the summer in the US will allow you to make dollars, which can earn you a considerable amount of money to help pay for the next semester’s bills. And it’s probably more than you would make if you worked the summer break in your home country.