Updated on Monday 1 April 2013
So far in this section you have learned about the cost of tuition, how much you will need to consider for living expenses and how to put this all into a budget for your own personal needs.
We now turn our attention to how to find funding and where to look. The majority of international students that are interested in coming to the UK are not able to support themselves so need to look at other options with which to fund their studies.
The most popular and common sources of funding for students are:
Not many students know this but your home country could be one of the biggest sources of funding, and this will be either from local government or from companies based in your home country. The best way to look for this is contact your local government office and see what they recommend - most have websites so you can easily do this online.
Also, try to think of two or three (or as many as you can) large companies that are located in your home country and send letters and enquiries to them asking about studying assistance. One thing to consider, however, is that funding from your home country may have a requirement that you come back home once you have finished your studies to work.
There are several International Organizations, such as the Fulbright Commission who grant aid to students all over the world. Other such organizations who offer aid are:
Many of these require you to be in your home country when you apply, so plan ahead and early as they can be very competitive.
Some UK colleges and universities offer limited financial aid for international students to attract students to that institution. Your best option with this is to contact the school directly to get more information and the requirements of the financial aid.
You should request information about financial aid when you request an application form from the institution's admissions office. In some instances, it may be possible for you to participate in a formal exchange between your home institution and the institution you wish to attend. You can get more information on such exchanges by contacting the international student offices or by contacting the corresponding office at your institution. This kind of person-for-person exchange can reduce expenses in some instances.
In some circumstances, UK companies may provide some form of financial aid for students to study in the UK and then work for them once they have graduated. The best resources to look for this type of financial aid are:
The biggest source of income for international students still comes from your own family. As a recent study by the Institute of International Education (IIE) showed, nearly 65% of all international students were funded by their family and relatives. So, ask your parents, ask your uncle and aunt as it is proven that they are the main source of funding for international students.
Student loans are available for US students studying at colleges and universities in the UK, whether on a short-term basis or for an entire degree program. Some other countries have student loan programs that are available to citizens of that country that are studying internationally (for instance, India); unfortunately, they usually do not have the funding limits and flexibility of US student loan programs.
The Study Abroad Loan is for US students that are enrolled in an approved US school and studying in the UK on a study abroad program of a year or less. The Foreign Enrolled Loan is for US students studying at least half-time at approved schools in the UK towards a full degree or certificate program.
Please see our next section for full and further information about scholarship opportunities for international students who are studying in the UK.