What about fees? Are there scholarships and what are the chances of financial aid?
The undergraduate programme abroad is expensive and unfortunately financial aid and scholarships are either limited or unavailable to international students. Work with the assumption that most selective universities do not offer financial aid to international students, though some good colleges do offer aid to international students with potential, and that international students pay more than the locals. If your child happens to be a US citizen, there are more scholarship and financial support possibilities. However, as a rule, financial support for undergraduate programmes is limited compared to what is available for a graduate or doctoral programme.
The situation in the UK is not significantly different, except that the three-year undergraduate programmes reduce the overall outlay.
Canadian universities offer a wider range of scholarship/financial aid options for international students. This, combined with the lower cost of education, makes Canada an attractive option from a financial standpoint.
Singapore adopts a different strategy. International students pay more than local students. Tuition grants are available if your child commits to work in Singapore for 3 years (or more sometimes) after completing graduation. Part-time work arrangements can also be explored.
What are the chances of selection for an international student?
Given the number and variety of colleges, it is hard to suggest a formula that works or predicts your results. A good application showing strong and consistent academic performance and continued demonstration of interest in one or two extracurricular activities will enhance your chances. But you must remember that you are competing with equally qualified students from across the globe.
The final word
Studying abroad is definitely an option worth exploring for motivated students. An education abroad will equip your child with the skills to handle the 21st century work environment. Also, the variety of courses and the overall quality of education in these countries could make it worth your while. That said, you really need to do your homework and start preparing early to ensure that your teenager has the best options to choose from. All the best!
www.collegeboard.org To find out about US universities, colleges and courses
www.usundergrad.com A site that provides advice to international students interested in studying in the US
www.schoolsincanada.com A site meant for international students wanting to explore studying in Canada
www.ukeas.com A site to help out international students seeking to explore options in the UK