Loans for graduate schools overseas
June 3, 2010 7:38 PM   Subscribe

I need help finding loans for graduate school in Japan.

I've been accepted to a graduate program here in Tokyo that I'm interested in attending. I'm an American citizen currently here on a working visa but I'll be changing that over to a student visa if I can figure out how to pay for school. I'm having a hard time finding out where I could possibly obtain a student loan to help finance my first year over here. I've already submitted my FAFSA in the states, but I don't think that does me much good here as I'd be directly enrolling in the grad school here.

So, does anyone know of anywhere I can look to find some sort of lending institution that offers financing for someone studying overseas? Also, I don't have much time, I need to have the financing secured by the end of June if I want to make this work.

I'm well aware of the fact that degrees here more or less are only of any significant value here, and not in the U.S., but that's ok. I'm planning on being here for a while and I believe this program will set me up for the kind of career I'm interested in pursuing here in Japan. Not looking for opinions on the relative advantages or disadvantages of attending graduate school, or of living and working in Japan...I've spent plenty of time researching all of that already. Thanks for any advice you can offer!
posted by farce majeure to Education (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Nothing huh... Well maybe I'm asking too specific of a question? I don't necessarily need information pertaining specifically to study in Japan, but wondering if anyone has had any experience directly enrolling in a foreign university and how they went about financing it.
posted by farce majeure at 10:07 PM on June 3, 2010

By the end of June? Are you insane? You should have looked for funding months ago.

Your best bet is to talk to the program which accepted you, and see if they know of any funding that can be had on such short notice. You could also try to apply for a private student loan from a bank here in the US, but those are hard to get these days.
posted by twblalock at 10:26 PM on June 3, 2010

Response by poster: I take it you've never applied to a Japanese University before? Although I see from your previous posts that you've spent some time in Japan, so maybe you have?

I've been looking for funding for some time now, but things happen on a completely different schedule here than they do back in the states.

I was accepted to the program 3 days ago, at the beginning of June, as was everyone else who was accepted into the program, and the deadline for the admission payment is June 30th. Hard to apply for a loan when you don't know what you're required to pay for, or if you've been accepted into the program or not. I don't dispute that their timeline is a bit crazy, but no, I'm not insane.

The only reason I'm posting on metafilter is that I've pursued the obvious potential sources, i.e. pursuing private loans from a bank in the U.S., and I'm currently working through the financial aid department of the program here, but was hoping that someone out there with some prior experience enrolling in a foreign university might be able to offer something more than ill informed criticism and obvious advice.
posted by farce majeure at 11:31 PM on June 3, 2010

Response by poster: Ok, that last post was a bit snarky on my part, apologies. Long day at the office. Anyways, thanks for the suggestions but yes, I've already tried both of those and while they might pan out I was hoping someone might know of a bank that specializes in this type of thing. I've done some internet searching but it hasn't been very fruitful.
posted by farce majeure at 11:41 PM on June 3, 2010

Best answer: This is advice from another American who is attending graduate school in a foreign country (France, but some of what I say should still apply).

I also thought that filling out a FAFSA was the only thing I had to do, similar to what I did during my undergraduate studies. Have sent off an application to Sallie Mae yet? If your grad school takes in a lot of US students, they'll usually have some kind of process in place with getting you a loan from Sallie Mae. After you fill out an application, Sallie Mae gets in touch with your school's financial aid office to verify that you will be attending a valid institution and the costs of the program. Once amounts and eligibility have been confirmed, you should be open to apply for subsidized Sallie Mae and private Smart Option loan money.

For my school, this confirmation process took about 3 weeks, but my schedule was definitely not as tight as yours.

Good luck! Feel free to memail me if you have any questions.
posted by C^3 at 7:45 AM on June 4, 2010

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