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Does My Post 9/11 GI Bill Cover Going to School in Iceland, Finland or Norway?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I’m a commissioned officer in the Army who is about to ETS. I’m looking forward to continue my studies and looking to get my Masters in International Law overseas more specifically in Iceland, Finland or Norway. Does the GI Bill cover any school in those countries? Thanks.

A: While there are several VA-approved schools in each of those countries – 2 in Iceland, 14 in Finland and 13 in Norway – none of them have a masters in international law. If you do happen to find a foreign VA-approved school with a master’s in IL, then you could use the Post 9/11 GI Bill to get some of your education-related school costs paid for.

The amount in tuition the VA pays is the same at a foreign school as it would at a private school – up to $19,198.31 per year. As far as Monthly Housing Allowance, it pays the foreign school rate of $1,429 per month. Unlike the MHA in the United States, where the amount you receive is based on the zip code of the school and the number of credits you take, if you are going to school full-time overseas you get the fixed amount regardless of which foreign school you attend.

However the book stipend is calculated the same as it would be if you attended a U.S. based school – $41.67 per credit up to the $1,000 annual cap.
Keep in mind that if you attend a foreign school, you would not be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Having this program can be an economic boom as your school can pay up to 50% of the difference between what your school charges and what your GI Bill pays. The VA pays an equal amount.

But to take advantage of this program, you have to attend a school here in the U.S. that includes their International Law program in their Yellow Ribbon Agreement. It is something to look into as it could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your master’s degree program.

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