Traveling abroad can be a once in a lifetime opportunity, something you’ll never forget, and a valuable part of your college education. But college is already expensive; you may be thinking that there’s no way you can afford to jetset to Brazil, India, Denmark, Italy or Hong Kong when you already have the costs of textbooks, clubs, tuition, and rent piling up. Luckily, there are ways to get around this conundrum—and people out there to help. Here are five tips to help you fund your trip abroad.
1. Start Early.
If you have an inkling that you want to study abroad, start now. Deadlines to apply to programs fall months before the actual travel dates. The more time you have to plan, the more likely you’ll be able to fund your trip. So get going!
2. Talk to Your School First
Your school wants to help you take advantage of their program. You’ll be surprised at how many options they have for financial aid. Set up a meeting with a study abroad advisor and get the facts. Find out exactly what you need and if there are any programs that you may fit your interests AND your wallet.
3. Go for Grants, Loans, and Scholarships
There are plenty of groups out there who want to help ambitious students like you, from foundations, to clubs, to government organizations. StudyAbroad.com has a great list of scholarship and grant options for students in a variety of schools and majors. Don’t be scared off by applications; writing a few essays is worth it for the experience.
Create a Mission on GoEnnounce.com and share your dreams about studying abroad and why it is so important to you with your close family friends, aunts, uncles and grandparents. You will be amazed at who wants to help you live out this once in a lifetime experience and donate even a small amount to your Mission. If you go this route, make sure to keep your donators updated with photos of your trip and posts of your travels!
5. Work it Out.
If you have the time to take on an extra part-time job, spend a few nights a week babysitting, start a tutoring service, or take on some additional work hours during the summer… do it! It’s worth the effort, and when you’re walking down the streets of Rome, you’ll likely forget about how many hours you had to work to get there.
Good luck, and safe travels.