Although being from an economically disadvantage background can seem as a major hindrance to you being able to study abroad, it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways for you to make study abroad affordable, including scholarships, grants, and loans. In general, financial aid is based on need, merit, or sometimes both. Other requirements may be things like citizenship and enrollment in a certain number of credits. Talk with your counselor to discuss what kinds of aid are available to you.
Be sure to ask:
- How and when should I apply for financial aid for study abroad?
- How do much does it cost to study abroad?
- What kind of aid is available for intersession or summer programs?
Another way to help finance your study abroad experience is through personal fundraising. Not only is it a way for you to earn money, it also gets your friends and family involved in your study abroad plans. Personal fundraising can be particularly helpful in reducing the costs of non-study abroad programs, such as internships and volunteering, which may have fewer scholarships and grants available. There are many different activities that fall under the category of personal fundraising, such as:
Stretch your finances
- Online crowd-sourced fundraising campaigns (try GoFundMe or FundMyTravel)
- Letter writing campaign to family and friends
- Asking members of your church or other community members
- Candy and bake sales
- Car washes
- Asking people to sponsor you
No matter when you go abroad and how you fund it, good money management will help you make the most of your financial resources. Before you go abroad, put together a budget. Make a list of expenses, which should include:
- Living expenses: housing, meals
- Academic expenses: tuition, books
- Travel expenses: airfare, passport, visa, local transportation
- Communication expenses: internet access, cell phone
- Program expenses: application fee, group excursions
- Health and safety expenses: insurance, immunizations
- Personal expenses: toiletries, souvenirs, entertainment
To learn more about funding your study abroad, check out our Financial Aid Center