By Adrienne Gossett
As a huge advocate for study abroad, it always pains me to hear people turn down the idea because of the associated cost. We all know that traveling is not cheapest activity, especially for college students. But the experience alone is the most valuable aspect. At the end of the day experience is one thing no one can take away from you. As someone who has recently been through the study abroad process, I have learned a thing or two about not having to pay an arm and a leg.
- Figure out the total cost. Before you start trying to figure how you’re going to fund your study abroad, you first need to figure out how much you’re going to need. Begin formulating a budget by listing out any expenses associated with your trip. Reviewing your program overview to determine if there is a program fee and what all does it cover. Other expenses to consider include airfare and other transportation, food, lodging, insurance, and passport costs.
- Save up. Before trying to figure out how you’re going to get funding from other people, consider how much of your own money you have to put forth. After all, you are the one going abroad. Start by reviewing your spending habits. Maybe skip a night out on the town for a Netflix kind of night. Another idea would be save a decided amount out of each paycheck you receive. The more you are able to save, the less you have to ask for from others.
- Free money honey. Take the time to look into scholarships and grants to help offset your costs. There is no doubt that an abroad experience can be very costly, but your research can make all the difference. Talk to an advisor in the study aboard office about scholarship possibilities. As well as Google, Google, Google. There are all types of free money available waiting to be claimed.
- Raise those funds. Once you have exhausted the scholarship option, it’s time to get creative and start fundraising. Car washes, bake sales, garage sales. The possibilities are truly endless. If you’re struggling for ideas turn to your old pal Google. There are tons and tons of ideas out there that you could utilize.
- Crowdfund. Websites such GoFundMe.com are great ways to reach to people via the Internet for donations to go toward your study abroad trip. Crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe allows for you to create your own fundraising campaign and then share your story with family and friends. Enabling them to support you no matter how far away.
Adrienne is a junior studying strategic communication with a minor in sport management and a specialization in visual communications. After graduation, she wants to go to grad school to pursue a degree in communications or advertising. Follow her on Twitter at @AD_Gossett!