Traveling is a wonderful hobby, but an expensive one. Adding tuition onto that cost can be pretty overwhelming. But how I see it is this is the time of your life. This is the least amount of commitments you will ever have. This is the most freedom you will ever have. The most time to kill. The most energy. There are ways to get around the cost, and this post will explain ways to work with the price tag that comes with studying abroad. This post will also be used as my first post on Madison’s study abroad blog as well.
Yeah, it sounds like a given, but make sure you file your FAFSA and work with your school to get funding. 9 times out of 10, you will get aid from your home university.
There are thousands of scholarships out there. At Madison, I used our scholarship portal to search for different ones that I was eligible for. I also used google and other resources, like one of my organization’s database. Take the time to write essays and answer the seemingly endless questions- it is worth it.
For me, I didn’t think I wanted to take this step, but I am so happy I did. I always thought these sites were just for tragedies, health crises and other pressing matters, not a study abroad. Boy, was I wrong. Sites like gofundme.com are really helpful for funding. It is any easy way for friends and family to donate to your adventure, and besides the easy set up, only a small percentage is taken by the website.
This is a very helpful, but very demanding option. Hosting a fundraising event is tiring and requires a lot of time. You can work with your high school, church, businesses, or anything else you see fit. But be prepared to give lots of time. I spent many hours I should have used for studying for exams or sleeping to write letters, send emails, get quotes and publicize. For my fundraising event, a couple friends and I worked with my high school to host Tennis for Tanzania, a day where the courts would be open for matches, activities and learning the basics of the sport. We had business sponsors, concessions and great day planned. However, the weather wasn’t so perfect, so we improvised and moved inside. All in all, the day was fun and successful, and we raised about $650. So, I would highly suggest this option, but be flexible, and anticipate anything.
All in all, there are so many ways to help fund your study abroad adventure. If you are determined, you can do it, and you will find a way.