How to Find Funding to Study Abroad
One of the first things that I hear people say when they tell me they can’t study abroad is that the cost is too much. On first glance, this would appear to be the case but as you look at what you get from the program and all of the financial aid available, you can see that the cost is not only very cheap, but you are also getting more than what you pay for.
First, I will let you in on a little secret; there is funding everywhere! I have been on three programs and each one has become cheaper in term of the overall dollar value that I paid.
At Northern Illinois University, where I have attended as both an undergraduate and a graduate student, I can say that tuition costs are not cheap. As an undergraduate, I paid approximately $1200 per class and this amount grew to about $2500 per class as a graduate student. When you consider that your study abroad will count as credit toward your program or as a general elective, you can take these amounts off the overall cost of the program.
Study Abroad Office:
There are an abundance of scholarships and grants available. This money can be found everywhere. The first place that one can look is in your study abroad office. The people in study abroad offices are very passionate about the benefits of studying in another country and will do what they can to find funding to make it possible. I have received multiple scholarships and grants ranging from $500 up to $2500.
Another great area, is the school’s website. Northern Illinois University has a dedicated page to the International Business Seminar program that lists out costs, details of the program, and scholarships, grants, and other sources of funding available; many other schools have similar web pages. Previous participants in the program are another great resource as many of them have received various forms of funding and can help guide you in the right direction.
Another great source is family and friends; when you talk about the benefits of the program, almost all are willing to help. GoFundMe is a great source for asking help from everyone since you can post it on social media and make it easy to give money.
Finally, if you still fall short of getting all of the money you need to go on a program, student loans can help cover the difference. Sometimes it can be a little unnerving to take out additional loans but the return on investment is highly worth the cost. I have used some loans to pay for some of each of my three programs and it has been the best choice that I have made. I have listed the programs on my resume, which helped me obtain an internship and a full-time job before graduation.
Don’t be Afraid to Invest in Your Study Abroad:
Remember that you are obtaining an excellent education at your school and companies will be ready to hire you after graduation. Studying abroad will help to set you apart from your peers and will give you great talking points during your interviews. This will help secure an internship or full-time offer and the money will come, so don’t be afraid to invest a little money up front. You are guaranteed to gain more from studying abroad than you ever spend on it!