Three Travel Tips
Initially, when I found out about the IBS Winter MBA study abroad program, I was really excited because it was a great opportunity to not only travel but also helped me towards my graduation requirements. However, like many other students, I was worried about the monetary aspects of this program and whether it was possible to participate without creating a large financial deficit. As with anything that is of value in life, I understand there has to be some sort of investment and I truly believe that studying abroad is one of those things that are worth it. With all that being said, this blog is intended for those interested in a study abroad program, but may still have some reluctance of going through with it due to financial concerns. In the following, I will share three helpful tips for studying abroad that I used to help finance my program, which hopefully encourages others to believe it is totally possible to study abroad even when you are on a budget.
1. Research Scholarships
To start off, one of the first things I recommend is that once you find a study abroad program that piques your interest, I would look for as many scholarships and grants that are applicable to you. The key point here is that the research for scholarships should come after you determine a specific program because this can help narrow your search. Otherwise, it would be kind of overwhelming to just look everywhere on the internet for general scholarships that may or may not apply for your particular program. In other words, I think it is more effective to direct your research efforts towards scholarship opportunities at your own university, the corresponding institution abroad, or even the travel organization, such as IBS, to help fund your study abroad experience. So I definitely encourage every student to check out the IBS scholarship options.
2. Develop a Timeline
Another recommendation that I have is that once you have gathered all the research for your specific program, the academic considerations, and scholarship opportunities, it is beneficial to begin a timeline as early as it is possible to do so. This is useful not only to track all the document submission dates that will come up during the application process, but it will also help to organize the payment deadlines that are required for securing your spot in the program. Additionally, developing a timeline can help make sure that your financial planning is organized with no surprises along the way and it will serve as a reminder to keep you aware of the necessary fees for your program. For this recommendation, it is important that you constantly check in with your created timeline to make sure you are on track with application requirements or scholarship submissions and update any changes that may be necessary throughout the process.
3. Create a Budget
Lastly, it is crucial that you make a budget to help manage the costs, whether you are still considering the program or have already committed to it. Given that the majority of those who are reading this blog are the ones who are already concerned with the affordability of a program, I know the suggestion of creating a budget may seem like an obvious one. However, to clarify, my recommendation for creating a budget is more related to the individual rather than around the program itself. Regardless of your decision to commit to a program, in general, it is best practice to budget how you spend your money; this will help you understand your personal spending habits and where your money is more flexible in your life. Right at the moment, you think that studying abroad is something you want to pursue, you should start jotting down your expenses because it can help track where you can start cutting back and saving for this possible trip.
Overall, my hope is that the message you take from this blog is that studying abroad is definitely possible, especially for those who are concerned with affordability. Even for someone who has studied abroad before, I still get intimidated about the financial preparation needed for any trip, but by using the three tips that I mentioned, it has always made the process easier for me. Most importantly, these three tips have not only helped me achieve the dream of studying abroad but also allowed me to realize that having that unforgettable experience does not equate to breaking the bank. In essence, I hope that you find these tips helpful and I am certain that if you research the scholarship opportunities, develop a timeline, and create your own budget, you will be one step closer to making studying abroad a reality.