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Going abroad costs money – but there are resources to help pay for it.

Like most worthwhile experiences, going abroad costs money. This reality tends to scare off some students, but there are tons of resources out there to help you pay for it. In many cases, going abroad for a semester or a summer is actually cheaper than a semester of college. You can apply for grants and scholarships to go abroad, use financial aid to pay for study abroad, and crowdfund.

Going abroad is an investment, but one you won’t regret. As Ione, one of our recent Volunteers in Tanzania said, 

“When you’re older, you aren’t going to reflect on these experiences and say, ‘I wish I didn’t spend the money.’ You are going to look back and be forever grateful that these experiences have shaped you into who you are.”

Ione, Childcare Assistance Volunteer, Tanzania

Apply for Grants and Scholarships to Go Abroad

We’ve compiled a list of 11 Study Abroad Scholarships here – but if you’re interested in Volunteering or Interning abroad, there are other scholarships and grants you can apply for:

Sammy, International Relations Intern in Thailand. Image from The Mirror Foundation

There also may be grants and scholarships available through your university or college. Ione, who did a Volunteer Project in Tanzania this past summer, used a grant from her college to help pay for her program. 

“The grant application took some work,” she says, “but I found many of my professors and people at my college willing to help.” After speaking with friends at different colleges and universities, Ione realized that “applying for grant funding is more common than students realize.”

Use Financial Aid to Pay for Study Abroad

If you receive financial aid from the federal government, or if you are eligible to, you can use that financial aid to pay for study abroad. While these processes and procedures can be a little complex, your college/university financial aid office and study abroad office are great resources. In many cases, yes, financial aid will cover study abroad. Study Abroad and Financial Aid Advisors are usually very willing to meet with students, so don’t hesitate to set up a meeting or swing by their office!

Crowdfund to Go Abroad is built specifically to help students pay for study abroad and other educational expenses. It’s very easy to set up and incredibly student-friendly throughout. It has the lowest processing fees (3.5% as opposed to the typical 4-9% on other platforms), and allows you to access the funds throughout the campaign (other platforms require you to wait until the end of the campaign, or once the fundraising goal is reached). And once you have a page set up, you can continue to raise funds for other endeavors throughout your educational career.


FundMyTravel is a platform to fund meaningful travel experiences. It’s easy to create a page and campaign, and like GoEnnounce, funds are sent straight to your account, so you don’t have to wait until you hit your goal. And with a 5% processing fee, it’s still very affordable compared to other crowdfunding sites.

Talk to International Education Professionals

Here at World Endeavors, we’re out to bust the myth that going abroad is too expensive for everyday people. You might not be able to go abroad for free, but you can certainly go abroad at a reasonable price if you’re willing to do a little extra work. As Ione says,

“you just have to go out and look for it. It doesn’t just come to you – but if you look hard enough, you can find options.”

Rachael, Women’s Development Volunteer in Thailand, with her Program Advisor, Natalie

Want to learn more about affordable Study, Intern, or Volunteer programs and scholarships to help pay for them? Message a World Endeavors Advisor today!

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