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
- The GVI Trust International Scholarship Programme awards L 2,000 to students planning to work with local partners on sustainable projects (Rolling Application, meaning you can apply anytime. Plan for 3 month application process).
- The Christianson Grant, which offers up to $10,000 for Internship or Volunteer projects (March, July, and October 15 Deadlines. Programs must be at least 6 months in length)
- ScholarTrips offers up to $2,500 for Volunteer or Study Programs (November 6 Deadline)
- HI USA Explore the World Travel Scholarships offer up to $2,000 for a trip that involves education or service (March 2nd Deadline)
- Volunteer Forever Travel Scholarship offers up to $1,000 for Volunteering, Interning, or Studying Abroad (January 31st Deadline)
- Go Overseas Volunteer Abroad Scholarship offers $500 for any person planning to Volunteer abroad (September 1 Deadline)
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
GoEnnounce.com 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!
Posted by World Endeavors on December 15, 2017
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.