Financing Study Abroad the Smart Way

Financing Study Abroad the Smart Way”

by Julia Dunn via “ULoop”

Do you flip for France? Are you sold on the idea of an Australian outback adventure? Want to float down the Italian canals reading ancient literature, but have no clue how you’ll afford it?

If you’re a wanderlust soul with a wallet restriction who’s interested in earning university credits while experiencing a foreign country, don’t push a study abroad opportunity out of your prospects because you think you won’t be able to swing it financially. There are resources and tricks available to you as a college student that you may not even know about, many of which will guide you through financing study abroad!

Universities know that college students can’t afford to pay for an entire study abroad trip on their own, on top of tuition and the student fees they pay just to attend college; thus, they offer certain types of financial aid to students looking to travel in their undergraduate careers. Beyond that, the elements of a study abroad trip can be modified in a cost-efficient way to suit your budget if financial aid alone doesn’t cover all of what you need money-wise.

According to a survey conducted by Knox College Associate Professor of Modern Languages Robin Ragan, cost is the number one reason students hesitate to pursue a trip abroad.

Robin concluded that “A lot of times [not being able to afford it] is an assumption that students make up front, but they don’t really have numbers at their side to prove they can’t afford it … Our challenge is getting to students who assume they can’t study abroad because of the cost before they even attend the info sessions.”

It doesn’t hurt to gather some information and learn about what’s out there; if you don’t, you could be missing out on an insanely awesome trip. Here’s how to make study abroad fit in your wallet.

1. Contact your university’s study abroad program for details on financial aid packages and how to apply for them.

The best way to obtain accurate information about study abroad and financial aid at your school is to directly contact the department, either through phone, email, or literally walking through their door to pick up a study abroad financing pamphlet. The staff at your university’s study abroad department has worked with tons of students to create an affordable study abroad plan that works for them—they want to help you go abroad just as badly as you want to go yourself!

See if your school offers study-abroad information sessions or events that you can attend for more information on financial aid loans and other “free money” opportunities. These may be useful to you when designing a financial plan-of-attack.

2. Be strategic when choosing a study abroad location.

The cost of living is different country to country. It’s going to wind up being more expensive to study abroad in Spain than it would be in Senegal, and study abroad financial advisers can help you compare the cost of living in certain countries with others. Investigate various housing options and their costs, along with that of transportation and other logistical elements that can add unexpected costs to your travel bill if you don’t address them before you leave for your trip.

Make sure you have lodging, food, and a means of getting around town factored into your budget, and put in the effort to research cost-efficient options for these matters.

Don’t know where to go? Click here to explore possible study abroad programs and locations organized in Uloop’s Study Abroad search.

3. Shorten your trip to 2-4 weeks.

When college students envision a study abroad trip, most think of spending months and months on end (even an entire semester or quarter) traversing hidden cities of Peru or exploring the Great Barrier Reef for an entire season. If money is an issue for you,consider only going abroad for a couple of weeks.

You’ll receive virtually the same immersive experience as someone going abroad for a longer time period, but you won’t have to pay for all that extra time. Plan out what you’ll do each day to maximize your time abroad, and you’ll be able to do most everything you want to do in just a few weeks! . . . .

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JSU starts study abroad crowdfunding campaign

“JSU starts study abroad crowdfunding campaign”

by Sarah Fowler via “Clarion Ledger

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Jackson State University plans to send 140 students abroad with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.

JSU Passport to the World features study abroad opportunities in China, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, France and Spain. With a price tag of about $2,000, many students are relying on financial aid to cover the cost, according to Pricilla Slade, special assistant to the provost for JSU-Global and Community College Relations.

“It’s just like paying tuition,” Slade said. However, because students have varying amounts of financial aid, with some having none at all, the university decided to start a tax-deductible crowdsourcing campaign.

“We realize how important this is for students’ educational growth and development and the impact it can have on their future,” Slade said. “That is the reason why we’re working so hard to make this opportunity available to as many students that qualify and can financially make the trip.”

JSU and the Council of International Educational Exchange is covering the cost of the passports. If the campaign raises enough money for each student to go, the money will be divided equally based on need, Slade said. Otherwise, the funds will be given in scholarships.

Jasmine Harvey, a 22-year-old social work major, said she hopes to study in Paris. . . .

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How to Study Abroad in Europe Without Breaking The Bank

“How to Study Abroad in Europe Without Breaking The Bank”

by Robert Montenegro via “Big Think”

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Studying abroad is awesome. Anyone who has the opportunity to do so yet opts not to is really missing out. I personally believe immersing yourself in another culture makes you a better, more empathetic person. It’s the whole “seeing the world through other people’s eyes” thing. The whole experience is also loads of fun and, depending on how you play your cards, a relatively affordable way to see parts of the world you’d otherwise not be able to visit.

Across the pond in the UK, the British Council supports its exchange students in Europe through the Erasmus+ program.The Guardian’s Daisy Lacey has a piece on that site right now offering advice to young Britons utilizing their Erasmus grants and living in the Euro zone for the first time. Some of her tips are also applicable to us Yanks. For example, it makes little sense to pay major fees to operate your mobile abroad. Instead, it’s good idea to purchase a go-phone or local SIM card instead. Lacey also recommends opening a bank account in your host country. That’s one way to bank for cheap. Back in 2009 before I spent a semester in Germany, I opened a Bank of America account back home because B of A has an agreement with Deutsche Bank wherein account holders can use either bank’s ATMs sans fee. Do a little research and see if you’ve got a similar hook-up with where you’re heading. You can always close the extraneous account later if necessary.

My program in Germany was designed so that independent travel around the continent was encouraged. Lacey recommends looking into discounted ticket programs through Eurail, Megabus, and other outlets. Cheap flights can be had via airlines like Ryanair, though always be on the lookout for hidden fees. Ryanair is also notorious for flying out of and into airstrips in the middle of nowhere, so make sure you’re not expecting your flight to land somewhere it won’t. Still, €5 to fly anywhere can be worth a trip on the scenic route. You could also look into blind bookings offered by airlines such as Germanwings. For a flat fee, the airline will roll a dice and send you to a random destination. It’s great for the spontaneous types. . . .

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“Low-income students may be given the chance to study abroad affordably”

“Low-income students may be given the chance to study abroad affordably”

by Allie Hastings via “The Exponent

Financially-limited students aspiring to travel abroad will have the opportunity to visit Spain this summer as Horizons Student Services celebrates its third year of helping these students study abroad.

The Institute of International Education is spearheading a national initiative, Generation Study Abroad, to double the amount of study abroad participants by the end of the decade. Many universities, including Purdue, seek to increase student participation in an effort to better prepare students for a globalized job market. However, not all students can afford these global ventures.

Austin Scherbarth, a junior in the College of Engineering and student ambassador with the Office of the Dean of Students, described the program’s role as a support system for students in need.

”It’s mainly a comfortable zone for students that are in that particular situation to go to and receive help and assistance with pretty much anything on campus,” Scherbarth said. “It’s not really restricted to (academics).” . . . .

“Troy University Launches Study Abroad Scholarships for Students”

“Troy University Launches Study Abroad Scholarships for Students”

via Dothan First

“Troy University is launching a new program to support its students who wish to study abroad.

The program, the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness, will make available a significant number of $750 scholarships this year for eligible TROY students participating in Troy University-approved study abroad programs. The scholarships will be funded, in part, from the University’s Car Tag Scholarship Program.

“Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience for our students,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “Today’s world requires a broader understanding of people from other cultures and  . . . .”

 

The Cost of Going Abroad

“The Cost of Going Abroad”

By Jonathan Sheppard via “The Cavalier Daily”

“Participation in study abroad programs by University students remains far higher for January term and summer programs than semester or year-long programs.

More than half of all students who studied abroad in the 2012-13 school year participated in summer programs, according to data from the International Studies Office.

According to the Institute for International Education’s annual Open Doors report, . . . . “

 

Study Abroad is Within Reach for Most Students

Study Abroad is Within Reach for Most Students

by Jasmine Johnson via “The Daily Texan”

“To study in another country while being fully immersed in a foreign culture has to be the highlight of any college student’s young life. So why don’t more students study abroad? Mainly because they don’t have the money. Or at least that’s what students think.

The British Council, Britain’s educational and cultural relations agency, conducted a study of perceived barriers to studying abroad and found that more than half of British students and nearly three-quarters of Americans said the expense was . . .”

This is actually true for many countries; and in fact if you go to a college abroad with lower tuition/summer programs with lower tuition, sometimes it’s actually cheaper. Worth looking into at least!