Studying abroad can be very expensive, and there are many students who never take the opportunity to study abroad because of lack of funding. This is so unfortunate, and students should really take the time to research scholarships and financial aid, especially with so many resources available.
Here are some tips that I found helpful when funding my experience to Ghana….
- Firstly, contact your study abroad office to see if there are scholarships or grants funded though your university. If you are an Otterbein student, talk to the Center for International Education and Global Engagement for information on the Cultural Envoy scholarship and several more.
- Definitely make an appointment with your Financial Aid office. Some universities allow you to use a portion of your financial aid, and your student loans and grants may also carry over to your overseas institution.
- Research for local, regional and national scholarships in your area. One challenging but amazing scholarship opportunity is the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship, through the Federal government. Check out the application at https://gilmanapplication.iie.org/. I was lucky enough to receive this scholarship and I am so glad that I took the time to apply.
- Ask family and friends for help! A year before my trip, I send homemade Christmas cards to family asking for help to fund my experience in Ghana. You will be surprised to see how supportive your loved ones can be!
- Budgeting and saving money is of course an important method. It is worth it to see the world!
- There are several opportunities for student discounts on flights and other travel needs. Try http://www.studentuniverse.com for discounted plane tickets.
- Lastly, be sure to consider the different ways of studying abroad and their costs. You can sign up for a student exchange through your university, use an outside state or national study abroad program, or you may directly enroll at a university abroad (which is the option I chose). The financial obligations differ greatly between these options.