Studying abroad can be one of the most amazing learning experiences of a college student’s career. It can also, however, be the most expensive. Many universities offer study abroad programs, but spending a semester in another country can cost up to $17,000!
Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to help earn money for international travel. Thanks to scholarship programs, generous relatives, and business sponsorships, studying abroad doesn’t have to be an unreachable dream.
If you want to travel the world but stick to your collegiate budget, here are nine ways to earn the funds for your study abroad trip!
1. Choose a Country That Will Help Foot the Bill
Unlike the U.S., many countries offer higher education for little to nothing, even for foreign students. Germany, Finland, and Norway offer tuition-free education, while Brazil and Slovenia charge a minimal registration fee. Programs at a French university cost as little as $200, and Sweden offers Ph. D programs for free!
2. Throw a Fundraising Party
Since partying in college is basically a core requirement, no one will decline an invite to your going away party. However, rather than asking guests to bring their own bottle, ask them to bring a donation to a great cause: getting your broke behind to travel the world! Depending on how big of a rager you throw or how many of your friends are generous, you should be able to raise a small fortune.
3. Work Odd Jobs
Balancing a part-time job with a full-time course load isn’t always possible. But working temporary or odd jobs during your free time can help you raise money without hindering your GPA. Look on your school’s job website for one-time gigs that pay a lot of money per hour or freelance work you can do from home, and you could be well on your way to financing your study abroad expenses.
4. Get a Sponsor
Business sponsorships can be tricky to find, but will greatly benefit your study abroad financing efforts. Reaching out to local businesses in your hometown is a great way to connect with people in your community who’d be willing to help you out. Even sending sponsorship letters to big companies that you hope to work for may boost your finances, and possibly your employment opportunities.
5. Work Remotely While You’re Away
Once you’ve gotten to the country of your choice, pick up a virtual job to help you earn some extra money. Whether you apply to a website as a virtual assistant, or decide to do some freelance writing, you can earn pocket money during your trip.
6. Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) Scholarship
The CIEE is offering over $20 million in scholarship money to students who wish to study abroad. They’re even offering to sponsor passports for 10,000 students.
"Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders," said Institute of International Education president and chief executive officer Allan E. Goodman. "CIEE's greatly expanded outreach and scholarship offerings will make a significant contribution to expanding and diversifying the population of students who have the opportunity to study abroad."
7. Council of American Overseas Research Centers Scholarship
One of the main reasons students choose to study abroad is to immerse themselves in a new culture and learn a new language. In order to bolster the number of bilingual Americans, The Critical Language Scholarship program is offering round trip airfare and fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction.
8. Academic Programs International Scholarships
Academic Programs International (API) offers a variety of scholarships, giving away nearly $400,000 annually. Their Regional Scholarship awards students with a GPA higher than 3.0, and The First Generation Scholarship supports those students who are the first in their family to attend a college or university. They also offer a STEM scholarship for applicants studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. If you qualify for more than one scholarship, you can apply to as many as you want and boost your finances even more.
9. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers $4,000 scholarships to underprivileged students looking to intern abroad or take rigorous, credit-bearing courses. Although they require a lengthy application process, this scholarship could have you well on your way to landing the internship of a lifetime.