The main concern that students have when considering going abroad is how you can afford it. While the program costs may be high, the memories you make and experiences you have are priceless. Here are ways to help you afford going on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:
- Get a job
And only accept minimum wage as a last resort. Even as a college student, you are better than minimum wage jobs. If your concerned that getting a job might take too much of your time, get a job through campus. As a student, you are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week and they understand that school comes first. If you’re not concerned, find a job off campus.
- Apply for scholarships
The study abroad office offers a variety of competitive scholarships, programs offer scholarships that immediately lower the program cost, and specific majors often have individual scholarships. It never hurts to apply for scholarships, even if they are only $100. Small scholarships add up and they help a lot.
- Talk to the financial aid office
If you’re going on a semester program, more than likely your financial aid will transfer. Don’t be afraid to go talk to them and get more information.
- Start fundraisers
College student love cheap bakery items. Enlist the help of your friends and start a bake sale on campus. Instead of getting gifts for your birthday, Christmas, or other holidays, ask for money that will go toward your trip.
- Stop eating out
Your $7-$10 lunches and dinners add up. Stop eating out so much-make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, have ramen noodles for dinner a couple times a week, or make your own coffee. Meals out and Starbucks add up very quickly, so cut eating out as much from your routine and watch the savings accumulate.
- Start putting all saved money into a separate account
Paychecks? Savings account. Didn’t go out to eat today? Savings account. Made money on your bake sale? Saving account. Do not spend anything from this savings account except for your program fees. Any left over money can be your fun money abroad!
- Make sacrifices
Walk to campus rather than driving-not only will this save on gas, but you won’t have to buy a parking pass. Pick a cheaper apartment or dorm to live in-you don’t need those brand new dorms that still smell like drywall mud or apartments with granite counter tops, as appealing as they may be. Stop your “retail therapy”-would you rather have than dress, or $50 more to spend abroad; do you really need another pair of shoes, or would you rather pay your application fee? Put all the money you save on these sacrifices into your bank account to pay your fees.
Erin Daugherty is a senior pursing a degree in Equine Science and Management with minors in Business and Agricultural Economics. She studied abroad the summer of 2015 in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia with the “Equine Down Under” program. Erin witnessed and studied the Australian equestrian community and hopes to use some of their innovations to improve America’s equine industry.