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Feb 05 2016
by Mia Renee Cole

10 Ways to Raise Money for Study Abroad

By Mia Renee Cole - Feb 05 2016

1. Apply for scholarships.

Scholarships don’t just end at tuition. Check out all the different scholarships available for your program, your school or through other organiztions. Check The College Board's website for general scholarships.

2. Create a GoFundMe.

Take no shame in publicly asking for money. When you’re a broke college student, it helps to have financial support from your friends, family and other connections. Just note: GoFundMe takes a percentage of your raised money out to go to their website, so if you’re trying to reach a specific goal, you may want to set it as a little bit more on the website so you’re sure to get all of your goal money.

3. Look at loans.

Okay, so loans suck. It’s still money, though, and that’s what you need to go abroad. You’ll be thanking yourself after your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

4. Talk with your school’s study abroad office.

Be resourceful and check in with your school. Talking to a real-life, breathing person will actually be a lot easier and informative than just trying to Google all of your questions. Plus, they can point you in the right direction for both school and program-specific scholarships and money.

5. Reach out to family and friends.

Making a personal gesture towards family and friends of the family can be very helpful as well. Sending a handwritten letter explaining your situation, your qualifications, you goals, etc. can be a convincing and personal way to fund-raise money for your trip. Want to be even more convincing? Offer to send them a postcard or souvenirs.

6. Sell things online.

Living in a material world can come to our advantage, especially when we’re trying to get money. After downsizing to a dorm, you’ve probably realized that you don’t need half of the stuff you owned in high school. Take the time to sell things on Ebay and independently make some extra cash.

7. Get an on-campus job.

Okay, so minimum wage for a part-time job isn’t going to cover all of your expenses, but it’s better than nothing. Saving up could allow you to have some extra spending money for your trip.

8. Ask for money for your birthday/holidays.

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Nothing is quite as great as gift as cash. If you’re going to be celebrating a birthday or holiday (where you usually receive gifts) before your trip, ask for money as a present.

9. Check out some need-based grants.

Traveling abroad can be tricky for those in tough financial situations which is why many schools and private companies have grants and scholarships specifically for students who need the funding to travel. A great scholarship to consider is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship which awards up to $5000 to students on the Pell Grant.

10. Write letters to local representatives and groups.

Never pass up an opportunity to be in contact with local groups and people. Type some nice, business-like letters and mail them to local representatives, political party organizations, and other community organizations that might be interested in funding a young adult in a trip abroad. This is a particularly good choice if the trip involves community service or some sort of skill you can bring back to your town

Lead Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

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Mia Renee Cole - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mia Renee is currently the Senior Editor with Fresh U and a student at UNC Chapel Hill, where she is studying Spanish and French. In her free time she enjoys knitting, photography and drinking hot tea while writing on her personal blog. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @miareneecole or her blog at!

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