How to Fund a Study Abroad Trip

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Do you find yourself constantly dreaming of exploring faraway lands? Have you been browsing your school's study abroad catalog, dreaming of going away, but fearing the price? Don't let the big price of studying abroad turn you away. There are plenty of ways to turn your wanderlust dreams into a reality. I'll share some of the tips I used to raise money for my own trip abroad as well other ways you can use to help pay for your trip.


Start Saving NOW

This is a no brainer for anyone working up towards a big financial goal. Make sure you set aside a percentage of your paycheck or any other money you receive towards saving for your trip. This money will build over time and can put a dent into expenses. If you currently don't have a paying job, this is the perfect time to look for one.

Look for Scholarships

There are national and international organizations are dedicated to help young travel enthusiasts explore the world. Some of these are specific to certain schools or towards certain countries/regions, but finding one that works for you could mean some extra money towards your trip. Also, check with your university to see if there are any scholarships available to students studying abroad. I applied to a study abroad scholarship  at my university and earned $500 towards my trip.

Check for Financial Aid

If the study abroad program you're interested in counts towards school credit, then it could be covered by financial aid. Check with your financial aid adviser and ask if there are any grants or additional aid that can help go towards your school credited trip. Adding my trip as a class helped me get additional funding from financial aid that helped me cover most of my expenses.

Bargain your Talents

One student at my university negotiated a free study abroad trip to China in exchange for documenting and editing the trip for the department sponsoring the trip. The video is currently being used to advertisement. If you have similar video editing skills, hunt down the  such as this, market them to the right offices and they may be able to make a few exceptions for you.

Take up a Side Gig

Doing small tasks such as babysitting, dog walking, and yard work can all help to earn some extra money you can use towards your trip. Using other skills you have can also get you extra money. Offer to sell baked goods, sell your work online or find other things you can do locally or online to earn more cash.

Do a Car Wash

This seems like the most common way to raise money, but it works! Find a local business on a busy street that's willing open to letting you use their location for the event. Get a few friends and family together to help with the event. After that, make a few posters and advertise like crazy! Be sure to offer car washes for donations, which will give you way more money than charging a set fee.


Ask for Help Online

This is a great option if you have a big social media reach. Sites like Indiegogo and Yourcaring help people raise money for all types of projects. This is a really great option for anyone who is willing to continuously promote their fundraising campaign online and has a great social reach. If someone can get money to see their girlfriend during spring break, then you can definitely find someone willing to help fund your trip abroad.

Ask Your Community

Are you involved in church, always volunteering, or helping out around the community? If so, it's time to reap the rewards. Ask your church leader to make a special announcement about your trip and to put you in any bulletin boards. Be sure to let any the members of organizations you are apart of know what you are doing, and they may be able to help guide you towards resources you can use towards the trip or potentially donate themselves.

Make a Lot of Phone Calls

Open up your contacts or grab your mom's black book to get all the numbers of friends and long lost relatives. Explain the situation to them and ask if they would be willing to help with a donation, and be sure to follow up with anyone who agrees to it.

Don't get discouraged.

You may not get all you need in one sitting and it may take a while to get enough money to cover your expenses. Don't let a slow start hold you back. Make sure to follow this list and research other ways to get the money you need for your study abroad trip. 

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