There are many resources available to help students finance their program. They include but are not limited to, financial aid, including loans, scholarships and grants, and individual fundraising. Students are encouraged to explore any and all options for study abroad funding. See the Scholarships and Grants page to get started.
Check with campus departments, organizations and areas on campus in which you are involved. While CIE details many scholarship and grant opportunities, they are generally specific to students who are studying abroad. There may be additional scholarships either through a department, center or office on campus that you could use to support your study abroad. Below are some ideas to get you started:
- Language departments
- Even if you don’t normally study language on campus, you may likely be learning a little, or at least be exposed to another language while you are abroad.
- Department through which you are earning credit for your courses abroad
- Centers on campus, such as the LGBT Resource Center, the Women’s Resource Center, the Accessibility Resource Center, etc.
- Student organizations
While these resources may not lead to specific opportunities, they may at least be able to point you toward additional resources where you can continue your search.
Fundraising can be another great way to help fund your study abroad experience. Local, regional and national groups, as well as individuals could all be contributors. Here are just a few ideas:
- Heritage groups that have interests in specific countries, language and/or culture
- Civic groups (Rotary, Lions Clubs and more)
- Agencies or foundations
- High school and/or college alumni associations
- Professional and business clubs
- Sororities and fraternities
- Charitable, ethnic, religious or political organizations
- Previous or current employers or parents’ employers
- Local businesses with an international focus
- Family and friends (e.g., in lieu of a birthday gift)
How do you solicit funds from these groups? Talking to them in-person is often the best approach. Prepare what you will say. It’s important to tell them how you intend to use their funds (e.g., for your program fees, airfare, etc.). If you can’t talk to them in-person, send a written request and include a photo of yourself to establish a personal connection. It may also help to offer to do something in return for their financial support. You could offer to share updates while you are abroad, and/or offer something upon your return. Ideas include:
- Writing an article
- Making and/or showing a video
- Sharing a blog or website
- Offering to do a presentation
- Volunteer to work or do some type of service for them
- Ask them what they would be interested in
While they may say no, they can’t say yes if you don’t ask! If you do receive support, be sure to keep records so that you can be sure to thank them. Handwritten thank you cards are a great way to show your appreciation.