Expand Your Horizons by Studying Abroad

Study Abroad


Foreign travel is an amazing way to open your mind and learn new ways of thinking. Traveling to a different country to study is even more enlightening. It is easy to think that foreign travel is something for other, wealthier, students, but that isn’t true. There are a variety of ways to pay for international studies, and it is within the reach of nearly any college student who would like to go and focus on studies. It is important to note that completing your college education abroad is different from taking a semester abroad. A semester spent abroad is a program offered by many colleges. The college has a relationship with the foreign school, and the process for application and the expenses will be streamlined. If you are interested in completing your entire college career at a foreign school, that is a different process and you will have to complete much of the research on your own.

Use Student Loans

If the study abroad program you are eyeing is sanctioned by your school, it probably qualifies for financial aid. If you have already completed the FAFSA, the process should be relatively straightforward. Go into the financial aid office and discuss your options with a counselor. For individuals who have yet to complete their FAFSA, that will be the first step to determining if there is financial aid available to help fund your trip. Once this is completed, the financial aid office at your college can help determine where to best find funding. You can also use private student loans to pay for travel study programs. If you haven’t yet applied for private student loans you may be hesitant to do so, but the rates are competitive, and they can allow you to participate in a once in a lifetime study opportunity. Private student loans have favorable interest rates and repayment terms, but if you have decent credit you should have no problem finding competitive options.

Get Creative

Some grants and scholarships are specifically earmarked for studying abroad. These are not necessarily tied to a particular school or trip. Using this type of funding to pay for your trip is a great option because it does not have to be repaid. If you have some funds for your travel program, and you have a source of income, whether from a job or family support, investigate whether the program offers a payment plan. Many of these programs offer plans that allow you to make payments. If you are good at planning and make plans in advance for your travel semester, payment plans make the process easier to afford.

Allocate Funds

If international studies are important to you, start saving early. One of the benefits that wealthier students have is their ability to make spontaneous decisions about how they spend their money. Just because you cannot do that does not mean you cannot participate. Instead, set aside funds from summer jobs and holiday gifts in a high-yield savings account just for this purpose. While you may not be able to finance the entire trip this way, you can save enough to give you a little breathing room to enjoy your time away.

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