The idea of studying abroad is popular among many students, but the main problem that often comes up is how to pay for it. Fortunately, there are lots of methods of paying for study abroad programs, ensuring that most students who want to travel while they’re in school can do so.
As you start making plans to study abroad, look into these options for paying for the trip.
1. Apply for Scholarships
One of the best ways to pay for college without going into debt is to get a scholarship, and this applies to studying abroad, too. In fact, there are scholarships specifically for students who want to study abroad, making paying for this expense easier.
If you’re not sure where to start looking for study abroad scholarships, you can head to your school’s financial aid office to find out which organizations offer them. You can also inquire with the school you are considering studying abroad at, since many schools overseas offer scholarships to help students pay for attending.
2. Get Grants
Another great way to pay for your semester abroad is to look for grants offered to students hoping to study abroad. Some grants are offered to students who want to attend a specific school, while others are more focused on the country you plan to visit or the language you will be learning while there.
Similar to your search for scholarships, the financial aid office at your school — or the school where you want to study abroad — should have information about available grants.
3. Borrow Money Through Student Loans
If you can’t find a way to get money that you won’t have to pay back, the next best option for paying for your study abroad experience is to borrow money. You can do this by applying for student loans.
You may be eligible for federal loans, private loans, or a mix of both. If you’re not sure where to begin, check with the financial aid office at your current school to find out which loans can be used when you want to study abroad or contact your current loan provider.
4. Get on a Payment Plan
If paying for the study abroad program of your choice with financial aid is not possible, your next step is to find out if the program offers payment plans. This way, you can enjoy the study abroad experience now and pay it off over several months or even years.
Be sure to find out ahead of time how much money is due upfront, how much your payments will be, and whether there will be any interest or other fees added to them. This way, you can budget first to make sure you can afford to study abroad.
5. Work a Job During College
Even if you’re able to use these methods to help pay for your study abroad program, you might still have some expenses that aren’t covered. For instance, if you live in an off-campus apartment during your semester abroad, you’ll need money to pay for living expenses like food and drink. You’ll also likely want to have money for travel and entertainment.
In that case, you can work them off by getting a job in college. You can get a part-time job during the school year (on-campus jobs are a great option for students), or choose to work a seasonal job during your time off, such as during summer break or winter break. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars to put towards your study abroad trip.
And if you find you need some extra cash while you’re abroad, you can also look into part-time work in your host country. Just make sure you pay attention to your visa as many include restrictions on the number of hours students can work abroad per week.
There are plenty of ways to pay for your study abroad semester, especially when you plan ahead. So don’t let your worries about paying for the program hold you back from studying abroad!