When you are thinking about studying abroad, cost is one of the most important factors to consider. After all, study abroad can be expensive! Students will have to pay for tuition, plane tickets, meals, room & board, and other expenses. The good news is that study abroad scholarships and financial aid can help make study abroad affordable!
In fact, in some situations, students can wind up saving money by studying abroad. Keep on reading to learn more about how you can pay for your study abroad experience! We will be profiling some of the top scholarship and financial aid opportunities available to high school and college students.
Jump ahead to…
- How to win study abroad scholarships
- Need-based financial aid for studying abroad
- Resources for students studying abroad
- Frequently asked questions
- Explore these additional categories
How to win study abroad scholarships
As you begin writing your study abroad scholarship applications, be sure to focus on what you hope to accomplish in your time abroad. Speak about past experiences and how they will help equip you to make the most of your experience. And be sure to fit the programs you’re applying for into your general career trajectory.
Remember, study abroad can be a period of exploration and fun, but scholarship providers are not looking to fund a vacation. Be sure to speak of your semester abroad in terms of a learning experience and discuss clear goals you have for your time there. If you are learning the language of the country you’d study in, be sure to put that front-and-center, and discuss how being in that country will help you achieve fluency.
Writing an effective essay
Scholarship essays are their own artform, and there are many tips and tricks to help you write an effective application. We have guides to help you through that process. Let us help you start and end your scholarship essays, tailor your writing to 250 or 500 word limits, and write effectively about yourself. Be sure also to check out our guide to writing scholarship resumes, and responding to common scholarship prompts.
Need-based financial aid for studying abroad
One of the great things about study abroad is that students can qualify for financial aid to study abroad (just like any other academic semester). This means that any need-based financial aid you are receiving can be applied to pay for your study abroad semester. This includes need-based grants specifically from your college, as well as Pell Grants.
This means that students will need to submit their FAFSA each year (as well as any other financial aid forms that your institution requires).
Students who are receiving merit-based scholarships will also be able to apply their awards to a study abroad experience. In fact, some merit and full ride scholarships will offer students a specific stipend for study abroad.
Resources for students studying abroad
This handbook walks you through each step of the study abroad process, from choosing a location, to preparing for your program, to making the most of it once you’re there. If ever in doubt, this handbook probably has an answer for you!
CIEE is a popular study abroad program provider. You can check their website for a list of available programs — even if you don’t end up going with them, it’s a good way to get a general survey of what study abroad programs look like.
Unfortunately, study abroad isn’t all fun and games! There is a fair amount of paperwork you’ll have to complete, and one of the first steps, and the one you should be the most careful about, is the visa. You’ll need to get a student visa for wherever you are going. Start this process early, so if there are any complications, it won’t foil your plans to study abroad.
It’s time to pull your passport out of that dusty drawer and check to make sure it’s all in order. Make sure that it does not expire within six months of the date of the end of your program. Some countries make this a requirement for entry. Passport services often take a long time, so be sure to start this early and keep on top of the process.
Frequently asked questions
Is my tuition the same if I study abroad?
How can I get a full scholarship to study abroad?
Can I still use a Pell Grant if I am studying abroad?
Explore these other scholarship categories
- Top scholarships for college freshmen
- Top scholarships for college sophomores
- Easy scholarships to apply for
- Top scholarships for college juniors
- Top scholarships for college students
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