Funding your travels can feel overwhelming at times. We have put together some financial tips to consider when inquiring about abroad programs.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money. Instead of a birthday or graduation gift, ask friends and family to contribute towards something better: MEANINGFUL TRAVEL. Once the ball is rolling, be sure to update everyone about your progress! For example, PINC has partnered with FundMyTravel, a creative platform to communicate personal messages, keep your audience engaged with your travel plans, and collect funding to help make the experience a possibility. Try it out!
- Payment Plan: Payment plans allow you to make smaller and flexible installments to accommodate your budget and schedule. For example, PINC's payment plan allows you to put down a deposit, and divide the remaining balance into monthly payments. Be sure to ask if your program offers this option, with interest-free payments! This can not only save you some time but also help you prepare for your trip with some extra cash!
- Barter: Are you a film student? Photographer? Writer? Be creative and offer an exchange of skill for a discount! Organizations are always looking to work with new talent and may offer a financial reprieve if there is an equally-beneficial exchange. Make a proposal and see what happens!
- Buddy Up: Convince a friend to join the adventure. Sure, it will be comforting to have a partner-in-crime to explore unknown waters, but most importantly for your wallet, you may be able to land a referral discount. For example, PINC deducts $150 from their program fee for each successful referral and offers additional financial benefits to their Campus Ambassadors. Even if your program does not explicitly advertise such incentives, it never hurts to ask.
- Special Offers: Be in the know! The way you do this is by subscribing to newsletters and requesting to join our private Facebook group. We offer #TravelTipTuesdays, first-launch of special promotions, opportunities to read everyone Q&A's, Facebook Lives with past students and the Founder, and much more!
- Credit Card Bonuses: International travel is expensive, but you can fly essentially for free with the strategic use of credit card rewards and sign-up bonuses. While there is a multitude of options, Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good place to start. After spending $4,000 in the first three months, you will earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. This translates to approximately $625 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or by transferring points to partner airlines (the better option), it will cover your entire round-trip flight to Europe. Be sure to apply for the card months before your big trip and begin reaping the benefits!
- Career Services: Contact your career services department to inquire about available scholarships. Many career centers have financial resources, internships, or opportunities for students on financial aid, especially during the summer or winter breaks. They also post lists of outside fellowships, available to all. When applying, be mindful of the deadlines!
- Study Abroad Offices: Does your school have an office dedicated to international education? Many campuses will have funds available for students wishing to study or intern abroad. Set up a meeting with a study abroad counselor to learn more about scholarships and grants designated for students’ international experiences. There may also be opportunities for foreign language scholars who wish to study in a native-speaking country, so be sure to inquire about those, too!
- Hometown Resources: Research local interest groups who might be interested in sponsoring you! You can start off by sending sponsorship letters, or create a presentation to better explain your goals and needs! If you've lived in the same town your whole life, this is a great idea to keep in mind! Local businesses may be willing to help out, even small organizations, friends, previous teachers, and family members!
- Scholarships:Stressing out about money? Don’t stress there are plenty of scholarships out there that want to GIVE you money. All travel scholarships for college students vary in their application processes, due dates, and ideal candidates so it's up to you to figure out which ones are the best fit for you! Here are some options, but do not worry there are so much more!
This scholarship is offered by the US Department of State and it allows students who have limited financial means to study or intern abroad. It’s open to all US citizens who are undergrad students and who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at accredited US two-year or four-year colleges.
2. Room To Travel Scholarship:
Submit a 600-800 word essay on what inspires you to travel and what you will gain from the study abroad experience. All applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and can be incoming freshmen or current undergrad students at two-year and four-year accredited US colleges.
3. ScholarTrips International Travel Scholarship:
Applicants must create a 60-90 second video or write a 500-word essay about what inspires them to travel abroad. They must also be legal US residents attending accredited US universities. Entries will be judged on passion, impact, and creativity.
We have provided you with questions to consider. Now, what questions do you have for me having checked out the booklet below? Have any questions?
We hope these tips bring you closer to your travel plans.