There are plenty of reasons people look forward to going to college.
It’s the first time many young adults experience their first taste of independence.
You get to take classes in subjects you’re passionate about and try fun activities like clubs or Greek life.
People also dream about opportunities designed specifically for college students, like studying abroad. Not everyone has the funds to travel the world, but studying abroad makes it easy to see your dream destinations without putting a pause on your education. Still, it’s an extra expense on top of tuition, so it’s challenging for some people to afford it.
If that’s the case for you, read about these eight ways to study abroad in 2020. Your dreams of exploring new countries are just around the corner, especially if you take advantage of these easy ways to fund your trips.
1. Study and Volunteer
The world is full of people who need help, so there are plenty of organizations looking for volunteers. Research volunteer programs overseas to find one in a place you want to visit.
They often pay for your housing and food, so all you need to do is sign up for online courses and buy a plane ticket. You’ll continue your planned courses while you complete online assignments and help those in need.
2. Enroll Directly in Classes
The U.S. is known as a country where college fees are some of the most expensive in the world, so why not look into foreign universities?
Make an appointment to talk with a counselor at your preferred school and learn more about enrolling directly in classes there for a semester.
Foreign college classes are offered at a bargain rate, even when you don’t live in their country. Compare prices with the study-abroad trips you have in mind to see which is more budget-friendly.
3. Search Through Programs
Another smart thing to do before you board your plane is compare study-abroad programs at your school. Different countries will cost different amounts of money, so although your dream trip to Paris is out of the question, you might be able to afford a semester in Japan. A few minutes of additional research could change your college experience.
4. Become an Au Pair
Many study abroad programs help Americans see the world, but what if you live abroad and want to see the U.S.? If you can’t afford the trip on your own, read about becoming an au pair so you can find a host family. In exchange for taking care of the family’s kids, you’ll live with them and find yourself immersed in American culture. You’ll end up with plenty of time for online courses and exploring the city you choose.
5. Sign Up for Work-Study
Your university may already be ten steps ahead of you to meet your needs. Talk with someone who works in the study abroad office and ask about work-study opportunities. You may be able to interview for a job so you can work while you’re away and pay your bills.
The bonus of balancing a job and foreign classes is that you don’t have to give up a semester-long job or internship that would have helped your career at home.
6. Look for Scholarships
If you’ve tried applying for scholarships before, you know each one has different requirements and purposes. Merit-based scholarships help tons of students out every year and you can use that money for studying abroad.
As long as you maintain high grades and have an excellent academic record, you could apply for merit-based scholarships and use one or two to make your traveling dreams come true.
7. Try Field Research
You may have a deep love for science, history or another degree where you get to spend your time researching. It’s one thing to read about polar climate studies online, but it’s another to be at a polar ice cap and chart the findings yourself.
Look for field research opportunities with other universities for discounted prices or organizations that allow students research opportunities. You could find discounted rates or a program that covers all your needs and expands your understanding of your degree.
other valuable tips:
8. Get Federal Funding
You don’t have to get money from your school to help pay for studying abroad. The federal government can step in and offer study and research opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Check with the State Department for more information on your specific interests, since you might find something that works better with your schedule, budget or dreams.
Keep Your Mind Open
Maybe when you started college, you fell in love with a specific study-abroad program. Now, you’re not sure if you can afford it or if it’s right for you. While you weigh your options, keep your mind open to new opportunities. You could apply for scholarships, contact foreign universities or sign up as an au pair to travel and learn at the same time. See which options you like and then make a pros and cons list to decide which program you should try first.
Image Credit: study abroad 2020 by Unsplash
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