7 Strategies to Study Abroad for Free
You: “I want to Study Abroad for Free.” “This is how.” Everyone should be able to study abroad, but things don’t always work out that way. The most common reasons why students decide not to study abroad are academic (“I can’t afford to miss classes back home”), personal (“I can’t afford to spend that much time away from home”), and financial (“I can’t afford it, period”). Among other things, these worries are real problems that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
But there is a counterpoint to each of these “issues” that can help you make the right choice, which is always to study abroad. Are you afraid you’ll miss too many classes? Many study abroad programs are very intensive, so you can actually get more credits in less time. Worried about being away from the country for too long? Many study abroad programs, like those at Boston University or the Institute of Global Engagement New Zealand, are only a few weeks long, so you can fit them into your schedule at home. And finally, are you worried that studying abroad will cost too much?
If you can believe it, in many instances it will end up costing you very little to nothing at all. This is our take on how to study abroad without spending any money.
How can I study abroad for free?
Free programs to study in other countries are difficult to find for students. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t scholarships and other opportunities eagerly waiting to be used by eager students; while it might be unrealistic to expect to study abroad completely free of charge, there are a number of paths that will bring you close to that ideal situation. In light of the current state of affairs in the world, governments, educational institutions, and charitable organizations all over the globe are actively recognizing the value in actively promoting cultural exchange beginning at a young age. The following is a list of some promising steps you can take to study abroad without paying tuition:
1. Search for Study Abroad Programs That Are Within Your Budget
The first step toward studying in a foreign country without spending any money is to select a program that is affordable given the resources you have available. There is a wide range of costs associated with studying abroad programs, from some that are unnecessarily expensive to those that are nearly entirely supported; therefore, it is essential to cut down your possibilities right off the bat. After you have narrowed your options to a study abroad program that meets your requirements in terms of location, academics, time, and cost, you can get down to the business of planning your trip.
2. Make an Application for Scholarships to Continue Your Education Abroad
There are practically thousands of available scholarships that are just waiting to be taken advantage of. No matter where you are from, what your interests are, or how much money you have coming in or going out, there is a good chance that you will be able to find a scholarship that is suited to your circumstances, which will bring you one step closer to being able to study abroad without having to pay for it. Scholarships are awarded to students based on a variety of criteria, including academic standing, achievements in extracurricular activities, and other personal attributes.
The database of study abroad scholarships provided by GoAbroad is an excellent resource that can help you get oriented with the process of searching for the appropriate financial assistance opportunity. You can acquire up to thousands of dollars in tuition that can be allocated toward your financial goal for studying abroad by applying for scholarships that range from those that are fully funded to those that are program-specific to those that are supported by the government. Even before you start the application process, you can narrow your search for study abroad scholarships by selecting a subject and region.
3. Search for Financial Aid Grants to Support Your Education Abroad
Grants to study abroad are also available from a variety of federal, state, and municipal entities, and they are quite similar to scholarships. For example, in the United States, if you receive a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant, both of these grants can frequently be extended to cover the cost of your study abroad program in addition to your normal tuition. In addition to this, there are a range of other grants that are offered by third parties. These grants can add additional cash toward the goal of making your experience studying abroad as affordable as it possibly can be.
The words “scholarship” and “grant” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a technical distinction between the two. The majority of scholarships are awarded based on the recipient’s merit, whereas grants are typically awarded based on the recipient’s financial need. The Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship and the DIS Need-Based Scholarship are just a couple of examples of fantastic possibilities to receive financial assistance that fall into this category. In our Scholarship Directory, you can look for funding opportunities in the form of scholarships as well as grants. There is a lot of competition for fully-funded scholarships for study abroad, and the application process may be rather rigorous, but these scholarships are a solid way to get closer to studying abroad without having to pay for it.
4. Give Some Thought to Study Abroad Loans
Learn the facts about loans for studying abroad here. While it is evident that taking out a loan does not equate to studying abroad at no cost, the financial flexibility that loans can afford to many students in the near future can be a welcome leg up toward making your ambitions of studying abroad for free a reality. To help you get off to a good start and begin moving in the right direction, our comprehensive rundown of Study Abroad Loans will provide you with all the information you require on the various forms of loans available private and state.
5. Commence your Fundraising Efforts for Studying Abroad
To summarize, you have located an inexpensive program, searched for and applied to various scholarships and grants, and, if necessary, obtained a study abroad loan. Now is the time to show how creative you can be Studying in a foreign country can be done for free or nearly free with the assistance of financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. However, once you’ve completed the application procedure, they are sometimes beyond your ability to influence. Why then do we stop there? If you are serious about “studying abroad for free,” you need to put in the effort to convince friends and family members to financially assist you during your time away from home.
Fundraising on your own can help you cover the remaining expenses for your study abroad experience, bringing you one step closer to having it fully funded. To get started on this path, some great ways to get started include holding a fundraiser at school, with family and friends, or through crowdfunding online. One such resource that you can use to get started with fundraising is FundMyTravel, which is owned and operated by GoAbroad.
6. Find a Summer Job
Last but not least, you can work with your own hands. Even if you take advantage of all of these other options, getting a part-time job to help pay for your studies shows potential funders that you are doing everything you can to get the money you need to study abroad. Everyone is busy with school, but it’s never too early to start working and get some real-world experience. And hey, it won’t hurt your resume either.
7. Work AND Study Abroad Without Free
Some countries let university students and visa-holders work while enrolled in classes. This can be an excellent opportunity to enhance not only your academic prowess but also your résumé. A résumé with foreign work experience will pay for itself threefold (#hired). Therefore, your future is bright if you can find a means to work and study overseas for free.
The best response to the question “Is it possible to study abroad for free?” is “Yes, but you must earn it.” No such thing as a free lunch exists. By applying for scholarships and grants, pursuing student loans, fundraising within your network, and earning whatever income you can on the side, you will fund your study abroad experience through your own hard work and commitment.
When you arrive, though, you will have absolutely no regrets. Studying abroad has the potential to broaden your worldview and transform your life irrevocably. Knowing that you were able to travel overseas due to your own diligence and resourcefulness will enhance the impact of your experience abroad.