How to Afford Study Abroad
Before studying abroad with CEA CAPA, I never traveled outside of the U.S. In fact, I never even went on a vacation. The idea of spending money to go somewhere fun instead of staying home to work felt foreign to me. However, seeing my friends come back as study abroad alumni and describe it as one of the best times of their lives made me curious. I confided to a friend who just studied abroad in South Africa that I wanted to study abroad but didn’t think I could afford it as a student with financial need. Then she filled me in on these helpful study abroad scholarships and other funding options you can’t miss!
Take a Chance on the Gilman Scholarship
The Gilman Scholarship is available to students who receive a pell grant. The application is rather long, requiring many short essays, but applicants have a one in four chance of receiving $1,000-$5,000 to fund a study abroad experience, which is pretty good odds for a nationally competitive scholarship. I applied one year before when I wanted to go abroad, and told myself that if I win it, I will go.
On a night when I was working a late shift checking my emails, I received a message from the Gilman Scholarship. It said, please log into your online portal to check the status of your application. The wording scared me; it did not feel positive. I braced myself and logged in to see the results…
“Congratulations, your application has been accepted!”
I couldn’t contain my excitement and started jumping up and down at work. I was going to study abroad!
Know Your Funding Resources
Of course, $1,000-$5,000 isn’t enough to cover the full cost of a study abroad program, especially for a whole semester like I did. However, receiving the Gilman Scholarship gave me the confidence that I could win more funding. Various offices at my university, the University of Arkansas, offer study abroad scholarships (plus CEA CAPA’s abroad funding options) and I applied for every single one. There were opportunities through the university at large, the on-campus study abroad office, through my major, through the School of Art, and through the Honors College just to name a few. I was blessed to receive funding through the Honors College, enough to cover my remaining costs and have some left over.
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