Strapped for cash? You can still go abroad.

As the year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about 2008 as a whole.  With the economy still a fearful unknown for 2009 it has made me all the more concerned about study abroad.  It would be a tragedy if students are deterred from going abroad due to financial constraints despite the wealth of resources out there.  To help out a bit, here’s a quick guide to study abroad financial assistance.

The good news first – if you are on financial aid and you are planning to go abroad for a semester, in many cases you can use your financial aid towards your program.  This varies by program and school so you should definitely consult your study abroad office for more specifics.  The bad news – financial doesn’t extend to summer programs, but often there are other avenues available to cover these expenses.  Many program providers do provide scholarships and aid to students enrolled in their programs (even summer programs) so definitely contact your provider to find out more.

Another great source of scholarship aid can be found domestically.  ISEP, a study abroad provider, has a list of excellent scholarship resources.  One of the groups on their list is the Rotary Club.  Rotary International sponsors the Ambassadorial Scholarship which pays for students to study language and academics abroad.

Parliament and Big BenForeign governments can be very generous when it comes to scholarships and students often forget that they can apply to governments directly.  China, which was covered in the last post, has an extensive scholarship program through their Ministry of Education.  If you are enrolling directly with a Chinese University as a visiting student you are eligible to apply.  Similarly, the British Council’s education arm has an extensive database of scholarships and funds available to study abroad students.  The US government also sponsors the Gilman Scholarship specifically for study abroad students.  International education is important to many governments and it’s vital to check out their resources.

The resources to go abroad are definitely available to students who are trying to finance their trip during this tough economic climate.  This post only covers a few of the many scholarships out there so you should by no means be discouraged.  If you do some early research, plan your application cycle, and apply to scholarships, going abroad can be within reach.

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Gulliver helps students Study Abroad. Our blog covers: current issues in Study Abroad; featured posts by Study Abroad students; and Gulliver updates, news, and behind-the-scenes peaks. Thanks for reading!

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