Study Abroad Scholarships
What's Not to Like?
Study abroad scholarships can be helpful to defray the additional costs of this increaasingly popular option. Schools use study abroad programs to market heavily to prospective students. Featuring international travel, making life long friendships, learning the local culture and language first hand - all while taking courses that count for credit back home - what's not to like?
For one, it can be very expensive. Be sure to confirm the detailed costs well before hand as pricing practices varies widely. Colleges have no end to their creative use of extra fees to tack on your semester bill. Internaional study programs just give them more reasons to charge you more.
Colleges also like to make you think they are doing you a favor to make it seamless by making it convenient for you to pay the same tuition and board as if you stayed at the home campus. One school I know even applies a mark-up fee for the privilege of having their students' financial aid packages carry with them.
In reality, with your actual host country costs typically a fraction of your home campus costs, international programs can be a HUGE profit center for the college.
Know what your true goals are. Do you just want to travel and experience another culture? If so, graduate early or on time and give yourself a gift. Take a fraction of the money you would have spent studying abroad and arrange your own international trip after graduation. Take some extra time and enjoy it knowing you saved yourself a bundle. You can join with friends or a more organized travel group that fits your age and interests.
Consider shorter term options over school breaks or summer. You'll have the travel experience at less cost.
Always be sure to check for summer study abroad scholarships through your school as well. Just be sure to also budget the financial impact of losing out on any summer earnings.
International Scholarship Links
If you do decide to go for credit be sure the program you choose can be counted toward your degree goal. Nothing is worst than returning from your international experience only to find you have just lengthened the time and cost it is going to take to complete your degree.
Here are recommended links to explore further options:
Study abroad scholarships
More International Scholarships
Even more study abroad scholarships
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