Week 5: Mock Scholarship Application Essays

Part 1: Why have you chosen your country of study? What factors led you to select this country?

The reason I decided to choose GEO-Summer: Direct-Enroll at Sant’Anna Institute is because I have always dreamed of being able to travel and explore Italy! I think that going to Italy would be a mind broadening experience that could not only benefit my love of the world, but change my outlook as a person. Italy has an extremely rich culture that I would absolutely love to fall into. I think being exposed to this amazing culture could broaden my mind as an artist. In the future my plans are to work as an artist and musician. Art as a whole has deep roots to Italy, because it is the home to Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatelo, Raphael, and many many more. Even though Im not specifically a realist artist, I still respect it as an art form and think that knowing about it and knowing about the roots of modern art as a whole is a very useful tool. I also think that going to Italy would be a great experience for me as a musician, because so many great and amazing forms of music come from Italy and there are a lot of amazing programs in Italy for music. Generally, culture is just something that is important in Italy and I think it would be amazing to experience all of the things to do there. Also, Im a foodie and I think going to Italy would be an amazing experience in that regard. The food in Italy is supposed to be amazing and I would love to try it! Its also really sad, but Venice Italy will be swallowed by the Ocean in the next 100 years so I want to be able to see it before it leaves. What led me to choose Italy as a study abroad opportunity is the fact that the classes provided there can also be taught in English, which would allow me to cross the language barrier. Essentially, Italy is such an amazing place filled with a huge amount of culture that I would love to experience as an artist.

Part 2:

For my follow up service project after I return from Italy I think it would be interesting to get involved in the school system. Both my parents have been involved in the school system for years so it would be easy to find a way to make presentations for students at the school about my study abroad experience! It may be interesting to go to art classrooms and discuss my experiences seeing all the amazing Italian art as well as looking at the architecture of the buildings in Italy. I could relate everything I saw back into discussions on famous Italian artists and how they shaped art as a whole. After discussing art I could explain all the other different aspects of my trip to Italy that may excite the kids. I could do these presentations whenever the topics of travel, art, culture, or more were brought up in class. My target population for this would be elementary schoolers, because my dad is the principle of an elementary school. 

Week 5: Mock Scholarship Application Essays

Part 1: For many years, I have wanted to travel the globe. When I found out that it was possible to continue my education while also pursuing this desire to see the world, I was ecstatic. One of the countries I have wanted to visit most is Spain. I have always seen it as a beautiful country with much to offer in both history and art. For this reason, I have chosen it as the country I will study abroad in. The program I have chosen is called Nursing in Spain. It takes place in Cordoba, Spain at the University of Cordoba. During this program, students will be able to work side by side with nurses in doctors in a real hospital setting. The main focus is the bedside care of patients. Participating in this program will give me the opportunity to work on my skills as a nurse. It will also give me the upper hand when applying to the nursing program at my university and future jobs in my field. Not only that, but I will be able to help many people with the skills that I pick up during the program. I have not yet faced many challenges in choosing this program. It seemed perfect for me at first glance. However, one challenge I may face in the future is making sure my father is on board with this trip. Ever since I was little, we have always been together. I am his pride and joy, and he is my rock. It will be difficult convincing him to let me leave the country without him by my side. However, I am confident that he will be willing to let go of his baby girl once he hears how wonderful the program is.

 

Part 2: For my service project, I plan to create some sort of mix and mingle event at my university. The event will facilitate conversations between students who desire to learn the Spanish language and native speakers who may not be fluent in English or have trouble learning it. There is a huge language barrier between Spanish-speaking immigrants and American citizens. Many Americans have the attitude that anyone who enters the United States should learn our language, but they do nothing to help them. Not only that, but they take no interest in learning the beautiful, rich language that is Spanish. With this social event, students will be able to broaden their Spanish skills through conversation while also helping the native speakers become more knowledgeable in English. To make this possible, it will be helpful to contact hose in charge of the Spanish section of the foreign language department and possibly some of the administrators in charge of the VCU Globe program.

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part 1:

I really enjoyed the students coming in and presenting their individual study abroad experience last class. After the student’s presentations though, I didn’t change my mind at all about where I wanted to study, or the program that I wanted to study with. They all had traveled to their countries different ways with different companies, which was really nice because it gave you multiple perspectives on a bunch of study abroad organizations. Due to them all having different companies that they went through, and seeing one student talk about her time with ISEP, I still very much would like to travel through ISEP. I really like the countries that I have chosen to (China, Ghana or Botswana, and Norway). I really like ISEP and I think their program would really fit me personally and academically because they have available destinations for nursing students and because I like how their company is ran. One of the past study abroad students that presented went with ISEP and she said she had great time and liked the company, so that makes me feel better and more confident about choosing the company ISEP. While she presented it seemed like her trip was very organized but still had some free time to do her own thing, which is what I am looking for. I do want to have some structure within my organization because it would keep me on track during my time overseas, and it was also release some anxiety so I could have some time to breath. But, I also want to have a good amount of free time during my time overseas because it would allow me to really immerse myself within the culture and actually feel like a resident and an actual student within that country for a semester and just be a tourist.

I appreciated the four students coming in and talking about their experiences with study abroad. I really admired some qualities that they all shared. They all shared the desired to see the world, that was very inspiring. They also both shared a passion of the country they visited through the way they presented their story. You could tell they really love traveling and loved the countries they saw. It was very inspiring to hear them talk, it made me want to get on plane as soon as I can and start traveling!

 

Part 2:

After reading the articles from this week, I intend on fundraising, getting financial aid, and scholarships for my study abroad trips. I will also use VCU as a way to find additional resources to help my dream of studying abroad come true. The Alliance for Global Education Scholarships seems good because they fund trips to China. The Allianz Scholar Trips also seems like a good scholarship to apply for. In addition, I have a fairly good academic standing and I am a full-time student so I could also think of applying for that one too. After researching for the past few weeks about studying abroad programs I have still decided to tap into ISEP and see what they can offer me. They seem like a very organized company but still give their students a lot of flexibility and time for students to be on their own and actually be immersed and fully becoming a part of the country that they are traveling within. I still am interested in traveling to China, a country in Africa, or Norway. All of these places offer classes for nursing majors and have a lot of things to do within each country. In China, I can see a vast landscape of things, including the city Hong Kong and the Great Wall of China, as well as travel to other Asian countries around Asia. For Africa, there are many excursions I could do depending on whichever country I go to, as well as a vast amount of volunteering opportunities I could invest my time in to make a difference in the local community while I am there studying. Lastly, Norway would also offer me a great time, as the colleges there offer nursing classes, and the country is absolutely beautiful and there are many things to do in Norway involving nature-hiking, kayaking, and other sightseeing activities I could do. Similarly to China, I could also easily travel to other European countries while I would be abroad in Norway, so that is also appealing.

To save money studying abroad, I can find cheap airfare if I can to get to where want to go but I don’t want to spend large amount of money to get there. In addition, I can save up my money before I go by fundraising, and saving up money doing that. I can also save money by getting a job and saving up the old fashion way. While I am studying abroad, I can save money by finding a program that is not too expensive (luckily ISEP is nicely priced), and living on-campus to save money and not living off-campus which can rack up money quickly. Lastly, I can find cheap ways to eat while I am abroad. I do not have to go out to eat each night, I can easily ask others or research markets around where I live to buy groceries in order to save money.

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part One:
Unfortunately,  I was not there during last week’s Maximizing Your Study Abroad class so I missed  the returned study abroad students talk about their experience and give their advices to the class. At this very moment I do not think that I have enough information to change my mind about the three programs I chose, which were at the Charles Sturt University (CSU),the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, and Universidad Nacional (National University of Costa Rica). By doing more research I’m sure that I am going to have a lot more understanding and be able to decide then.

Part Two:
After reviewing the funding options section of the GEO website and reading the articles about making study abroad affordable it has made me see the spending aspect of studying abroad in a different way. I am a first generation student who will do everything to take advantage of all of the resources I could find, since I am the one paying for my education. Before reading these articles I would have thought the only way to afford a study abroad program was by applying for scholarships. Now after reading the articles I intended to afford studying abroad by applying for Financial Aid/ loans, scholarships, choosing a short term one that goes well with my marketing major, and a program that is not overpriced due to where it is located. Some exciting resources I would use are volunteering and interning. Since during my high school carrier I was fortunate enough to realize how much volunteering in our community does a lot for us and the people we do it for. I made sure I volunteered in my community on every opportunity I got and was able to graduate from high school with a total of 436 hours. Volunteering is something that I am extremely passionate about and is something I am going to keep doing thought my life. When it comes to interning my goal is to intern as I do my study abroad. It is going to be a challenge, but I know it will help me push myself and my work ethic. By doing additional research I was able to find three scholarships that will hopefully make my study abroad costs somewhat fair. Even though there were not that many scholarships on the VCU page for students studying abroad under the business major, the first scholarship I found was the Randi Buerlein Scholarship, which is for students with a minimum of 2.75 who plan on participating in service learning projects. The second one is the J. E. Whitesell award which asks students who are applying to write an analysis about ” Any literary work.” The third scholarship that I think would work for me is the Dennis-Weathers Award which is for students who are involved in their community and have leadership experience, which I think I qualify for. With all of this useful information I have gained, it has made me look at this process in a totally different way; I now believe that I can convince my mother that cost wise I can be wise with my study abroad experience. I know that I need to do a lot of think about all of my costs and living arrangements way before and ask my university and  the one I plan to do study abroad in any questions I have. My programs are the same as last week, because as of now I believe that those are the best ones for me and as  I do research and learn more about them I will see if I have to look for more. The other resource that I plan to use towards paying my study overseas is the money that I will be saving up from my part and full time jobs that I will be doing in the near future over the  summer and throughout  the semesters to come. When I am abroad, I plan to keep my costs low by making my own food, being resourceful and using coupons if there are any and by getting the things I need ahead of time. Lastly, to make sure that I can afford my study abroad trip I will keep doing more research to find more scholarships, because there so many that other students are not taking advantage of.  

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part One:

After hearing about some of our guest speakers experiences (specifically the ones with full emersion courses) I feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of studying in a different language! Honestly, I would love to be given the chance to go abroad twice: once in Belgium and once in Italy. I think it would give me a good feel for studying abroad with two very different circumstances. I definitely want to go abroad in Italy! Everyone I have spoke to about it says the easiest way to learn the language is to be surrounded by it, so I would love to have the opportunity to learn more and experience the culture. Despite what the girls said, though, I am still very nervous about full emersion. It is nice to know that it is manageable and hearing about it from them made it seem much more realistic, but it still scares me. I don’t think my mind is wavering from my Brussels, Belgium program, but it does make me want to go to Italy after I go abroad once. I think it would be too much of an overload to go abroad for my first time, by myself, with a MASSIVE language barrier. I would love to have the opportunity to go abroad in a more comfortable environment and then put myself even further out of my comfort zone.

Listening to the four speakers really reinforced why I want to travel and study abroad. Hearing about how they had the chance to experienced a brand new culture and lifestyle made me want to go that much more! I honestly can say I am so excited to study abroad and I cannot wait to get accepted into a program and experience it.  I think what struck me the most was how much each and every speaker loved it. I constantly have this dream like idea in my head of what this experience will be like, and I have to say after hearing our guest speakers talk about their experiences, I think my grand, built-up idea will be a pretty close comparison to the real thing. All I can really say is that I am so excited and so ready to study abroad!

Part Two:

My goal with studying abroad is it for it to be the same price (or less) of a semester here! That is why I am focusing on doing an ISEP-exchange program. With my loans and scholarships, my semester out-of-pocket price is about 5,000 dollars. If at all possible, I would like to cover that cost with scholarships, as well as my airfare (about 1200 dollars). Through the readings and links given to find scholarships,  I found six that I was eligible for in a matter of an hour. So, I am feeling pretty confident in the availability of scholarships. I might not win a lot, but there is plenty to apply for.

The ones that I am most interested in are the VCU Airfare Voucher, the Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship, and Phi Kappa Phi. The VCU Airfare Voucher does exactly what it sounds like it does — it covers the cost of any roundtrip airfare for my study abroad. The requirements are financial need, a 2.0 GPA, and a brief application. I know this scholarship is probably a popular one and highly competitive, but it would be so great to actually get it! The Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship is for 1000 dollars and a travel backpack. I think this one will be competitive because it is nationwide, but I also hope that my GPA and short essay on why I want to study abroad will be powerful enough to receive this aid. I believe they give out two or three a semester! And the reason I like the Phi Kappa Phi is because it requires a 3.75 GPA and my goal is to study abroad as a sophomore, so as long as I can maintain that GPA for three semesters, I think I could be a strong candidate!

The other three scholarships I found while researching were the Presidential International Education Abroad Scholarship through VCU. It is for pre-approved programs, so I would need to talk to my advisor to make sure my program is a candidate, but I think it would be a great one to apply to because it is a local VCU scholarship! I also found the WSA Cultural Bridge Scholarship for 500 dollars. 500 might not be a lot, but every little bit counts and all I would need to do is write an essay and/or make a video response on why I want to go abroad.

I noticed that most of these scholarships have very short application to deadline periods so it is so important to find the scholarships and their requirements well in advance so all I need to do during the application period is submit my responses quickly and with ease. I hope that I receive at least a little financial aid when going abroad so that I can use my savings to travel. I know that there are so many more scholarships to apply for and find before I go abroad, so I plan to keep looking whenever I have the chance.

While I am here, I hope to save and be able to contribute to other things like airfare and adventures outside of what is provided with the semester abroad. I have had a part-time job since I was 16 so I know how to save and I hope that in the next year I can save enough. I still plan to do a semester abroad, so it isn’t cheap. I hope that while I am abroad I can find deals  for my basic necessities and pack light. I want to be able live with host family that will provide meals and cheap, local alternatives for different experiences in my new locality. I also will be doing my fair share of research before I reach my destination and hope to find out the best way to accomplish all that I want to accomplish while I’m there. I can’t wait to see what I can do!

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part 1: After hearing the student’s presentations, I would still like to keep the top three choices I had in mind. The Affiliate and Alternative Program still peaks my interest. I love what this program has to offer in terms of financial help and many academic opportunities. I also like the programs included in the Affiliate and Alternative Program. These alternative programs have so many countries and universities offered for different majors. One of the students reinforced my decision to stay with a host family, which is included in the programs I am considering. I had my doubts about living with a host family. I know I would be nervous to stay with people that I don’t know in a foreign country. I am a little shy, so I feel like it would take a while for me to warm up to them, out of fear of them not liking me, or not knowing much English. Although I am nervous to stay with a host family, I think it would be a good experience for me to quickly immerse myself into the culture. By staying with a host family, I can be exposed to the everyday life of the people in the country I will study in. I will also be able to pick up on their native language faster, and be able to enjoy authentic home cooked meals, which I look forward to. The student that studied in Germany and stayed with a host family, seemed to have had a great experience living with them. Seeing his presentation kind of calmed my nerves about staying with a host family. The German family he stayed with knew a good amount of English from his stand point, and seemed to have treated him well. On top of that he got to enjoy a good home cooked German meal, which looked delicious. Hopefully my stay with a host family to the country of my choice will be a great experience as well. What struck me the most from the student’s presentation, was how cheap the flights are in Europe. I find it amazing to know that I could travel throughout Europe for a cheaper cost than in the United States. If I choose to study abroad in a European country, I will definitely take advantage of that opportunity.

Part 2: I intend to afford my study abroad travels with loans, grants, and scholarships. I feel that these will be the best financial options for me to use. The existing resources I will tap into is the Federal Financial Aid and Loans for the Exchange Program and the Affiliate and Alternative Program. I will also look into financial help from, are the VCU Scholarships, which are the Airfare Voucher Award, and the Presidential International Education Award. I am eligible and meet the criteria needed to qualify for both of these scholarships. I would also consider the External Scholarship option. I looked at the different scholarships to which I could apply to, and I only qualify for possibly six different scholarships. These scholarships are the Allianz Scholar Trips, Bridging Scholarships, Explore the World Travel Scholarships, the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship, the Gilman Scholarship, and the UNESCO Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship Scholarship. I will look more into these resources that have been given to me, and see which one will best fit my financial needs. With the information that I have gained from the readings given, it has definitely impacted my decision to choose a program that best fits my financial and personally needs. The article “How to Choose the More Affordable Study Abroad Options”, gave me more insight about hidden costs, airfare, my accommodations. In this article, I learned more about how to choose the most affordable program option, and how to look for underlying costs that many people overlook. This article, and the “7 Tips to Make Study Abroad More Affordable”, stated the financial and personal benefits of staying with a host family. It is much cheaper to stay with a host family than to get an apartment. Living with a host family it will include meals, laundry, and the best immersion experience. Knowing that both of the sites recommended staying with a host family, reinforced my decision to do so. After reading the articles, it has reinforced my decision to still stay with the same three programs I chose last week. Reading these articles just made me open my eyes and be more aware of the programs I have considered, and to know what to look for and what not to overlook. They also taught me what to look for in a program that would allow me to be able to enjoy my study abroad ravels without having to worry about if it will hurt me financially. Other creative ways I would try to fund my study abroad travels would be raising money through car washes, saving from my summer jobs, and also walking dogs in my neighborhood. Most of my neighbors have two to three dogs, I could charge five dollars a dog and possibly make a hundred dollars a day from just doing that alone. I think saving money from my summer job would be the most effective way of getting funding money for studying abroad though. By taking out fifty dollars from each pay check I would have a lot saved up. I think a car wash would be a little more difficult in earning money for my funding, because I only know a handful of people in my home town that would let me wash their cars for money, the money I earn from washing cars would be better than not getting any extra income at all. By combining these three ways to earn income I would have a decent amount saved up to add to the money I get from loans, scholarships, or grants. I could even use the money earned to use for spending money on my study abroad travels. Some ways I will keep my costs down while abroad will be to put a limit on how much money I spend each week while I am there. I plan on staying with a host family as well so housing, meals, and laundry will already be covered. I would also take the local transportation or walk to wherever I need to go to cut down on the cost of transportation. I will also make sure that I will apply to as many scholarships as I can qualify for and to make sure I have a good amount of spending money by saving up, so I can enjoy and have a comfortable study abroad experience.

 

WEEK 4

If anything, hearing from the returned study abroad students only made me want to go abroad even more. They sounded so passionate while talking about their experiences that I wish I could leave tomorrow. Hearing them talk about their host countries makes me wish I could visit them all! Seeing the pictures of their adventures was awesome. I cannot wait to have my own pictures to show off. I still want to go to either Italy or Australia.

I intend to afford studying abroad by applying to as many scholarships as I can. One scholarship that I could apply for would be the David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships. These scholarships support U.S. undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs in world regions critical to US interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East), in exchange for a commitment to seek work in the federal government. However, the countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. The requirements are to be a U.S. citizen who has not yet completed their undergraduate degree. It is an online application that requires two essays and two letters of recommendation. The awards range from two thousand five- hundred dollars to twenty thousand dollars.

Go Overseas offers a bi-annual scholarship to students who are planning on studying or interning abroad. Applicants must submit a photo essay and quick survey to enter. The award of $500, to go to any part of your study or intern abroad trip, is given to the most creative entrant. The level is undergraduate and graduate students. The award is five hundred dollars and the requirements for entry is to be enrolled full-time at an institution based in the U.S. I can apply through an online application.

The Glimpse Foundation and The National Geographic Society seek talented writers, photographers, and filmmakers to record their experiences studying abroad. I thought this program was pretty cool. I’m going to take a lot of pictures anyways, so why not get reimbursed for this? The award is six- hundred dollars. The requirement is to be on the undergraduate level.

Another scholarship is the Tortuga Backpack Study Abroad scholarship. Part of Tortuga Backpack’s mission “is to help people take amazing trips” — which is why they dedicate part of their proceeds towards a study abroad scholarship for full-time students who have been accepted to study abroad trips. It’s only open to U.S. citizens. To apply I would just complete an Online application and 500-word essay. The level is undergraduate, and the award is one thousand dollars and a Tortuga Backpack. The requirements for this scholarship, I must be a full time student in good academic standing, and have been accepted into a study abroad program. I have to complete an online application. There is a five-hundred-word essay.

There are a lot of scholarships that are based on what program you are studying through. I saw many scholarships that the only requirements were to be studying through their program. As I have not fully decided on where I am going yet (Italy and Australia are the top picks), my eligibility for these scholarships will be based on what program I attend.

I am also very interested in volunteering abroad or interning abroad. On some websites it said this could be up to two-thirds cheaper than studying abroad. It also adds to your resume and gives a much deeper immersion into the culture by actually working with the people of that country.

On a website I read an article that said to plan to bring at least a thousand dollars on your trip and if your plan to live large (which I do) then to double it to avoid ATM fees or overdraft charges. Doubling it would also help a little with the stress of living abroad. My plan to is to save this two-thousand. I have a job and have already started a savings account. While I am abroad I intend to live it to the fullest! It is a once in a lifetime experience and I plan on treating it as such.

I looked up a round-trip flight to Australia; the cost varied in the one thousands and the two thousands. A lot of websites suggested to really dig deep for cheaper airline tickets and buy them weeks or months in advance. All I’m going to be asking for this Christmas and my birthday in the next few years is money. Or, maybe someone would like to sponsor an airline ticket! Baggage will also be a considerable amount (as I am a girl, lord knows I will be bringing the entire house with me). All I’m going to be doing until I study abroad is working and saving! But, in the end, I know it will be worth the effort. From in person to any website I find, not one person says they regret studying abroad.

The biggest thing with acquiring funding to study abroad is planning ahead and applying to everything early, according to nearly all of the websites I looked at. Some locations are also considerably cheaper than other countries; developing countries are the cheapest locations to consider.

Some things to do to cut costs while abroad are simple money-saving tricks. I will of course be on a budget. I will most likely buy food at a market and cook at home most of the time, occasionally eating out. Most of my money will be spent on taking trips and exploring the country I am in. I want to see as much as possible while I’m there. I will also invest in an International Student Identity Card, that will get me student discounts while I am abroad.

One website offered a really good idea that I thought would be super cool. Instead of buying cheaply made but expensive to buy souvenirs, they suggested to collect instead. They suggested things like tour pamphlets, restaurant menus, postcards, museum tickets, coasters (especially from places like breweries), and bottle labels. These items are low cost and also don’t take up or add weight to your luggage on the way home. They then suggested making a scrapbook from these items once you returned home.

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part 1: When the upperclassmen came to talk about their study abroad experiences I was very intrigued with the vast amount of opportunities they appeared to have throughout their time studying abroad. I was happy to learn that there were many many more options of places to study abroad than those that appeared on the website. The VCU website made it seem like there was only around 8 destinations to choose from for each study abroad program that was offered, which to me didn’t seem like too many. I was happy to hear the students state that there were many more destinations that could be found around the world through alternative study abroad options. One of the students even did study abroad through a college other than VCU, because she wanted to travel abroad with a specific professor that she liked. The students made the facilities that you can stay in abroad sound very very nice and easy to get used to. One of the students, who spent a semester in Germany, became good friends with his host family, who took him to family activities with them, which sounds really fun! I liked how he was not only exposed to German culture, but he also was exposed to what the family did on a day to day basis. The girl who studied abroad in Scotland really emphasized the independence that study abroad allows you to have, which really attracted me. She talked about how one day, her and a friend drove across all of Scotland, which sounds like a truly amazing journey! Even though some of the countries that the students visited are much larger than Scotland, the students who visited those countries were able to visit much more than just their host town. Some of the students talked about traveling all over Europe to many different countries that were close to their host country. I think this is an incredibly interesting idea and I love the fact that even though you are staying in one place, you have many opportunities to look at alternative cultures that are close by. The girl who visited Spain talked about how she was rooming with people from all over the world, which is another thing that sounds beneficial to me. Not only can rooming with people from all of the world be beneficial towards making connections, but it can also be useful with developing foreign languages. Despite the fact that English is my first language and I dont know if I will truly be able to master any others in my lifetime, the though of that being a possibility is a truly amazing one. Ive essentially come to the conclusion that my language will be a barrier towards people, pretty much no matter where I go, unless I go to England or somewhere in the UK. Im still looking to only take classes in English, because I think that would be the most useful to me, but I no longer really have a problem with going somewhere that does not speak mostly English.

Part 2: After looking at the various options available for cutting costs on study abroad I realize now that being able to afford study abroad shouldn’t be too hard of a task. I saw that any financial aid that you may be receiving can be transfered to your study abroad costs. Even though I dont have any financial aid right now on my student tuition, I can definitely look into scholarships that can help cut that cost down. There are a million different scholarships that can be found online to help cut costs with study abroad. I have a very vivid memory of an upperclassman telling me that they got a scholarship to a school based on solely being Irish, which I thought was incredible! There are definitely ways to find free money for school online, you just have to search for them. When determining a location to study abroad it may also be useful to look for places that are relatively cheap in comparison to places that are more expensive. The further you travel, the more expensive the trip will probably be, because of flight costs, but again these costs can be totally undermined by scholarships. There are many programs around the world that are actually almost free to stay at, because they are volunteering projects! Staying at places that are using you for volunteer work can be a good way to undermine costs. The three scholarship options that I found that I thought looked interesting were The William Jefferson Clinton scholarship, the Bridging foundation scholarship, and the ItaliaRail scholarship program. The William Jefferson Clinton scholarship is in Dubai and works to help make people from the US into global citizens. I think this is an incredibly important thing for people in the US. I want to be able to help the world in any way that I can and I think that this program could teach me to do that. In order to apply, you must be a undergraduate student from the US and be participating in a full amount of credits. To apply you must get a personal recommendation, write a 500 word personal statement, and turn in a resume that states your qualifications. The next program I looked into was the Bridging Foundation scholarship, which gives full scholarships for students who are interested in studying in Japan for the year. The applications seem to be due very far in advance to the actual trip so I wasn’t able to find too much information about the application process. The final scholarship that I looked at was the Italia Rail Scholarship program. The Italia Rail scholarship program awards two scholarships of 1000 dollars to students who are interested in studying abroad in Italy. The application for this must be submitted between August 15th and November 1st. To apply you must submit an essay, resume, financial aid documents, and college transcripts. Essentially, in order to cut costs of study abroad, its important to look at scholarships as well as cheaper places to travel and ways of cutting down luxury costs.

Week 4:Funding my Study Abroad

a. One of the study abroad returnees was a Pre-Health Exercise Science major when she wanted to study broad but at the time, nothing was offered for pre health students to take classes that were credited in another country. After hearing from the returnee students, I still want to study abroad for a summer. One of the students studied abroad in Ireland and was talking about how the weather is mostly overcast. I really love overcast and colder weather. She talked a lot about how grass the green was and how beautiful the cliffs were. I have been to places in Western Europe and they are mostly cities and very hot. I really want to go somewhere I haven’t been before, climate I haven’t experienced, and views I have never seen in person before. I’m thinking about changing my area of study to somewhere in Northern Europe, like Ireland. I love the European atmosphere and how close everything is in relation to each other. I would love to take the day trips to different cities through Europe. I would change my study abroad location because New Zealand is so far away and I couldn’t take day trips to different cities. I would want to experience as much as I can through a large area. One of the student returnees went to Spain and I was considering Spain but I don’t know if I can handle the heat in the summer. One student returnee went to Italy. I have been to Italy during the summer and the heat was so intense you would feel like you’re going to pass out. I really enjoyed everything else, just the heat I cannot go through again. One returnee student went to Germany for a whole year. I don’t think I could study abroad for a whole year, but I would consider going to Germany for a summer. I again, really enjoy the history they have to offer in Germany and the weather would be what I’m looking for. I thought it was really interesting how the students picked up a lot of the language really quickly during their time in their choice country. I never really thought about how quickly you could pick up on a language just be surrounded by it for weeks at a time and locals speaking it. However, the girl that went to Ireland said she did not pick up on any Gaelic. She said it is an incredibly hard language to speak and learn by just listening since there is so many ways you can speak it. The student who went to Germany went to a couple concentration camps and showed us images from his time at each. I think it would be really interesting to go to Germany just to see that history, even though a lot of it is very sad, but to pay tribute to those who spent portions of their life or lost their life during that time in history. Anne Frank is such a role model of strength and to witness that would be a once in a lifetime thing to experience. Overall the students made me really think where I really want to study. They also made me think about learning few of the main phrases in the language of the country wherever I decide to go. The locals of wherever country you decide to go really appreciate you trying tot communicate in their home language and can help you learn more as you go along. The students said this is a great way to learn and get better at the language but also form relationships with the locals there.

b. When looking through how to fund your study abroad program I really liked the article titled “How to choose the more affordable study abroad options”. They talked about how you can participate in an internship in the country you choose with the career path you are studying. This would cut down on costs and you can get credits that are convertible at your university. Internships also set you apart from other students that are in your career looking for a job when you come back from studying abroad. These internships also immerse you more into the language of the country and show you the working field on that country as well. Another way I didn’t think about how you can cut the cost of a trip is through airfare. When you look at where you want to study abroad, look for a place that is somewhere near you. If you live in the US, choose a place like Mexico or the Caribbean. If you live in the United States and want to travel to somewhere in Asia you would be spending a lot of money on your airfare. Even though traveling across the world would be an incredible experience, it’s hard to spend most of your money on airfare to get there. Another idea the article gives you is it is cheaper to stay in a university that has dorms or pre-arranged housing. It would be a big expense to have your own apartment in a big city and having to pay to make your own food. It would be cheaper to live on campus if possible and have a meal plan through the university so you wouldn’t have to grocery shop and make all your meals n your own. Grocery shopping doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you start to spend more and more expenses add up and it would be really bad if you ran out of money oversees and had no way of getting food. Another idea the article gives us is to look for the hidden costs. A lot of programs show the main thing you have to pay for big really dig deep and figure out what else you have to potentially pay for like certain meals throughout the day, housing and everything that is a necessity. I also would apply to three scholarship programs such as Presidential International Education Award, VCU Departmental Scholarships, and the Airfare Voucher Award. I am going to take all of these points in this article into consideration for my study abroad program.

 

 

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad by Jennifer Alcorn

Part 1:

Last class I loved hearing from all four students that studied abroad in different countries. Hearing their stories and adventures while they studied abroad made me so jealous. I can not wait to study and go on different adventures in another country. Especially hearing about the girl going hiking in the alps in Italy made me even more interested in the Switzerland program with ISEP. Everyone of the students traveled with a program to Europe. Their stories in Europe sounded so fun that it made me interested in doing a program in Europe.  In Europe the plane tickets are cheaper there so not only did they go to their host country but they got to see more than that. They got to go to other countries around Europe which sounds so much fun. Not only did the  traveling look awesome but the food sounds so good. If I get to study abroad I am so excited to try different cultures food. Especially trying locally owned restaurants owned by natives. Also if you get a host family then they will cook homemade meals. Imagining how amazing the food will be just makes me super hungry. From their presentations I really enjoyed how happy they looked speaking about their journey while studying abroad. They really seemed passionate about traveling and enjoyed every bit of it. During the guys presentation he seemed so passionate about his trip that he didn’t even realize how much time passed by. One of the presenters stated that no one comes back from studying abroad and regretting it. I couldn’t imagine how someone would not enjoy studying abroad because it looks so fun. These presenters helped ease my fear of language differences while studying abroad. I honestly did not know that Ireland’s main language is English. After finding out that from one of the students it made me interested into looking into a program in Ireland. Also when she talked about how green the country was it instantly made me want to go there. I looked into programs on VCU’s website and found a VCU faculty led program in Duplin and Galway, Ireland. This program is only 2 weeks but it would still be a good experience for a first time studying abroad. First I would not be going alone so it would make me feel more comfortable being able to go with VCU faculty. The program is also not too expensive since it is only two weeks instead of a semester or a whole year. This program is also open to students with any major not just a certain major. The program is also over summer so it would not interfere with the school year. I am very pleased to find this program because it seems like one that I would really enjoy. I hope that their will be more students to come to the classroom to share with us about their adventures studying abroad. Hearing only 4 peoples stories was not enough I would love to hear about many more.

Part 2:

From these articles came with a lot of helpful tips to keep in mind while searching around for a studying abroad program. The main reason why students ignore the fact that they can study abroad is the cost. Why should you let money keep you away from seeing the world? Especially with learning the information from these articles, there really is no excuse to ignore the fact that studying abroad is a great way to spend your time at college. After reading these articles I have made up a set plan for myself. First I need to save my own money from working and try to save up as much as I can. I could use my own money for the airfare, food, put towards tuition, and use for extra money. Second I plan to apply for scholarships and as much as I can. The first scholarship that I could apply for is one with Scholar Trips, in this scholarship anyone over 14 and an U.S citizen is eligible to apply for to go towards their study abroad program. In this scholarship it has a $2,500 prize if you take a video or write a 500 word essay on “What inspires you to study abroad?”. The second scholarship is with IFSA-Butler called the IFSA-Butler general scholarships. There was one specific scholarship for students traveling to Ireland with the Trinity College in Dublin. This scholarship will give up to €1500 to any North American student who applies to the college in Dublin and plans to study abroad in Dublin. The third scholarship I plan to apply for is the API Regional Scholarship. This scholarship awards to many students that need help paying for study abroad. The most one student may earn is $1,000 but that is a good amount to put towards your study abroad. In this scholarship you must be required to have at least a 3.0. Even from looking at just these 3 scholarships I found tons more, it was never ending. There is so many scholarships out there for anyone that applies for them. I do not see how anyone could even use the excuse money is keeping me away from studying abroad because there is so many scholarships out there just on the internet. After applying for these scholarships I hope to earn some prizes from them but if not I hope to sign up for FASFA for a studying abroad program. The only doubt about FASFA is it would not be applied to Summer programs. If I want to go on a Summer program then I would have to pay for it myself instead of getting help. One program that really interested me was one with VCU to go to Ireland for about 2 weeks. If I plan to do that program then I would have to apply for scholarships to help me pay for it. But maybe instead of going to Ireland with VCU, I could apply to Trinity Dublin college and study abroad at a different University. In one of the articles it stated that enrolling in another university while abroad it could help me save money. Especially if I could get the scholarship then it would cost less to go to Dublin University then Virginia Commonwealth University.