WEEK 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part 1

One of the programs I selected was from ISEP and it was the Universite de Lausanne in Luasanne, Switzerland. One of my main reasons for choosing this school is because my friend goes there and I would love to reconnect with her. Also, this school happens to be a school of theology. I think the study of theology is super cool, and something I would love to look into. The school is also big in Health Sciences and I’m pre-occupational therapy, so I would study something that would keep me on track. Another program I chose was from GEO and it was the “Contemporary Social Challenges in Rural Communities in South Africa”. I’ve always wanted to go to South Africa, or Africa in general. I think the program would be good because it’s faculty led and they do Sociology classes, which I need for my Psych major. Finally, the program that I love the most is a summer GEO Direct-Enroll program at the American College of Greece. The reason I love this program the most is because it has multiple programs and classes I can take that’s specifically for my major. I’m also a big fan of this whole short-term studying abroad. I also would love to go to Greece so it’s a win-win.

Part 2

After reading those articles, I can definitely say I will make sure I look at all the underlying costs if I do study abroad. I’ll apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship, Fulbright awards, Boren Awards, and many other VCU scholarships and grants. My programs I chose last week are completely different. I feel like if I compared myself and the knowledge I have for study abroad from now to last week, I’d say I know much more and understand the planning of it more. To keep my cost down, I probably will do a shorter term and I won’t live with a host family. I’ll also try and find the cheapest way to travel there and back.

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

I am interested in the CIS abroad Intern in Costa Rica, CIS abroad Semester in Ghana, API in Madrid, Spain: Antonio de Nebrija University Spanish Language, Business and Humanities.  The program in Costa Rica is for an internship which would be a great experience for me and I would like to see Costa Rica again.  However, I am leaning heavily towards the program provided in Spain because I like how their classes are taught in English and Spanish and I have the option of living with a host family or in a dorm.  I tried to select different places because I like travelling and experiencing diverse cultures.  I used the website we went over in class and used the map and just looked around at what was offered at these various locations to see what caught my eye.  The programs offered in Spain and Ghana both are for business students.  I don’t really have one thing that’s making me like the Spain one other than the fact that I would really just like to Spain out of the other programs I had to choose from.

I plan on paying for the trip by working and saving ahead of time and budgeting for it.  I will apply to some scholarships as well just so it opens up my opportunities and I may not have to pay as much out of pocket.  I am also going to see what options I have and talk to the financial office.  Budgeting and planning ahead will help me save the most as well as looking at what options I have and learning about the opportunities around me.  Three scholarships that I may apply for are the following: Spanish Studies Abroad Scholarship Program, International Studies Abroad (ISA), American Institute for Foreign Study.

Week Four :Funding My Study Aboard

Part 1:

After looking at all the programs that are available for study aboard, I narrowed my choices to three. The first one is ISEP direct program at The University of Bristol. I picked the program at the University of Bristol because they have a really good program for Biology and I also know some friends who are currently going there, so I feel like I will fit in. Another two programs I picked are VCU partnership Exchange in Curtin University and GEO Direct-Enroll Programs. I picked this last two because Curtin University has a really good biology course that is a BIO 300 for VCU which is good for me. Because it means that I can don’t really stress about whether I can get my diploma on time. I Also picked GEO Direct-Enroll Program just in case I don’t have time in my schedule to do a semester-long study aboard program. I at least have a four-week program to fall back on. The criteria’s I used to pick these programs where they had a very good biology program, I could take the course in English and whether I like the location. Even though I was hoping for one of my chooses to be based in France I could not find a good biology program (maybe I need to look more in depth). I think I will decide on which program I will choose base on how good the biology major is and I think it comes down to the location. Also, if things go the way I want, I will do a semester-long study aboard instead of a GEO direct-enroll program.

Part 2:

I know that most of my cost of study aboard will be paid by my parents through my college fund. I also plan on working during the summers in order to pay for some of the expenses. I do not think I will be taking any scholarships because most of the scholarships I looked at I don’t fit the criteria. I will keep my cost low while I am overseas by cooking at home instead of eating out all the time. Also, I will probably not be doing a lot of shopping such as not buying unnecessary things. My three top programs are mostly the same as last week. I mostly just narrowed down the certain program I wanted to do.

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part 1: The three study abroad programs that I am most interested in are ISEP, Partnership Exchange, and Affiliate and Alternative Programs. I am most interested in the Partnership Exchange, because it seems to be the most affordable. ISEP intrigues me, because I like the idea of having a full emersion experience. I like the idea of the Affiliate and Alternative Programs, because they seem give me the most freedom in choosing exactly what I do when I am studying abroad and they have more study abroad destinations to choose from. The main criteria I used to select these programs is compatibility with my major (pre-nursing). I was interested in the Departmental Exchange, but there was no exchange available for the nursing department. The ISEP and Affiliate and Alternative have more destinations to choose from, but he Partnership Exchange seems to be the most cost effective. I like all of the programs, but the deciding factor between them will most likely be cost.

Part 2: I am planning to apply to scholarships to pay for studying abroad. I plan to apply to the Benjamin Gilmore, CLS, and IFSA scholarships.I only have a little financial aid from VCU that could transfer to my study abroad costs. Even with the scholarships, I want to chose the least expensive program.  My top three programs this week are different than my top three from last week, because I have been able to look deeper into the options and learn more about them. To help pay for my study abroad, I will try to get an internship or a part time job abroad. To keep costs low, I will try to find a cheap apartment and have a lot of room mates to offset some of the cost of living. I will check with my bank to make sure that I can avoid things like international fees.

Week 3: My Criteria

For my study abroad experience, I want a very independent program. I really want to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn my own way around a new country. I am open to the idea of a program with other American students, but I don’t want to be lead around by a tour guide or professor. I want to study abroad for either a semester or a summer. I feel like the experience would be wasted if I only went for a few weeks over a school break. I really don’t want to live with a host family, so a program where I could live in the campus dorms or an apartment near campus would be ideal. I am interested in maybe applying for an internship abroad, but it is not one of the biggest things I am looking for. Right now, I am thinking about studying a language abroad or taking classes that would apply to my major. I am not too concerned about cost at this point in my study abroad research. I hope to apply for scholarships that will help to offset a lot of the additional cost of studying abroad. I want to study in a big city that I can explore on the weekends. I hope to find a program in Dubai that I can attend and learn Arabic. I have no dietary restrictions and I am very excited to try new foods while I am abroad!

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

Part 1: Three programs that I would be interested in would be: ISEP, the VCU short term faculty lead program, and the partnership exchange. I like the ISEP program because two of my friends who have study abroad went through ISEP. I know about the faculty lead progam because one professor in Environmental Studies takes kids to Baja, California for spring breaks and some summers (which I’m assuming is through this program?) The partnership program is convienient because tuition and fees are paid to VCU, which could save money. My number one choice would be going through ISEP because they have my number one destination and many classes in my major. Going on a trip lead by a professor in my major would also be a good way to study for me since I’ve never really been out of the state that often. Going to Baja would be a nice introduction to traveling (like how to book a flight, how to pack light, and how to interact with people that I don’t know). The partnership program doesn’t currently have anything I’m that interested in but I really like the fact that I still get to pay VCU’s prices even though I’m across the globe. If I had to pick a program right now, I would choose to study abroad through the ISEP because they have my destination as an option which in returns offers a surplus of classes in my major.

Part 2: I’m going to assume that majority of funding for my study abroad will come from financial aid. This year most of my costs were covered by the amount of financial aid I recieved (lots of grants and merit based scholarships). Since I recieved the pell grant this year, I’m hoping to apply for the Gilman scholarship (I see that the 2018 application is open and I’m thinking about studying abroad fall of next year so I should apply soon?) I can also apply for the airfare voucher award and the presidential international education award. I’m not a strong writer (as of now) so scholarships that dont require lengthly essays are my best friend. My programs that I wrote about last week remain the same even after my research. I also plan on asking around my family for help with airfare/general spending money plus working during my summer break. Keeping costs down might be hard, for example if my place doesnt have a kitchen and I cant cook and have to go out for meals, but I’m already very frugal so that’ll help with excessive spending overseas.

WEEK 3: My Criteria

I would like a more structured study abroad experience. I get very uncomfortable with too much independence, no schedule, and no familiar faces. I don’t think I’d have fun if it was an experience where my activities were solely up to me. Honestly, I’d probably just stay in  my room where I felt comfortable. I also would prefer more of a short-termed study abroad experience because I feel I’d get too home sick to even appreciate my time there. Although, since the short-termed is more expensive, I should consider getting out of my shell and going with long term. If I were to study abroad, I’d like to do an internship as well for the purpose of research opportunities and credibility. Somewhere I’d really want to go is somewhere like Barbados or Morocco. Switzerland also would be somewhere I think I’d enjoy. As for any preferences, I have none.

Week 3: My Criteria

I would like to go on a more structured study abroad program.  Where the teacher is guiding us and I’m included in a group of other students.  I would want to go study abroad only for a short period of time.  I would want to experience going on the trip with other American students who may be from another state but still from the U.S. like me.  An internship or research opportunities would interest me the most.  I would love to know what it is like to have an internship and have that unique experience.   Cost is somewhat a factor in my study abroad search.  It isn’t going to make a definite decision though.  If I really would like to go, I will make it happen somehow and apply for scholarships as much as possible.  I wouldn’t mind taking classes that may not actually match up with my coursework.  I like to learn new things and that may differ from what I’m coming here for.  I don’t really have a particular place in mind.  I love diversity and whether it is a small town or big city, I just want to come back home and have learned some new things or have a change in perspective on life.  I don’t have any specific needs that would need to be addressed before I left such as medical issues or religious requirements.  I would like to learn a language while studying abroad but I would still like it if my classes were in English.  I would like to be able to go out and experience what the community and environment on a whole is like.

Week 3: My Criteria

With study aboard, I want to experience independent but structured study. I would want the independence of visiting and experiencing the city I’m in on my own. But I want to experience the college life and live on campus or near it.  I would most likely do a semester aboard because what is the point of traveling all the way to a different country and just stay only for four weeks. I want to get the whole experience and kind of become a resident of the city I am in not just a tourist. I am in more into the idea of a more immersive experience but I would also like to not feel like I’m on my own.  So, having some American students would be nice just until I get used to the country.  An internship is an important program component to me partially because I am planning on interning at some NGOs before I leave to study aboard. So, having the ability to an internship at something like an NGO at my host country would be a benefit. I am fortunate that cost does not really factor into my choice of a program aboard. It is mostly if I am comfortable in the country I am.  I would like to continue my biology foundation and still be on my pre-med track. That is the most important thing about me studying aboard. The possible destinations I want to study aboard is either England or any western European country such as Holland, France, Denmark. Those countries have a course in biology that will work with my major. I would prefer a larger city because I mostly grew up in cities so that is the most comfortable for me. And mostly I feel like the city life will be more interesting and it will help me embrace the culture.

I have no special need, luckily. I spent five years learning French so I can hold a better good conversation in French and I can read and write pretty well. However, I would like to improve my French so going aboard in a France is a better for me. I want to be pretty independent while aboard. However, I want some guidance for the first few weeks just to get my hang in the city.

Week 3: My Criteria

I just want to start my week 3 blog by saying I’ve spent close to 2 hours looking through the ISEP programs and have decided I want to go to Malta and study at the university. I have 3 reasons behind my choice: they offer many classes in environmental studies (which is my major), tuition is cheaper than VCU’s AND they speak English, and lastly, a friend of mine went there for a whole year and absolutely fell in love with the location, the locals, and the university. I would love to go there for a spring semester and explore Europe after classes end (that’s what my friend did after her classes ended and said it was the “only time in live I felt alive”).

That being said, my criteria for studying abroad is mostly the cost, the whole language barrier, and how many classes do they offer in environmental studies. I would like a semi-structured experience, I like having structure in classes and living arrangements but I’d like to be able to explore and have time to myself too. I would be comfortable with spending a semester abroad. I’d like to be placed with other students that are studying abroad, but not specifically Americans. By doing so, I would be exposed to more culture. I would be intimidated to live with a host family so I’d prefer living in a dorm/apartment like setting. Cost is of course a huge deciding factor to me, but it shouldn’t be too difficult because of all the scholarships available. Of course being able to take classes that give me credit towards my environmental studies degree is important. I thankfully don’t have any specific needs that would affect my travel. In Malta, they speak English and Maltese, which is a mix of French and Latin words/phrases and thankfully I took 4 years of French and a year of Latin so I wouldn’t be completely lost.