How I Paid to Study Abroad
Though I was a Spanish major in college, I actually didn’t study abroad until I was in graduate school. I spent a month and a half abroad in London, England interning with a pediatric hospice. I did this through a program at my graduate school where they sponsored students to intern in social work positions in other countries. In addition to the small stipend I received from this program, I found many other ways to pay for my time abroad.
1. School Grants
I applied to a plethora of grants through my university for students studying abroad. There were so many to choose from, and so many of them are very specific to the country or what you will be studying or doing abroad. For example, I found many for those doing research abroad, but those weren’t applicable to my field internship.
2. Working Part-Time
This may seem like an obvious one - work to get money, but I wasn’t actually saving my paychecks well until recently. I work for my university hospital, and they have an option for me to automatically put a set amount of my paycheck into my savings account every pay period. I started putting $50 of my paycheck into my savings each biweekly paycheck, and my savings SOARED. Granted, I spent most of that while I was abroad, but I am replenishing it now!
3. Find the Deals
Depending on where you’re going to be studying abroad, there are definitely ways to cut down on your costs. I took WOW Air, which was very cheap, and I was able to spend a weekend in Iceland on my way back for no extra cost. It wasn’t the most luxurious plane ride of my life, but it was definitely worth the savings.
4. Learn the Secrets
For example, it tends to be cheaper to exchange money at your bank in the U.S. before traveling abroad. I exchanged a couple $100 into GBP before flying over so I could cut back on some of those bank machine fees.