How to Fund the Trip of a Lifetime: Student Guide to Studying Abroad

This majors jar full of cash? That will pay for books for 1/2 a semester, right?

This majors jar full of cash? That will pay for books for 1/2 a semester, right?

As we all know, college isn’t cheap. Any student attending a university or even a community college may find themselves having to take out loans or apply for scholarships in order to keep their heads above the water. Studying abroad only adds to the list of expenses as you have to consider plane tickets, travel insurance, and other necessities.

Contrary to popular belief, studying abroad isn’t astronomically expensive. Actually, it’s easily comparable to studying at a university in the United States. If you’re stressed about funding your study abroad trip, here are some ways that you can have the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank.


You are still able to receive financial aid if you are spending time abroad. So if you are already receiving loans from your university you can still get those loans to help fund your trip.

However, be careful before taking out any additional loans until you have estimated the amount of money you’ll need while you’re there. There are study abroad advisors at every university that can guide you in the cost of living in the country you will be visiting, and also what your study abroad program does and doesn’t cover so that you can have sufficient funds while you are there.


There are tons of scholarships available to study-abroad students.  You can find links to scholarships through your specific program’s website, or you can look into programs that provide money based on the country you are studying in, your financial need, and if you are receiving the Pell Grant.

Some of these programs are IFSA, the Benjamin A Gillman Scholarship (Pell Grant based), Boren Awards for International Scholarships,, or the Institute on International Education.

Go Fund Me

There are also websites that you can set up in which people can donate to your cause. One of the more popular ones is Go Fund Me, in which you can make a page that allows people to see why you want them to donate, and how much they can donate to help you. Another popular website is

Ask Relatives

Asking relatives or parents may not seem like the best way to earn money, however I have a lot of friends who were funded by their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents. Usually, your family will want what’s best for you. If you are planning a trip to better yourself and your education, most of the time they are more than willing to help you follow your dreams.

Though studying abroad may seem like an impossible feat due to costs, it’s actually a pretty affordable and realistic. There are plenty of ways that you can chip away at the money in order to make it a manageable amount of money for you and your family. It’s all about being creative, doing your research, and most importantly not being afraid to ask those around you.

Taylor Hunter will be updating us with her experience studying abroad in Costa Rica this semester! Read the rest of the articles in the series: