Planning my trip abroad has not only been very exciting but also a learning experience. In the beginning an obstacle I had to overcome was figuring out how I was going to financially support my desire to intern abroad. How am I going to save the money to live in Europe for two months? Searching for an answer to this question I have found an abundance of opportunities available to help me fund my trip. Some of the options that exist to help financially secure your internship abroad include starting a fundraiser/ campaign, reaching out to family, and applying for available scholarships or loans.
There are many websites that will allow you to start a fundraiser like, FundMyTravel, GoFundMe, or Indiegogo. Starting a campaign by crowdfunding gives you a platform to reach out to as many people as you would like. These websites allow you to tell your story and share it on the internet/ social media. You can really get unique with the ways that you are reaching out. Making personalized videos, taking clever pictures, or even writing about your story.
Reaching out to family is another way to help fund your trip abroad. You can make personalized letters and mail them out to aunts/ uncles/ grandparents telling them about the trip you’re taking and what you plan on accomplishing when you’re there. While you’re reaching out to family for support you can also ask friends, neighbors, professors, past teachers. Letting them know the plans you have to go abroad and see if they can help you get there.
Applying for scholarships is something that I have really focused on since deciding to go abroad for a summer. There are some websites like fastweb.com, scholarships.com, and studyabroadfunding.org. These websites show hundreds of possible scholarships that you can apply for, your job is to narrow down these scholarships and figure out which ones you want to apply for. And a lot of scholarships are more than just essays. You can make videos, post on social media, build a fort, complete an action on the do something campaign. Scholarships are incredible resources designed to help you help yourself.
A few tips I've picked up on when applying for these scholarships are
- Make sure you are eligible for the scholarship you're applying for. Nothing is worse than getting halfway through a scholarship essay and realizing you're not eligible for any number of reasons (age, GPA, need, major, program, eye color.. really any reason at all.)
- Look at past winners if possible. Get some insight on what it takes for the specific company/organization or charity to recognize you!
- PROOFREAD- Not just grammatically but double check that your submission lines up with what the specific organization is looking for.
- Check your e-mail. I've found that very frequently once you've hit submit on a completed application that's not 100% complete. Most times they will send you a confirmation email for you to click and verify. No biggie but a very important step.
- Don't get discouraged! Know that you're likely not going to be selected for all of the scholarship you apply for. That's okay. But if you don't apply at all then there is no chance you can get selected for any of them. So the biggest thing I’ve learned is to
As I mentioned planning for my trip to Dublin this summer has been a learning experience. In the beginning I was very unsure of how I was going to be able to fund my trip but then I saw all of the amazing opportunities there are in making your dream a reality- you just have to take advantage of them!