Feature photo by oppositeofsuper. Photo above by Nueva Perspectiva.

Are you a student who wants to travel but doesn’t have a lot of money? With a little effort, your school will give you the cash to see the world.

How do so many poor students find the money to travel? By getting their schools to pay for it!

Here’s How

Visit a study abroad and financial aid office.

Most campuses have a study abroad office with extensive information on all study abroad programs that the school offers.

Explore a world of possibility.

Most study abroad offices will refer you to a financial officer who can take you through your options for paying for study abroad, including scholarships available for foreign study.

Many schools offer options where you can pay your current tuition rate to an international institution, even if that institution generally charges a much higher price.

Photo by delayed gratification.

Keep your options open.

There might be more available funding to visit a country that you hadn’t considered.

Prestigious national scholarship programs, such as the Gilman program, will generally offer more funding for study projects in third world countries as opposed to study in European countries (although an interesting thesis topic or academic topic can get you funding anywhere).

Search around!

If your school does not offer a program in the country of your choice, some schools have an option to enroll in study abroad programs sponsored by other schools. Make sure you know all of your options before you decide.

Get money from academic divisions.

Your academic division may have money set aside for students to conduct research abroad. Meeting with your advisor will help you get informed on funding options that are available to you via your academic division.

If you expect to get funding for an academic project offered outside of your school, you need to have a good reason for it.

Most divisions, if they do offer funding, will require you to defend your academic project via a formal proposal or grant. A brilliant project idea will help you get your foot in the door.

Photo by mezone.

Write a standout grant proposal.

Good grant proposals are articulate, simple, and well-planned. Grant committees are looking for a very specific budget outline, abstract or general description, previous research done on the topic, sources, and viable reasons for not conducting the study on campus.

They are also looking to see what personal reasons you have for wanting to travel to your particular destination. Grants and proposals that advocate contributing to a social or cultural consideration in your chosen destination will win you extra points, especially if they have personal significance.

Don’t be afraid to outline all of your projected financial needs in your budget, but avoid asking for more than you need!

Be prepared to do a project for your school community when you return (or better yet, offer to do one).

Photo by peiqianlong.

Impress your higher ups.

Pick a destination that will be respected by any academic division. While Amsterdam might be your destination of choice, you probably won’t get funding for it unless you have a really good reason.

Pick a country where you can get volunteer experience contributing to the community.

Photo by chrisschuepp.

Arabic and the Environment

Today, environmental initiatives are very important toward the socioeconomic well being of practically all communities. Pick a country where you can give something back to the environment, and impress your committee with your sense of justice.

Choose a country where you can learn an important foreign language. Do a little research and figure out what sorts of translators are in high demand (hint: Arabic and Mandarin).

Photo by StarvingFox.

Most schools have funding!

The biggest key to tapping into funding is to stay informed about available opportunities.

Make contacts within your study abroad department. Keep your ears open to outside sources of funding as well, as many community groups offer scholarships to specific departments within your university that you might be eligible to receive!

By combining all of your resources, you can get your school to sponsor free travel!

Travel Grants for Multiple Disciplines:

http://www.spo.berkeley.edu/Fund/travel.html

Prestigious Travel Scholarships/Programs:

http://www.iie.org//programs/gilman/index.html

http://www.iie.org/Template.cfm?section=Fulbright1

Grant Writing Tips:

http://www.seanet.com/~sylvie/grants.htm

http://lone-eagles.com/granthelp.htm

community connection

For more resources on grants and travel scholarship, check out 31 Travel Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships to fund Your Next Travels Abroad.