It’s that time of year! It’s the month of December and everyone is brainstorming their New Year’s resolutions. Are you hoping to see the world in 2017? Do you want to travel, explore new cultures, learn new languages, try foreign cuisine, meet friendly new faces, and/or expand your global view? If so, you should consider spending next summer abroad!
Now, before you assume that it’s unobtainable for you or too expensive, we suggest you use your homework-free winter break to research summer study abroad opportunities! Did you know that study abroad is not confined to a semester during the academic year? Summer study abroad programs are a great alternative for busy schedules, athletic commitments, strict major requirements, and social butterflies who don’t want to miss activities on campus. Plus, summer programs are less expensive!
Here are some important topics to consider as you think about studying abroad this summer and start saving money for your experience!
When considering study abroad, it’s important to plan ahead so you have time to save money for your experience and apply for scholarships. If you’re interested in studying abroad this summer, that gives you have roughly six months to prepare, save, and fundraise for your study abroad experience! Start preparing today!
Talk to Your Study Abroad Advisor
It’s important that you talk to you study abroad advisor throughout your preparations for your time abroad. You should ask your advisor if your school provides any financial assistance or scholarships for summer study abroad programs. Many of the schools BCA works with do not offer financial aid over the summer, as it’s outside the standard academic calendar. However, it’s definitely worth asking! It’s important that you ask these questions early, so you can set aside the necessary funds for your study abroad experience.
Research Program Fees and Other Expenses
Once you’ve narrowed it done to a couple summer programs of interest, you should research their fees. BCA’s summer program fees are comprehensive, meaning they cover the majority of your expenses abroad! Our fees include assistance completing your application and a pre-departure orientation prior to boarding a plane for your summer abroad. Then once on-site, our fees cover tuition, accommodation, meals or a meal stipend, orientation, cultural activities, day trips, international medical insurance and emergency evacuation services, and support from your on-site Resident Director. This fee also covers your academic transcript, which will be issued after you return home.
BCA’s summer program fees do not include airfare, passports, personal expenses and any additional travels. We’d encourage you to research how much round-trip airfare typically costs to go to your destination, so you can budget accordingly. Additionally, US passports currently cost $110. If you already have a passport, you’ll need to make sure it’s valid for at least six months after you return from your studies. If it does expire during that period, you’ll need to reapply and also pay $110 for your passport. Did you know your passport is active for 10 years? So good news, you can knock out this requirement early, pay for it now and check it off our to-do list!
Please remember, if you’re not planning on studying abroad until a future summer, program fees are subject to change, so it’s important that you add a buffer to your budget and save some extra money – just in case!
‘Tis the season for gift giving! Family members and friends may be asking you ‘What would you like this year?’ Instead of asking for the usual items this year, you could ask for a suitcase, camera, power adapter, passport holder and other travel accessories.
You could also ask for money to go towards your program fee, passport, airfare, personal travels, and more.
If you want to reach a large audience of people and ask for donations to your study abroad experience, you should consider setting up a crowd funding campaign. This is a great way to reach your family members and friends who live far away and you won’t see during winter break.
Social media enables you to share a link to your campaign and watch it take off! You never know how far your fundraiser could go. Your aunt may share your post on her Facebook page and encourage her friends to help you out. GoFundMe and FundMyTravel are popular sites to use, but there are a lot of options, so check it out!
Or, you could create a Kickstarter campaign around a project that you plan to complete as a part of your study abroad experience – maybe an art piece, literary collection, movie or story inspired by your time abroad. People love to feel connected to your experience, so you may at least want to plan to blog or vlog about your time abroad to help those who have given you gifts or donations feel connected to your experience!
Winter break is also a great time to make some extra money by working. You can try connecting with your summer employer to see if they could some help during your time between semesters. Additionally, you could look into working for a retailer, as they’re very busy during the holidays and often offer seasonal positions.
Every year, BCA awards several summer students with a $500 scholarship. You can use this money towards your program fees or save it for your airfare or personal travels. Many other organizations offer study abroad scholarships, so you should research additional options and apply for as many opportunities as possible.
As you can see there a lot of ways to start saving for your upcoming summer abroad experience. You may be relieved that you survived the fall semester and summer break may seem far away, but don’t let this time slip away from you. Start brainstorming ways you can begin raising and saving money for your study abroad experience today!