How do I afford study abroad?
The price of many study abroad programs can be intimidating for some students. However, it is important to count the cost and consider several things when thinking about the price of study abroad and how to afford it.
First, money spent on study abroad is money well spent. It is a good investment in yourself and your future. As you take credit bearing courses while on a study abroad program, you are furthering your education and bringing yourself one step closer to graduation. Moreover, study abroad can make you a stronger job candidate. Next, remember that the best time in your life to go abroad is when you are a college student. You may or may not get the chance to go later in life. In economic terms, there is an “opportunity cost” for not traveling while you are in college. Also, while study abroad programs do cost real money, they are generally all-inclusive and are often cheaper and less of a hassle than if you attempted to go on the same trip by yourself and arrange all of your flights, lodging, ground transportation, meals, visits and so forth on your own.
In terms of affording a study abroad program, as a college student, you may also have access to financial support that you will not have once you graduate college. So why not take advantage of it? The three types of funding that you can access as a college student are financial aid, scholarships and fundraising.
If you have financial aid, such as the PELL, the GI Bill or student loans, you can use them to pay for the cost of the trip. In addition, any financial aid that you have to cover the cost of tuition and fees at GHC such as PELL, the GI Bill, the HOPE scholarship or loans can likewise be used to cover the cost of courses associated with study abroad programs.
In trying to ascertain if you have the funds to afford study abroad, the very first step that you should take is to make sure that you have a current FAFSA form on file and make an appointment to speak with a Financial Aid counselor in the GHC Financial Aid Office. In many cases, students have access to more money that they think is the case. However, the only way to know if this is the case for you is to speak with someone in Financial Aid. In fact, meeting with a Financial Aid counselor is mandatory for all GHC students participating in study abroad programs. It is the very first thing you should do after you decide to study abroad and submit your GHC student study abroad application!
For more information about GHC Financial Aid, as well as contact information, please see the GHC Financial Aid website at the following link:
To contact GHC Financial Aid, please see the following information:
Offices and phone numbers:
3175 Cedartown Hwy
Rome, GA 30161
5441 Highway 20 NE
Cartersville, GA 30121
5901 Stewart Pkwy
Douglasville, GA 30135
1100 S. Marietta Pkwy
Marietta, GA 30060
25 Courthouse Square
Dallas, GA 30132
Heritage Hall Campus
415 E. Third Ave at Glenn Milner Blvd
Rome, GA 30161
One of the most important things to keep in mind with scholarships is that they do require some work from you as a student. You will need to submit scholarship applications and abide by all application deadlines. Moreover, it is better to submit applications early rather than at the last minute. While applying for scholarship does mean work on your part, it can be big money, and free money at that! Even if only some of your scholarship applications are accepted, scholarships can really help you go abroad. One thing is certain; if you don’t apply for scholarships, you won’t get them.
The Georgia Highlands College Foundation has a limited number of scholarships for study abroad. Students who wish to apply for scholarships will need to have a FAFSA on file and will need to create a user account with the Foundation in order to complete scholarship applications. For students who wish to participate in a study abroad program to Europe, the Cook scholarship is available to help offset the cost of European trips. Students on all summer study abroad programs, whether to European or other destinations, who need assistance paying for the tuition and fees of the courses associated with their study abroad program may also apply for summer scholarships with the Georgia Highlands College Foundation. For more information on these scholarship opportunities as well as information on how to create a scholarship application user account, please see the following link to the Georgia Highlands College Foundation:
In addition to scholarships at Georgia Highlands College, students may also apply to a wide variety of student abroad scholarships at institutions outside GHC. Below are some examples of external scholarships that may interest GHC students:
International Scholarships Online:
International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) and College Scholarship Search:
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Study Abroad Grants:
For any education abroad program
Must have a 3.75 GPA
Up to $4,000
For education abroad programs lasting four-plus weeks or traveling to more than one country
Must be a U.S. citizen undergraduate student and Pell Grant recipient
Fund for Education Abroad:
Up to $5,000
For education abroad programs lasting four-plus weeks (28 days)
Under-represented students encouraged to apply
Students who are willing to put in some work, take the initiative and be creative are often able to raise significant amounts of money through their own fundraising efforts to help pay for a study abroad program. One way that students can raise money is to work a part-time job and save money to offset the costs of student abroad. In addition, the Students Without Borders (SWB) club occasionally organizes fundraisers for study abroad. Students can also raise money on their own by asking relatives for donations, especially around birthdays or the holidays. Many family members are open to giving money for educational purposes, in this case study abroad. Another way to raise money from family, friends and even the broader community is through online crowdfunding websites. A few years ago, three GHC students raised over $1,000 through online. Small donations from many people can add up to a lot of money!