How will you get study abroad money? By utilizing your network! ☆ Dreaming of learning Spanish in the Andes, exploring the Roman ruins in Italy, or surveying the wildlife in South Africa? You’ll cherish the memories you make for years to come when you study abroad. Nearly every university offers study abroad programs where you’ll earn credits by engaging in a real-world classroom through interactive learning. Many study abroad programs also offer internship opportunities that are related to your field of study, so you’ll gain on-the-job training while acquiring different global perspectives. You’ll also immerse yourself in a different culture, make lifelong friendships, and look more competitive for your future career.
Uh oh. You then feel that dark rain cloud looming over your head that whispers: I need money to study abroad. You don’t want to be one of those people who regrets not studying abroad and experiencing the trip of a lifetime because finances were an obstacle. The value of studying abroad by learning a language, developing new skills, and expanding your network truly outweighs the overall cost. Also, keep in mind that the total cost of studying abroad depends on the duration, program, country, classes, and other factors. If you’re wondering how to get money to study abroad to bridge the gap, then ask your network!
How to get money to study abroad from your friends & family
Tap into your network to pad that piggy bank and make your dreams come true with FundMyTravel! To get started, you’ll create your campaign (which is easy peasy). All you need to do is sync up your Facebook credentials or complete the registration process with a valid email address. You’ll then set up your profile and determine your fundraising goals with a campaign calculator to help you break down the expenses needed. From there, you’ll spread the word to your network via a variety of online or offline methods. With the generosity of donations from your connections, you’ll be singing badda bing, badda boom, study abroad dreams are coming true!
Determine your fundraising goals
First, be realistic about the length of your campaign. Think like Goldilocks to find what’s juuust right. You don’t want the campaign to be too short that you don’t have enough time to spread the word, or too long that your network forgets about it. You’ll also need to keep in mind the way you want people to contribute donations: PayPal, Stripe, or WePay, as each of them have some limits on how long your campaign can be. In most cases, a few months usually does the trick and will help keep you motivated and gain the interest of others. Your network will also likely support you and be more generous if your campaign is limited to a certain time frame.
Second, decide on that special number for your campaign goal. Think about the difference in costs for studying at home versus studying abroad. The additional costs for studying abroad usually include the program fee, airfare, accommodation, and other materials. Most successful campaigns are around a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Your campaign page will also show your network the breakdown of expenses on the side of the page, so they’ll know exactly how they’ll be helping you achieve your goals.
Lastly, get creative with your campaign! For example, provide an incentive for the people who donate. You could give back to your donors in different ways by the amount they give you. If someone donates $10, send them a postcard of your trip; if a donor gives you $50, send them a souvenir; if a donor gives you $100, send them artwork, a knitted scarf, a cupcake, or other original piece made just by you. You could also let them decide what they would like to receive that is unique to the country where you’ll be studying abroad.
Spread the word
After you set up your page and determine your goals to raise study abroad money, you’ll need to tell your story on your profile. Finish this sentence: I need money to study abroad because… Share what you want to experience in your study abroad country and how obtaining donations will benefit you. How will this experience strengthen career prospects? What kinds of food do you want to eat? What kinds of classes do you want to take that your home country doesn’t offer? The more detailed you are, the better. If you want to double your odds of success, create a personal video, which will help you gain trust and connect better with your contacts.
Once you’ve determined your campaign goals and created a profile that details why you want to study abroad, you’re ready to spread the word! If you’re wondering how to raise money for study abroad programs, you can streamline the entire process by sending your network a simple link to your campaign page. You’ll be able to tell everyone you know that you’re making it easy and efficient for them to help make your dreams come true. You may even be surprised by how helpful your connections are, because most of them (if not all) want you to succeed, and they’ll feel good about helping your education goals.
Technology is your best friend when it comes to your campaign and the answer to how to get money to study abroad. Luckily, you have a wide variety of online portals at your disposal in which to share your campaign and bring home the bacon. Your friends and family are a major part of who you’ll want to reach, but you have many more contacts that extend beyond first degree connections. Your network also includes your teachers, colleagues, classmates, teammates, fellow club members of various organizations, and more.
Here’s a few online channels to help you reach a variety of audiences in your network:
- Social networks: Facebook is by far and away the most common social networking site, and where you’ll be able to share your campaign with a large number of connections. You can also periodically post your link to keep spreading the word. Plus, be sure to take advantage of Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or even a LinkedIn account to share your campaign.
- Text messaging: Texts definitely will help you reach the outliers in your network of friends and family. For example, if you have connections who don’t use social networking sites very often, you can use the power of text messaging. Just copy your campaign link and send individual text messages to cast a wider net!
- Email marketing: If you’re looking to reach out to grandpa and grandma, extended family members, or distant connections, you could create an email list and a template. Don’t forget to email your teachers, mentors, club leaders, pen pals, etc. It’s also recommended to send individualized emails to each person with their name in the greeting. A good subject line also draws their attention and images or a video can help capture their interest.
- Online publications: If you’re a part of any volunteer organization, religious group, social group, local club, or sports team, you could also request that your campaign link be published on their blog or newsletter. Additionally, you could reach out to your hometown’s online newspaper or specialized publications to share the link to your campaign.
By personalizing your messages to your connections, you’ll be more effective in the long run. Just remember, quality can be more powerful than quantity! While online portals will help you build momentum and rally support, you’re also welcome to be creative through offline methods. You can host a fundraising event via a bake sale, a garage sale, a lemonade stand, car washes, a farmer’s market, competitions, and more. You could also offer services to your network by babysitting, pet sitting, landscaping, etc. At your fundraising event, provide posters, banners, or flyers with a QR code that directs your network to your campaign page to make it easy for donors.
Work hard, show you’re taking this seriously, and they will take you seriously
Three ingredients will help you the most with a fundraising campaign: motivation, persistence, and dedication. A little patience and resilience goes a long way too! If you demonstrate these qualities throughout your campaign, you’ll show your network that you’re serious about raising study abroad money to achieve your dreams. You’ll need to put some thought into your goals, creativity into your methods, and personability into your messages. They’ll appreciate how hard you’re working, and they’ll likely reward you for your efforts. Asking for money may make you feel uncomfortable, but you’re showing a lot of courage by reaching out to people for help.
Make it rain study abroad money!
Whether you’re looking to attain personal growth, experience an epic adventure, or develop valuable skills, the benefits of studying abroad last a lifetime. Problem: How to raise money for study abroad. Solution: A FundMyTravel campaign page! Determine your goals, create a campaign page that shares your story, and spread the word to your network with a quick link. If you’re looking to be successful with your campaign, your best bet is tailoring your message and channels to your closest friends and family members.
Finances will no longer be your biggest obstacle because your network of family and friends will help you loosen the purse strings for your study abroad trip. If you need ideas for your campaign, be sure to take a peek at the featured campaigns on FundMyTravel for inspiration. You could also reach out to others who are fundraising, or to staff for advice on logistics, incentives, and other methods to help you be successful. You’re going to make that looming rain cloud rain study abroad money sooner than you think with a campaign!
This article was written by Sydney Lutz. Growing up as an “army brat,” Sydney could not help but develop a thirst for traveling. She has visited all 50 states as well as England, France, Canada, Germany, and Australia. Sydney graduated with a master’s degree in public communication and technology in Colorado, and taught abroad for a year in Quito, Ecuador. Her favorite things to do include studying Spanish, practicing yoga, and travel writing.