Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Money. Money. Money.

Money. Money. Money. This always seems to be the biggest concern from students when they are considering studying abroad, I know it was one of mine and it is also one of the biggest reason's a lot of student's have also chosen not to go abroad. Well let me outline something very clearly, DO NOT LET THAT FEAR STOP YOU FROM HAVING THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME. You can always earn money, it's always a possibility. How will I get the money to go abroad? How much does Education Abroad cost? Are there scholarships available? What about financial aid? These are all questions so many students continually have and I am going to try and clear some of it up for you!

The main point is that no, Education Abroad is not free, but there are so many ways to earn the
money to go abroad. No one program costs the same amount and you also have to consider outside costs like traveling and living expenses. If you plan far enough in advance you can spend your summers working like I did to raise the funds to go. The University, the Education Abroad Office and many outside sources like the internet, offer a variety of scholarships and financial aid will apply just like it does back here on campus. The following is a link to the scholarships we offer.

Alright now let's get more creative and think more on a fundraising level! The following are ideas for raising money online or offline to go abroad.

To get started with:
Make a Video
Videos are such a key in today's world and they are such a key in marketing yourself. They are a great way to raise money and make people aware of your future plans and endeavors. There is a great app today called Adobe Voice and it is such an easy, quick and useful tool in making a meaningful video and telling a story.
    Writing Your Campaign Description 
    Keep it positive and consider what would inspire you to give to others and that will give you an idea of what direction to go in with your video. Make sure you explain why you want to go abroad and how much you will grow from it. Really highlight on how the funders' money will be used, how much it means to you and how it will only improve your education. Highlight on the fact that you are not asking people to fund a vacation, but so much more, a life-changing experience.

    To highlight more on earning money online for Education Abroad here are a few tips:
    How to Ask for Money Without Making it Awkward
    Now it's really time to put on your thinking cap! For each level someone donates at you can come up with your own little reward. People like to see where and what their money is being used for, so it's important to make them a part of your experience with Education Abroad. For everyone that donates $10 dollars you can promise to send a postcard. For those who donate $25+ keep a video blog for them and send a post card. If they donate $100, you can give them a video shout-out from a landmark in your destination country and share it with them via Facebook or email. This will really mean a lot to people if you take the time to recognize their efforts to support you.
    Share your video and campaign on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Really any social media you are on that is one more face your campaign and video reaches. Even branch out and write personal email to people to fund your trip and include a link to your video. Go above and beyond to get it out there, make your goals known.
    Reach Out to Extended Networks
    This campaign is a great reason to expand your current network and demonstrate your initiative, for future prospects. If you are traveling to Spain, reach out to the Spanish Club on campus or your local Spanish Culture groups; find Spanish Speakers Associations or Spanish Education Organizations using LinkedIn and other online resources. Inform them about your desire to learn the culture and language through an immersion experience and the incentives you’re offering donors.
    Highlights on earning money offline for Education Abroad: 

    Arts and Crafts
    Sew, knit, make Christmas wreaths, whatever! If you like to craft then do so while earning money towards Education Abroad. Ask people to fund your trip in return for a craft or piece of art work. If music or writing is your thing host a concert at your university or a poetry slam. 

    Hold a bake sale or sell hot chocolate. In this cold weather especially on campus students would love the opportunity to  stop quickly and buy some delicious treats and a hot chocolate to warm them up. You could also cater one of your family or friend's holidays. Some people hate to cook for the holidays, so offer to take it off their hands in return them making a donation to your travel fund. 

    Alright so, if you partake in any sports ask people to donate for every win, shot, hit or milestone you mark. If they do then make a video and dedicate the achievement to them! Like to stay active while raising money? Partake in a marathon or a tough mudder! You could even create and host your own tournament, like a Dodgeball Tournament and have the proceeds go towards your travel fund! 

    Entrepreneurs and Educators   
    Time to get down and dirty! Rake leaves, shovel snow, mow lawns or tutor for tips! Get friends together to host a talent show for donations. Babysit or nanny for contributions to your travel campaign.Talk to local cultural groups and businesses that might help you sponsor an event or even your trip, in exchange for volunteering or supporting their products/services.

    A few last words: 
    Remember to give THANKS to all the people who funded and supported your journey. Let them know just how much it meant to you and how without it everything you have gained and experienced with and through Education Abroad would not have been possible without their help. I hope this post has been very helpful to anyone looking for ways to raise money to go abroad or had any questions about scholarships or financial aid. Remember to not let the fear of raising money to keep you from going abroad, it is an amazing opportunity and it's one you won't regret.    

    This blog post was adapted from an article done by NAFSA. 

    1 comment:

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