Wanderlust can come to many at an early age, and traveling abroad can be easy to achieve even if you are still in your college years. Scholarships for college students traveling abroad are more and more popular and you should apply for one too. Why waste all that time waiting to finish college, get a job, save up some money and go on a two week vacation—and let’s be honest, it can time a loooooong time for that to happen—when you can start right now? Of course, scholarships don’t fall out of the trees, but if you are smart about your research, get motivated and put in the work, it is so far less stressful than waiting another couple of years to do it.
And just between you and us, we have a few secrets we’ve heard and tried here and there, and we’ll let you in on them. Check out some of the best ways to apply and score scholarships for going abroad, and how you can settle quite the spending budget for your future endeavors. Give them a shot, what do you have to lose?
How to score scholarships to travel abroad
Scoring internships to travel abroad is not exactly easy, but it’s also not as hard as you might think, especially if you are serious and dedicated to make it happen. The process of getting scholarships for going abroad is considered by some as being almost as hard as applying for a job, but much more satisfying once you get it.
1. Make the commitment!
Before you even start applying for scholarships to travel abroad, be sure this is what you want and that you are willing to put in the work for it, no matter the sacrifices. Realize that financial support isn’t just handed out, but it needs to be earned. Consider what you have to offer and work for, to convince your scholarship funder to support you with your travels.
Time is valuable so learn how to manage it. Should you spend that hour browsing Instagram, or should you work on something that can improve your chances to win that scholarship, like let’s say get a certain certification? Choose wisely!
2. Decide on a destination.
Once your mind and souls are in the right place, you’re officially on the right track. So let’s start this amazing process! First things first, make a list of your most desired countries you’d like to go to. If you start with “anywhere is fine” you risk to be running all over the place and getting nowhere. Ask yourself what it is that you are looking for, what you want to achieve, what you want to experience, how will this help you in your future career and personal development etc. Answering these questions truthfully won’t only help you pick your destinations, but will also help you with your application later on.
3. Use online scholarship directories to your advantage.
Luckily for you, if you’re reading this, you’re on the right path, because we’ve already done all the research that you need to score scholarships to travel abroad. We’ve got tailored scholarships for all taste, location specific, subject specific, government grants, university grants, or organizational grants. Whatever you are looking for, we’ve got it all covered for you. All is at the power of your fingertips and you are only one click away from finding out everything you need to know to start your scholarship application today.
Here are a handful of online directories with information on dozens of travel scholarships abroad:
4. Tie it all together.
You probably already know that your best chances for getting that scholarship for going abroad is by having the grades. Having perfect grades is awesome and it definitely puts you on the top, but we all know that perfect grades is not as easy for everyone, however good grades are.
Next step, is updating your resume. Make sure you put everything in there that might catch the eye of whoever is reading it, like a TEFL certification, the fact that you’re bilingual, that amazing internship you did, or your most recent volunteer work. Anything and everything is important, BUT keep it a one pager.
Now, you might have mowed the lawn for your neighbors, but that doesn’t need to be in your resume! However, even that shouldn’t get overlooked. If you’ve done it with the goal to save up money for this experience, then put it in your essay because you need to convince your scholarship funder why they should choose you and not someone else. This not only shows that you’re a hard-worker, but also very serious about this decision. Couple this with your good grades, and you’re one step closer to your dream.
Last but not least, get references. Be it from your teachers or former employers, make sure your references are relevant and will put that one last shine on your application, that will wow your scholarship funder.
5. Apply, apply, apply.
You’re ready! You’ve got your grades, your resume is impressive and your essay is so good, it can almost make a grown man cry. All you have to do now is apply. Talk to anyone and everyone, check your school’s financial aid office, talk to your teachers or former people that have earned a scholarship, check out the study abroad office and contact them directly. Go in person if you have to. This only shows more initiative from your side and your funder can put a fresh face and feeling alongside your application. Be bold!
Other ways to save money for travel as a student
Doing all the above is all nice and good, and you might already have all of it down to a T. Yay for you! But you’re young and you know that you want to enjoy this adventure to the max. It is, after all, a once in a lifetime experience and you want to make the best of it. Plus, after all the work you’ve put into this and you’ve gotten your scholarship, you do want to reap the benefits once you get to New Zealand, right? And that may call for an extra spending budget. Your scholarship will pay for your tuition, but it won’t pay for your free time activities. That is all on you. So how do you save some money for those special occasions? Check out some of our ideas.
6. Get a part-time job.
Going to school and working at the same time is hard work, but it is rewarding work with lots of benefits. Not only you’re getting the extra cash that you can spend on your future travels, shopping, and delicious food, but you’re also gaining experience. If you think waiting tables is no learning curve, well guess again. You’re developing your customer experience skills, people skills, time management and the notion of quality service. All important skills to have in life and in your job or scholarship applications. Once you get to your new destination, you can even try to get a part-time job there. There is nothing better than putting on your future job resume the fact that you have international work experience. Doesn’t that sound great?
7. Sell your sh*t.
Admit it, if you go through all of your things that you’ve gotten over the years, you’ll find so many of them that you even forgot you had and they are of no use to you anymore. You’ll probably tend to throw some of them out, or donate them, which is a humble and thoughtful thing to do. But before you do that, why not try to sell some of your stuff that are in good, maybe even perfect condition, to someone who will need it more. Go old school and organize a garage sale, or open a booth at the flea market. Maybe even get your parents to contribute.
Want to increase your chances at getting your stuff sold? Hit the internet! And we’re not just talking Ebay or Craigslist, which of course should be your first go-to tools, but actually become active in different communities. You have old books or console games? There are thousands of book lovers and gamers out there that love a good bargain and a special edition. Sometimes what one considers junk can be someone else’s treasure. You got old clothes that you’ve barely worn, and are in great shape? Sell them to a second hand store for a few bucks, and in time, all this extra cash adds up.
Start thinking about all that cash you’re literally sitting on right now and start selling!
8. Use your skills wisely.
If you are a native or close to native English speaker, use those skills and give some English lessons. If you can’t find enough students in your hometown, then do it online. There are hundreds of companies out there that are willing to hire you today to give English lessons online. Get your TEFL certification and increase your chances at getting one of these jobs. The beauty of teaching English online is that you can do it from anywhere, including your new country of residence, thus bringing you more money in, while you’re traveling abroad.
Are you really good at painting or drawing? Sell some of your art. Do an exhibitions, or just take it to the streets. Can you play an instrument of some kind? Offer to play in a bar, or a cafe, or take it to the streets.
Identify your skills and we assure you there is one way or another for you to make money with it. You just gotta be creative and want to make the effort.
Are you into design, photography, or creative writing and you’re really good at it? Why not use these passions and dedicate your free time to different clients that might need a banner, or a new marketing pitch, professional pictures at weddings or high class events, or write a guest article for some blogs. Learn how to be diverse and flexible, put those skills to work, increase your clientele and even build up an online portfolio that you can even use abroad.
10. Avoid careless spending.
Do you really need that extra notebook with a silly cat on it? Yes, we know it is adorable, but do you need it? No, you don’t. Don’t spend the money you made from getting rid of things on other new things. Save it up for your travels. You don’t need to go out every weekend with your friends. We’re not saying to become anti social, but if you’re out every weekend and go all out, you’re never going to build up that travel budget, so might as well give up now. We know it’s tough, but imagine all the fun you’ll have and all the things you will be able to afford, and all the delicious food you’ll be able to eat when you’ve gotten to your destination. Train that self control, suffer a bit now and rip the benefits of it later.
11. Fundraise online.
You’ve heard that right! Open an online fundraiser and start cashing in. Oh, you’ve never done this before? No worries, it’s easier than you think. It all starts with FundMyTravel and a great story to get people excited about your cause and have them spend the money. Then, start spreading the news! Use social media, hit up different forums and blogs, talk to friends and family, print flyers and spread them out in town, at your school or at your job. Start your fundraiser early on and give it enough time for people to donate.
Win scholarships for going abroad!
Now that we’ve narrowed everything down, all you have to do is start with step number 1 and the rest will be history. You can take a deep breath, because you now know that getting scholarships for going abroad is not hard, it’s just smart work on raising that money, knowing how to value yourself and learning how to make others see, appreciate and support that value. Although most scholarships are very competitive, there are still many others that are easier to win, and getting your support for your travels might be easier to get than you thought of.
And if you ever feel discouraged, or like you need to take a break, then take that break, because it is well deserved. You don’t want to burn out either. Then come back and get right back to working on your goal. Start your process today and you can be enjoying your next siesta on the warm beaches of Spain.
This article was written by Luciana Dinu, an avid reader and a travel junkie! She hopes to write her own book one day and inspire people with her travel stories.