Category: Organization-Specific Tips

7 Ways to Cover Your Cost of the International TEFL Academy

If teaching English abroad with the International TEFL Academy is your goal, then you want the best, most affordable experience possible! (And if you’re keeping your options open, just wait until you see this list—there’s something for everyone here, including some great and super-budget-friendly online options.) If you’re keeping it mega-low-budget, going with International TEFL Academy can be daunting, with program tuition starting at $1399. However, don’t fret! ITA can still be wallet-friendly.

Pair of legs at a scenic overlook in Thailand

Wallet-friendly AND resume-building, in a place that looks like this?! You bet!

Don’t let the cost of certification prevent you from taking on this next adventure! There are all kinds of resources available to help you calculate costs, find cash, and raise funds. And whether you’re going with the International TEFL Academy or not, we’ve got you covered! Check out this list of seven (smart, fun, and creative!) ways to cover International TEFL Academy costs.

7 tips to afford an ITA program

1. Get a part-time job!

You can always wait tables, flip burgers, deliver pizzas, or work retail—but you can also walk dogs, run errands, or lead community tours. And, why not get some great practice in teaching others by offering your services as a tutor (check out this list for ideas) or as a writing coach? The part-time job doesn’t need to be traditional. You can get creative and raise some great funds! Maybe a library needs you as a page, or a bookstore could use an extra clerk. Whatever you do, make sure you’re saving all your earnings for that International TEFL Academy cost!

Colorful boats on shore at a Thailand beach

The International TEFL Academy cost may not seem worth retail work, but we bet teaching somewhere like this sure does.

2. Sell your car and carpool with friends instead!

Sure, having your own car brings you personal freedom…but it also brings the cost of maintenance, insurance, fuel, and maybe even parking tickets if you’re one of those forgot-to-feed-the-meter types (we’ve all been there). So why not ditch the wheels and carpool with friends? Do you live within walking or biking distance of your part-time job? Even better! Are you on the bus or subway line? Great! If you go ahead and track what you put into car costs versus carpooling, and then put that money into savings, you’ll have the money to afford International TEFL Academy costs in no time.

3. Figure out your costs. Are you planning to teach in Thailand? Ecuador? Mexico?

Have you heard that expression, “what gets measured gets done”? Well, you can apply that same principle to tracking costs for International TEFL Academy tuition, and for the teach abroad opportunity that will follow. For example, whether you want to teach abroad in Albania or Vietnam, the International TEFL Academy always ranks high on the list. With dozens of programs to choose from, you can keep costs low while getting certified right in the budget-friendly country you’ll teach in—along with some very helpful placement support!

View of a colorful street in Mexico

Asia not your style? The International TEFL Academy will take you to Latin America too!

4. Clean your closet! (And your basement, attic, garage…)

Yes, yes…one person’s trash is another person’s treasure—but in this case, why not turn that other person’s treasure into your tuition? Whether you have a yard sale, or post your items to eBay, Poshmark, decluttr, or FaceBook marketplace, your old stuff can help you get extra money to cover that International TEFL Academy cost! It’s not necessary to feel pressured to sell everything. However, if you look at anything that doesn’t hold real value to you as adventure-funding on your teach abroad journey, it’s a lot easier to turn clutter into cash.

5. Make your fancy coffee at home, and batch-cook with your friends!

The number one budget killer (across the board) is dining out. Whether it’s a $4 coffee, a late-night meal, or grabbing lunch on the go, you can make the International TEFL Academy cost even more affordable by making your coffee at home (in an eco-friendly cup!) and batch-cooking with your friends! Not only are these great ways to save money, they’re also fun ways to socialize and practice recipes. Why not try your hand at Thai curry now, before you get to enjoy the real thing while teaching abroad in Thailand? What could be better than that?!

Bangkok street a night time

Once you find a way to cover your International TEFL Academy cost, this could be home sweet home for quite some time.

6. DIY and sell some travel-focused swag!

You know those T-shirts and little silicone bracelets you get when you do “-thons” (like yogathons, walkathons, or marathons)? Why not cash in on that same idea to raise money for your International TEFL Academy cost? It could be something funny, clever, or plain. Whether it’s a simple bracelet with a “Jenny goes to India” message, or an ‘80s style baseball jersey featuring you photoshopped with a flaming guitar rocking out en route to Cambodia (you’re welcome for that idea), go ahead and have some fun, and sell your swag for cash! Looking for other DIY inspo? Check this list!

7. Make a FundMyTravel account and crowdsource like a boss.

No matter what you do to raise money for International TEFL Academy costs, let the experts at FundMyTravel.com help you reach your goals! Crowdsourcing is a great way to spread the word about your fundraising goals. But what’s even better about creating a FundMyTravel campaign is the opportunity to work with specialists who focus only on raising money for travel opportunities. Your campaign won’t get lost in the shuffle when you deal with experts; and the free resources available will make it super easy to get started.

Teaching abroad through ITA is worth the investment

Colorful flags along a Mexican street

Fundraising for your International TEFL Academy cost is all part of the adventure.

There will always be real costs attached to any kind of travel or study program—whether online, near home, or abroad—but those shouldn’t get in the way of your opportunities. With some creative thinking, careful budgeting, and proper planning, you can always make it work! There are so many resources out there to help you raise money for the travel program of your dreams, so you don’t have to go it alone. And when it gets tough, just think about how great it will feel when you’re on the other side, teaching abroad in the perfect program for you.

Make sure that you check out successful fundraising campaigns for inspo, and be sure to read all the great fundraising blogs and meaningful travel content that’s out there for you. The tips here are only the beginning to a great experience as you work to cover your cost of the International TEFL Academy. So, stay creative, open-minded, and remember to ask for support. As you share your dreams with others, you’ll be able to serve as your own best advocate. You will find that showing faith in yourself is the best way to guarantee success!

[Start Fundraising for Your ITA Program Today!]

andi sciaccaThis article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food—and swim.

How Much Does AIFS Study Abroad Cost?

Wondering about AIFS study abroad cost? Don’t worry—we’ve got the deets. ☆ There are countless ways that you could have gotten here: Maybe you’ve been planning your international excursion since infancy, counting down to your days of freedom and exploration. Maybe it was just yesterday that you discovered you’ve completed all your required credit hours and your guidance counselor suggested a semester abroad. Maybe you’ve finally succeeded at convincing your parents how safe global travel is after years of back-and-forth. And maybe your parents finally told you that you need to seek some independence and learn about other cultures.

Coffee cups and a baguette sitting on a French bistro table

Sometimes seeking independence and learning about other cultures looks really, really good.

Whatever your journey, you’ve made it. You’re going to study abroad. You spent nights shuffling through pamphlets after evenings at study abroad panels; you’ve spent days in front of your computer screen, clicking through all the cities, countries, fields of study, and providers you could image (it can feel pretty intimidating to have the entire globe open to you, huh?). Now, you’ve finally landed on your decision: you’ve made the spectacular discovery that AIFS is the program for you. It’s got the support, the courses, and the destination of your dreams put together exactly as you always hoped for. There’s one more, kind of nerve wracking, looming question, though, hovering in the back of your mind – how much is my study abroad going to cost?

Breaking down the cost of your AIFS program

You’ve got several decisions ahead of you, but don’t sweat it—we’re here to lighten the burden and heighten the excitement. Where you go and what you do is ultimately up to you. However, there are a few factors to consider that might aid in narrowing down your options and help you make the big decision (there are a lot of places to see in the world, you know what we’re saying?).

A view of the Eiffel Tower from a French roof top

The potential views will inevitably help you narrow down your decision, too.

Getting there.

Let’s start with the (semi-) obvious: getting abroad can be expensive. The motto of most study abroad providers is, we’ve got you covered once you’re abroad, but getting there is on you. Naturally, getting to some countries and cities is more expensive than others, so that might weigh into your decision. A major perk of the AIFS study abroad cost is opting into the optional, low-cost round trip flight program. Wow, do they make it easy on you!

This benefit not only eases your parents’ minds about getting there (and home) safely, but it might mitigate some of your costs. It’s still going to revolve around where you’re leaving and where you’re heading, but you can count on an around $2000 cost for door-to-door transfers.

Oh—let’s not forget the passport and visa fees, though! For first-time globetrotters, set aside about $145 (and two months of time) to get that passport processed. Depending on where you’re headed, visa fees can also come out to as much as $100 – $200, so make sure to look into specific prices and processing times ahead of time.

What does tuition cover? And where will I live?

Getting there is just the beginning of the factors to consider…and just the beginning of all the excitement to come. When looking at AIFS study abroad cost, a few major elements are tied into the “tuition.” Housing is one of them. You can breathe easy knowing you don’t have to scan sites to find your own place or discuss leases with a landlord who doesn’t speak your language.

Choices include homestays, residential halls, or individual living. Your program itself is included, too. We’re talking classes, teachers, and on-site AIFS staff that’ll help you navigate the cultural difference, keep you safe, and serve as your international program head. In general, semester-long programs average out to around $15,000, whereas options such as January-term bring the cost down to $5,000 for a month of interim study.

Let’s talk food.

If you’re like us, the prospect of authentic food that makes your palette water probably factored into choosing your destination. How much is munching abroad going to cost, though? This is one of those factors that gets that cliche, slightly-vague answer: it depends. Some cities in Asia have street markets with entire meals for under one dollar. Some cities in Scandinavia have snacks for 20 times that. So, like we said—it depends.

But we recommend doing some research and budgeting it out, because holding back from some of those gustatory senses is not going to be enjoyable. AIFS knows that those costs can add up quickly, so they’ve got your back with a few meal plan options, too. Dining with your host family, receiving restaurant vouchers, or checking out your school’s cafeteria are all possibilities depending on your program.

Excursions.

You’re not going to travel all the way around the world and hang out in just one location, right?! (Full disclosure, it’s normal if you do—and we’re pro full-on immersion). AIFS programs often involve a range of day trips and cultural activities, sometimes to museums right in town, and sometimes to ancient ruins a few hours away.

These are an excellent way to get acquainted with your new surroundings and spend time with others in your program, all while sitting back, relaxing, and letting someone else do the planning. Some of these excursions might be included with your program cost, and others might be up to $100. They’re worth it, so saving up a little couldn’t hurt!

People crossing the street in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Our advice? Always take the excursion. It’s worth it, even if it does tag a little bit extra on to your AIFS study abroad cost.

How to cover your AIFS study abroad cost

When you start to piece together all of the expenses tied into being abroad (honestly, just living costs in general!), the number might feel a little suffocating. There are plenty of steps you can take to lessen the burden though, and we’re here to walk you through them!

AIFS study abroad scholarships and grants.

Way too many people forget to check out funding opportunities with the source itself. Whether you’re hoping for a scholarship to a particular location or a grant-match to a scholarship you’ve received from an outside source, AIFS study abroad scholarships and grants cover a range of possibilities. You might be eligible based on your destination, heritage, field of study, prior achievements, or general merit, for funds up to $5,000! Worth looking into, no?

Crowdfund with FundMyTravel.

This is the age of personal fundraising websites and we are happy to be here. Reaching out to family, friends, your friends’ families, and your family’s friends has never been more manageable than it is today. Tell your story, share your aspirations, and ask for a little somethin’ somethin’ towards making your international travel dreams come true!  

Start saving.

Eh, we know. It’s not that glamorous and it’s hard work…but once you’re eating gelato besides the Trevi Fountain or taking surf lessons in Bali, you’re going to be grateful you tucked a dollar a day into that “Saving for…” jar. Even if you’ve already applied for AIFS study abroad scholarships or grants from other organizations, having some extra spending cash is only going to be a benefit.

Afford your study abroad fees with ease!

Wing of airplane at golden hour

Don’t let AIFS study abroad cost play too huge a role in your decision-making—where there’s a will there’s a way!

We know that some of the expenses of traveling and studying abroad can be daunting, but as with any endeavor, there’s some wiggle room to tailor-make your own budget. Plus, now that you’re familiar with some of the upfront costs, you can get going on applying for grants, start saving, and get the ball rolling on fundraising!

Start Fundraising for Your AIFS Program Abroad!

samantha harperThis article was written by Samantha Harper. Samantha’s quest to learn about her family heritage in Prague ignited the travel flame within her. A Wisconsin native and Pitt alumna, Samantha’s insatiable appetite for the world led her into an International Relations master’s program in Italy. Still not feeling like she’d seen enough, she finagled her way into spending a summer in Spain and teaching for a year in Thailand. She is (temporarily) settled in Washington, D.C.

Is International Volunteer HQ Legitimate?

An international volunteer organization that provides quality programs at affordable prices sounds too good to be true, right? The kiwis of New Zealand created such an organization: International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)! With thousands of volunteers joining annually and no middle men involved, IVHQ lives up to its mission while impacting lives for the better. IVHQ works with local organizations, and because many programs are in developing countries, the fees reflect the low cost of living as well.

A group of people putting their hands in the middle in unison

Ready to get your travel on and change lives with International Volunteer HQ? Before you do so, you’ll probably want to find out if if IVHQ is legit!

Plus, the numbers don’t lie. IVHQ offers programs in more than 40 destinations around the world, has more than 3,500 reviews on independent review sites, has hosted more than 100,000 volunteers, and has provided quality services for more than 10 years. Bonus: Applying for a program with IVHQ is free! Many international volunteer portals, such as GoAbroad.com, have verified IVHQ. So, is International Volunteer HQ legitimate? Well, GoAbroad will give you the scoop on what makes International Volunteer HQ legit!

Why we know Volunteer HQ is legit

1. Modern website

Take a look at their “sweet as” website, mate! IVHQ provides transparent details about all of their programs and fees. From IVHQ’s history, to services, to community networks with IVHQ reviews, you’ll find a vast amount of organized and clear information. You can easily navigate to any of their program offerings on every continent that provides details about the location, duration, orientation, requirements, application requirements, and more. The best part? All of the beautiful photographs that will inspire you to help others and make a difference!

2. Active social media channels

IVHQ has established social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. IVHQ provides lots of support, tips, advice, promotions, event details, news, and inspiration via the social media channels. Nearly 200,000 people follow IVHQ on Facebook and more than 10,000 follow IVHQ on Twitter! Hundreds of thousands of volunteers share their reviews, stories, pictures, and plans, so you can connect with others and join the community.

3. Real people

IVHQ is only a message away via phone call, chat, or email with a detailed “contact us” page to get all of your Qs answered promptly from a real person on their website. You can also get through to a real person through their social media channels if you have any questions. IVHQ is there to help you throughout the entire application process — before you arrive, 24/7 support during your program duration, and after you return to your home country.

A group of four people embracing on a hilltop

Plus, since IVHQ is such a popular organization, you’ll have loads of real life volunteers accompanying (and befriending) you.

Also, IVHQ provides a page where you can meet the team! You can see everyone who works there, their title, their professional picture, and information about them. The staff assess local teams and provides them with extensive training to ensure high quality programs. The primary staff of the IVHQ team is to ensure that the local partner organizations and volunteer placements are a good match.

4. Reviews

If the numbers, website, and affordable fees haven’t won you over, take a peek at the reviews of IVHQ! The reviews written by alumni volunteers can help you get an idea of what the program will be like in the country, what kinds of things you’ll do there for the program and for fun, and how IVHQ will support you through the process.

5. Thousands of volunteers have written International Volunteer HQ reviews on GoAbroad.com

Many of them have shared their stories about their fears and doubts, and about how their volunteer experience abroad changed their lives. The overall rating for IVHQ on GoAbroad.com is a stunning 9.54! Here’s a few noteworthy experiences that illustrate why IVHQ is legit:

I volunteered in Nepal – Kathmandu for the Women’s Education program for 2 weeks during March. The local team was very helpful, and I enjoyed my host family experience and had a lovely time getting to know them! My placement and the food were above my expectations. I had an amazing volunteering experience at the school and got to meet many inspiring women who are eager to learn, which allowed me to learn and grow as well.” — Hala Mezher – Lebanon.

I spent a total of 5 weeks volunteering in Cusco, Peru through IVHQ. The application process was easy and straightforward. I felt supported through my application, preparation, and time in country. IVHQ was great about answering all of my questions and ensuring I was prepared for my trip.” — Sydney Lara – United States

“Volunteering in Fiji through IVHQ was an amazing experience that I will cherish forever. I had the opportunity to work with a kindergarten class, which was a unique experience. At the beginning of the program I was super nervous as I had never travelled overseas alone before, but IVHQ assisted me every step of the way. The program was well organised, the accommodation was great and the food was amazing. 100% would recommend.” — Anita Arber – Australia

6. Recognitions

Not only are the IVHQ reviews great, but so are the recognitions! Many international travel portals have verified IVHQ quite well by their own standards. GoAbroad also named IVHQ as the “Top Volunteer Abroad Organization” of 2018, and IVHQ is also recognized by the Certified B Organization. With over 221 programs listed on GoAbroad.com, IVHQ is also quite popular among volunteers.

Quick tips for becoming an IVHQ volunteer abroad

Two pairs of feet standing near a “passion led us here” sign

Passion led you here, but now it’s time to decide where it will lead next. Decide where to make a difference and nail down a project to work on with IVHQ.

First, pick a cause that’s meaningful for you! Get into gear for tramping (hiking) with wildlife projects in New Zealand, change into your traje de baño (swimsuit) for marine conservation in Costa Rica, or teach at a chuo (school) in Kenya. From children, to the elderly, to animals and habitats, IVHQ provides a plethora of choices for volunteering abroad!

Many of the causes will help you gain vital life skills or professional skills, create global connections, enhance your personal development, and learn more about a different culture. You can also volunteer with a group, a partner, or a friend. Even those from ages 16-18 can volunteer without an adult and those under 16 can volunteer with an adult in some programs.

Second, what are you waiting for?! IVHQ recommends applying for your program and country of choice as soon as possible to secure a placement. The summer time is usually quite popular for volunteer programs, but short-term programs are available throughout the year. After you apply, you’ll then have access to a MyIVHQ portal, and you’ll be connected with an IVHQ Program Manager to help you throughout the entire process and answer any questions.

Close up of a hand holding an old pocket watch

TICK TOCK! Now that you know IVHQ is legit, there’s no time to waste—apply ASAP to make sure you don’t miss out!

Third, pay for the registration fee and program fee. A plethora of previous IVHQ volunteers rave about the affordability in International Volunteer HQ reviews! The IVHQ pricing model consists of two fees:

    • The registration fee is $299, and it’s the same for every program! The fee holds your place in the program and helps with operating costs, marketing costs, travel inspections, administration costs, and more. The cost also goes toward the IVHQ fund, which helps provide education, support people with disabilities, and address environmental needs.
    • The program fee varies by country, program, duration, and other factors. The fee covers in-country costs for meals, project donations, accommodation, transportation, administrative costs, and more. The fee is due 4 weeks before the program start date and goes toward the local teams before you arrive.
    • Extra extra, read all about it! If you want to sign up for another program or subsequent program after completing an IVHQ program, you’ll receive a 10% Registration Fee discount!

Last but not least, sign up for a FundMyTravel account to fundraise like a boss! A FundMyTravel account can help you cover additional transportation costs, administrative fees, fun trips, and medical necessities.  Plenty of previous travelers have shared their success stories with implementing FundMyTravel, so you can do it too!  

FundMyTravel was made by travelers for travelers, and provides tips and tricks to help you rally support successfully. You can get as creative as you like with incentives to build momentum, engage more with your audience, and connect with extended networks. Create your FundMyTravel account, spread the word with friends and family via social media and emails, and pad that piggy bank, baby.

International Volunteer HQ is legit

A group of hands in a circle painted with a red heart

Is International Volunteer HQ legitimate? All signs point to YES. So get out there and get going on your volunteering adventure!

What makes International Volunteer HQ legit? IVHQ provides a modern website with detailed information, has received amazing recognitions, has thousands of international volunteer HQ reviews, and provides loads of support. You’ll also join an established community of volunteers, and you’ll make a difference, experience a new culture, and boost your resume. Plus, GoAbroad gives IVHQ two thumbs up and a stamp of approval!

IVHQ may have affordable fees to cover a variety of services, but you want to try more dishes, travel to more places, and take language classes, right?! Don’t let finances hold you back or get you down. Implement a FundMyTravel account to help you cover any additional travel and administrative costs, so you can eat more gelato guilt-free, Glen Coco! It’s as easy as 1,2, 3. Pick a program, fundraise with FundMyTravel, and change your life volunteering abroad.  

Make a FundMyTravel Account & Raise Money for an IVHQ Volunteer Program ASAP

Sydney LutzThis 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.

How to Pay for Your CIEE High School Summer Abroad

Maybe you’ve been feeling like you’re too big for your hometown these days. Maybe you’re looking to stretch your legs and show your family just how independent you can be. Maybe you’re looking for a boost on your college applications. Or maybe you’ve just been so inspired by all the new content on Netflix you binged on over winter and you just have to see some of those places for yourself. The point is, you’ve got all the good reasons, and you’ve narrowed it down to a CIEE summer abroad high school program. Now there’s only one minor detail standing in your way…

Woman wearing denim jacket holding stack of books

An algebra final? The big game? PROM? All of the above? Before you embark on a CIEE summer abroad, there’s more than a few things you might have to address.

Money. And your parents just can’t stop reminding you of it, right? But you’re plucky—you wouldn’t have gotten this far if you weren’t—so you’ve got this. Roll up your sleeves. Get creative. Keep your eyes on your shiny, happy CIEE summer abroad. And when wishing it were so isn’t quite enough, here are a few more tips for getting your young financial life in order so that you can fund your CIEE high school summer abroad.

7 ways to pay for your CIEE high school summer abroad

1. Know just how much this is going to set you back

If you haven’t already been in touch with the staff at your CIEE study abroad high school program, now’s the time. Set up an account ASAP so that you can talk to someone about your plans, apply for the program of your choosing, and start gathering all the information you’ll need to build your budget. What is the program fee for the CIEE summer abroad program you’ve selected? What does that include? Do you have a valid passport or will you need to get one? Does your destination require a visa? And how much does that cost?

Find out if you’ll have to pay your own airfare and what the cost of the ticket will be. Remember—this can fluctuate, so give yourself some wiggle room! Finally, build in plenty of spending money for things you’ll want or need while you’re away: new clothes, ice cream cravings, souvenirs so your friends and family back home don’t think you forgot about them, etc. Do your homework about the exchange rate for the currency in your destination and how much the things you’ll need will cost you for the time you’re away. Be generous in your calculations so that you set your fundraising goal high. It will be better to come home from your CIEE high school summer abroad with some extra cash than it will be to come up short.

Airplane flying across blue sky

We flyin’ first class up in the sky? ….Cool your jets, you’re not that glamorous (yet). Start pinching pennies for that CIEE summer abroad.

2. Work work work work work work

We know, we know, how boring—but it’s never a bad idea to start building your resume with some real, live work experience. And work is probably the most straightforward way on this list to make sure you’ve got enough dollars in your pocket to last your whole CIEE summer abroad (or pesos or yuan or whatever it is you’ll be needing where you’re headed). In addition to an hourly job like waiting tables or lifeguarding, think about other odd jobs you could pick up in your free time. Babysitting. Lawn mowing. Painting your grandparents’ spare bedroom (don’t laugh, some of us totally did that). You might be surprised how many jobs people are willing to pay you for when they realize you’re motivated by a worthy educational experience, so don’t forget to spread the word that you’re looking for work to help fund your CIEE study abroad high school experience.

3. Be a more thoughtful consumer

Every pair of sneakers you pass on for now brings you one step closer to the even-more-amazing shoes you’ll see everyone wearing as they pass you on the streets in the super-cool city where you’ll be for your CIEE summer abroad high school program. While you’re readying yourself for this big adventure, being more careful about how you spend your money will help build up your financial reserves. Making do with less and avoiding fast fashion and rampant consumerism in general are also good ways to get you thinking about your place in the world and your impact on the planet—all things that your CIEE summer abroad will probably make you even more aware of. Why not start your incredible path of growth and self discover before departure?

Woman picking out clothes from a clothes rack

Listen to us carefully: put the cute crop top back on the rack and back away slowly. A CIEE high school summer abroad is worth so much more.

4. The fundraising magic of tidying up

And while we’re on the topic of things you really need, there are probably a whole bunch of things in your room that you don’t really need. Hold each one in your hands and ask yourself if it will still be sparking joy months from now when you’ve returned from CIEE high school summer abroad a changed person. Consider selling anything you think you’ve outgrown or could do without in a yard sale or at a local consignment shop. But be careful! Check with a parent or guardian for help if you plan to list things for sale online or through an app. You don’t want to get scammed or give out your personal information to strangers. And no selling anything that belongs to your little brother without checking with him first.

5. Scholarships are your friend

CIEE summer abroad high school programs come with scholarship opportunities for students with financial need. They also give out scholarships based on academic merit only. Make sure you apply for these internal scholarships along with your program application. In addition, check with your high school counselor, any groups you’re involved in (e.g., Girl Scouts, Key Club), and local civic or community organizations, especially groups that might have a cultural tie to your destination (e.g., the Italian American Society, the Cuban American Club, etc.), for other opportunities. Just because you haven’t heard about them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Scour the internet, but don’t underestimate word of mouth. Consider asking your aunts, uncles, and neighbors to activate their networks to help find sources of financial support.

6. Check the couch cushions

No, we’re not really that serious, but between the sofa, all of your coat pockets, and the cupholders in your car, you might just find enough to treat your family to a farewell pizza. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to leave things clean and sparkly to remember you by while you’re away?

Mason jars full of fruit lined up in a row with silly straws

And if all else fails, don’t underestimate the merits of a good ol’ fashioned lemonade stand.

7. Make a FundMyTravel account and get to crowdsourcing

FundMyTravel makes it easy for you to create a home on the web for all of your CIEE high school summer abroad fundraising efforts. Tell your story of where you’re going and why. Explain to people what makes you special and worthy of this opportunity. Be transparent. Be thoughtful. It probably doesn’t hurt to be at least a little bit funny! FundMyTravel makes it easy to share your campaign on social media and via email, which in turn can be shared by your friends and family to other people in your network. All money contributed goes directly to your account right away—even if you don’t hit your goal—so dream big. FundMyTravel does keep a small percentage to keep their site running, but donors you know well who want to avoid those fees can still contribute to you offline. Your account includes a tool for tracking your offline donations so that you can keep tally of your fundraising progress all in one place no matter how the money is rolling in.

High school summer abroad is going to be your best break ever. Period.

Women walking on the beach holding hands

The beach is a cool place to spend your summers, but you know what’s cooler? A summer abroad with CIEE.

With all that money in your account, your CIEE summer abroad high school program will be paid for in no time and you should even have a little left over for fun. Don’t forget to complete all the non-financial steps you’ll need to be thinking about before you go so that you can show up safe and on-time to the summer learning experience you’ve been working oh-so-hard for. And hug all your loved ones extra tight before you go!

That wasn’t too hard, was it? The fact is, even if all the penny pinching and the extra homework this process has generated for you does feel a bit tiring at times, it will be so worth it. A year from now, when you’re back home from your CIEE high school summer abroad and reflecting on how epically life-changing the whole experience was, you probably won’t remember the hard parts. With each passing year you will grow and learn and you’ll realize how you’ve been shaped by the good times and the bad that your CIEE summer abroad threw at you. And with that, the more tedious details of how you got that cash-money will just fade into the background of your memory.

Don’t Waste Another Second—Start Fundraising Online for Your CIEE Summer Abroad

amelia dietrichThis article was written by Amelia Dietrich. Amelia’s day job keeps her busy helping study abroad professionals grow and improve their professional practice in order to help college students have safe, high-quality educational experiences abroad. When work travel isn’t enough, Latin America is her destination of choice thanks to a past life as a Spanish teacher and bilingualism researcher.