Education Abroad and Funding: What you should know!
So you think going abroad would be cool, but there’s no way you can afford it? Before you make that decision, be sure to check out the facts!
Fact one: What’s the bottom line?
How much will your time abroad cost? You can get a budget estimate through your program provider online and/or from your study abroad advisor! Be sure that budget includes big things like flight and insurance as well as day-to-day expenses like local transportation and laundry.
Now you have a final cost. If this is the program and location for you, let’s look at the other facts. But if it’s more than you want to pay, how about looking at other options? Is there a cheaper program in the same country, or another country that would work?
Fact two: Financial aid can help!
Because you are an OSU student going on an approved OSU program, you will be eligible for financial aid just as you would here on campus – with one key difference. We’ll pass your study abroad budget on to the Financial Aid office. If your program costs more than regular OSU attendance, and you haven’t already maxed out your aid, they can offer you options to help meet the cost!
But you can’t get financial aid unless you file a FAFSA. So make sure to file it as early as possible to get the ball rolling. And don’t fear loans. If you’re committed to making it happen, have a plan in place…and if you happen to get scholarships to replace the loans, so much the better! And that brings us to our final fact.
Fact three: Scholarships are out there.
There are scholarships available from a variety of sources here at OSU, as well as private organizations, and even the federal government! These range greatly – from $500 to up to $20,000. As you can imagine, some of these scholarships are highly competitive.
In general, there are more scholarships available to students who can demonstrate severe financial need, those in non-traditional study abroad majors (such as science or engineering), and/or those going to non-traditional countries (outside of Western Europe and Australia). By going off the beaten path, you may be able to find less expensive opportunities with more scholarship money available. In addition, many scholarships or program fee reductions are available for students who choose to stay for an academic year versus a term/semester.
Many scholarship deadlines will come up around 4-6 months before you go abroad, but some are more than a year in advance. Be sure to start looking early!
Fact four: It’s worth it!
An experience abroad is an investment in yourself, as well as your future. You can gain wonderful personal and professional skills by studying or interning abroad (cross-cultural communication, independence, adaptation, creative problem-solving, self-confidence, and more!). Beyond these specific skills, an experience abroad is truly a life-changing experience. Do it – it’s worth it!