One of the biggest challenges for students who are considering Study Abroad is financial planning– program costs, scholarship eligibility, deadlines, loans, financial aid budgets…
Our best piece of advice: do not let these reasons discourage you from pursuing the experience of a lifetime! There are many other creative ways to finance your Study Abroad, one being fundraising.
Believe it or not, many of the people in your circle (family, friends, coworkers, clubs/organizations, etc.) would be happy to feel like they were a part of your journey to Study Abroad by contributing a small donation that would enable you to participate in such an incredible experience.
These are some websites you can use to create an online fundraising campaign:
Make sure to share with people the important details— a short, one to two paragraph description that addresses:
- Where are you going?
- Why are you going? (your purpose, your goals, your dreams!)
- How will this benefit you? (academically, professionally, personally)
Many adults who did not have the opportunity to Study Abroad actually love to vicariously live through your travels! In exchange for a small donation, ($1, $5, $10, $25, or even $50) you can present incentives such as:
- $1 to $5= Social Media Shout Out
- $10 = Post Card from [Country]
- $25 = Small Souvenir
- $50+ = All of the above!
People may also be more willing to add a little extra if they knew exactly how you would be using your funding. You can present the total amounts of specific expenses associated with your Study Abroad program, such as the cost of your passport, food for a day, activities/entrance fees, your luggage, your flight, etc.:
- $15 = Sponsor my entry fee for [program activity/museum/etc.]
- $25 = Sponsor my meals for a day
- $100 = Sponsor my passport
- $300 = Sponsor 25% of the total cost of my round-trip flight
Also, set a deadline! Create your campaign goal to fundraise “$x,xxx” in only “X” weeks! The urgency and excitement of it, as well as your wonderfully written and inspiring story of why you want to Study Abroad, will encourage people to get excited and share your campaign with others.
Finally, share with EVERYONE in your network. This includes family, friends of family, your parent’s coworkers, your friends, your coworkers, your church, clubs/organizations you’re involved in, etc. Push a link to your campaign through text, e-mail, social media, etc. and set up a schedule to push out new content (photos of your destination, a status update about your purpose) that reminds people about your journey to Study Abroad and how they can help you get there.
Ultimately, people who love and support you will help you if you ask, whether it’s in a monetary or non-monetary way. Don’t be afraid to reach out!
Here are some articles and other creative ideas that can help you fundraise:
- “Fundraising 101”
- MSU “How to Finance Your Study Abroad”
- “3 Ways to Raise Money for Study Abroad Programs”
- “40 Fundraising Ideas for Study Abroad”