Fundraising & Saving
- Start saving now! Open a savings account and put aside part of your pay checks and start saving birthday/holiday money. Consider getting a part-time job during the school year, or increasing the hours you already work. Even working 5-7 hours per week will add up, and will still allow you time to focus on your studies. Small amounts will add up over time!
- Begin talking to your parents or other family members about what type of support they may be able to provide. Don't assume/hope that the finances will "work out" in the end.
- Conduct some preliminary research on your program choices, and pay attention to program pre-requisites. A less expensive program can sometimes have pre-requisites such as a higher GPA or language pre-requisite. If so, start planning to meet any pre-requisites. The more choices you have, the more likely you will be able to choose an affordable program.
- Compile a list of sacrifices you could make, and choose one or two to implement. Some students make large sacrifices such as living at home or selling possessions. However, small sacrifices can add up as well. Consider making coffee instead of buying it each day - this could add up to hundreds of dollars per year! Make a list of such ideas, and commit to one or two.
Read the details of how each site works – if fees are charged, etc. – before beginning your campaign.
Fundmytravel is an online platform where you can set up your own campaign for a trip. Designate fees by category (essential living expenses, program fees, study materials, etc.) and donators can contribute to any category.
GoFundMe is a personal online fundraising website for individuals, groups and organizations. GoFundMe allows you to raise money online for just about any idea, event, project or cause your family, friends and personal contacts might believe in.
At Indiegogo, creating a campaign is simple. Tell people what you are doing, how they can help and what unique perks they'll get for becoming contributors. You keep 100% ownership of your campaign, and you don't pay any up-front costs to create the campaign.
Project Travel enables program participants to raise money and support for study, intern, volunteer, teach, service-learning, au pair, and faculty-led programs through their online peer-funding platform.
Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like your project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing-projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. All-or-nothing funding might seem scary, but it's amazingly effective in creating momentum and rallying people around an idea.
If you need a little financial help with a new school expense or academic goal, create a Mission to fundraise online and share it with your social network. Supporters can donate any amount of money to help and you have instant access to every dollar as it comes in.
Fund for Education Abroad (grants and scholarships)
FEA is committed to increasing the opportunities for dedicated U.S. American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships.
Other Suggestions for Fundraising
- Set up a Paypal account on your Facebook or blog where readers can contribute
- "Fundraising: How to Finance Your Program Participation:" a pdf published by Mobility International USA. This is full of great suggestions for personal fundraising and real life examples of students who used their creativity and talents to raise the funding to go abroad. (http://www.miusa.org/publications/books/altformats/sspdf/ssch2pt2).
- Colby University publishes a guide explaining creative ways to fund your education abroad program. (http://www.colby.edu/academics_cs/ocs/students/upload/How-to-Creatively-Fund-ResourceGuide.pdf)