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High Financial Need

´╗┐One of the most popular myths surrounding studying abroad is that students with high financial need cannot afford it. However, students with high financial need DO study abroad! They study in a wide variety of locations and stay for terms ranging from one quarter to an entire academic year. The key to a successful experience abroad is planning. As you plan, consider how you will balance your goals for studying abroad with your financial situation.

Many schools will allow students to use their financial aid package for an abroad experience, while others may have more restrictions on their financial aid policy. Augsburg students are allowed to use all of their financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans) on a semester or year-long program! This helps to make an abroad experience more affordable. In addition, there are national and provider-specific scholarships that you can apply for.

Steps to Take

  1. Ask Thoughtful Questions
  2. Research Financial Considerations
  3. Identify Resources Available
  4. Discuss Your Study Abroad Plans

Ask

  • How will I budget for studying abroad?
  • What expenses can I anticipate to help avoid unexpected costs?
    • Is the cost of living higher or lower than in the U.S.?
    • What are charges associated with withdrawing money in this country? Are there ways I can decrease these costs?
    • Will I need to use local transportation to get to and from classes? If so, are there monthly passes available, or passes available at a discounted student rate?
    • Will my meals be included in my program fee?
    • How will I keep in touch with my family? (phone card, cell phone, Skype, etc.)
  • Will financial costs influence which programs I consider?
  • How will I make studying abroad affordable for me?
    • What are strategies I use in the U.S. and on campus to save money? Which of these strategies can I still use abroad?
    • Is bartering generally acceptable in the country?
  • What financial barriers might I encounter, and how will I overcome them?
    • Will I need to rely more on cash or can I use my credit/debit card?
    • Will I need to apply for a passport and/or visa? How much will this cost?
  • How will I plan ahead if I normally have to work, but will not while abroad?
  • Will I travel outside the country? How will I budget for this?
  • What are my reasons for studying abroad? Do I need to set aside funds to achieve my goals?
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Research

  • Contact the Financial Aid Office to learn about how your Augsburg financial aid package will apply to your study abroad program, payment plans, and how to plan and budget for your expenses abroad. Non-Augsburg students are encouraged to speak with their home institution’s financial aid office.
  • Review the information about up-front costs and financial aid for study abroad.
  • Explore program options on our website, considering the questions listed above, and look into the financial help/resources specific to each program.
  • Research and learn about exchange rates, ATM fees, and opening a bank account while abroad.
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Identify

Review programs that are low-cost, or that have built-in scholarships for students. Augsburg students should first review our own CGEE semester programs to receive the automatic $1,500 Auggie Global Scholarship, as well as exchange opportunities which have an automatic $1,000 scholarship.
 

Scholarships

  • Augsburg’s Center for Global Education and Experience programs (“Augsburg CGEE” programs) offer a variety of scholarships, for Auggies and students from any institution. In 2017/18 academic year, CGEE awarded over $100,000 in scholarships and discounts to students traveling on our programs. See our scholarships page for a full listing of opportunities available.
  • Other scholarships do exist for study abroad! Some of the top national scholarships include the Gilman, Boren, and FEA scholarships. You can read about these scholarships, as well as links to notable scholarship search engines, on our scholarship page.
  • Read “7 Best Practices for Travel Scholarship Applications” from goabroad.com for excellent scholarship tips!

Alternate Funding Sources

  • Apart from loans, institutional aid, and scholarships, some students launch crowd-sourced donation pages. “Fund My Travel” is a popular choice, as well as the more widely-known “Go Fund Me”. Many of these platforms will take a percentage of your donations, so be sure to check all of the requirements before launching your page!
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Discuss

  • Contact the Financial Aid Office to learn about how your Augsburg financial aid will apply to study abroad, and  to discuss any other scholarship opportunities that you might also want to pursue.
  • Speak with your study abroad advisor about your plans for study abroad and any questions you have.
  • Ask your study abroad advisor to put you in contact with students who have gone on your program to ask more specific questions and learn about the student’s experience abroad.
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