Don’t be scared to study abroad. In the “Don’t Be Scared” series, I will highlight some of the most common concerns I’ve received about studying abroad. If you’ve never considered studying abroad, I ask you, WHY NOT? If you are studying abroad as an undergrad, there will never be another time in your life when you have this kind of freedom – freedom from a job, freedom from bills (kinda), or the freedom to explore.
You say, “I CAN’T AFFORD IT!”
My Reply: If you can afford Howard University (or whatever school you go to), you can afford to study abroad. All of the Financial Aid you receive and the tuition you pay toward HU can be transferred to your study abroad program in most cases. So compare how much you are paying for tuition to the cost of the study abroad program. There are going to be programs that cost more and if you’re lucky you can find programs that cost less. This will all depend on the organization, the country, whether you’re staying in an apartment or with a host family, etc. The policy may vary from school to school but generally any financial aid you receive or the tuition you are already paying can be applied to the study abroad program that semester. This is an amazing system if you are on a scholarship – your scholarship money will go toward your program tuition and you are essentially spending a semester in another country for free (as free as scholarships go)!
Also, there are DOZENS of grants, scholarships, and other free monies out there to assist you – especially for minorities. If you need help finding them, please don’t hesitate to call me. I live for this and would do anything to help you experience something like this. PLEASE RESEARCH THE BENJAMIN GILMAN FOUNDATION if you are currently receiving financial aid, because they have a grant specifically for this (http://www.iie.org//programs/gilman/index.html). Besides the scholarships and grants, there are some programs (such as the Fulbright mentioned in the previous post) that are at no cost to the participants to begin with.
Now that we know you can afford it, what’s holding you back?!