Less than two months left in my experience here in Japan. The end of my trip is definitely dawning on me at this point, and I know I have to make the most of my last eight weeks. I definitely am, though! I have my trip to Tokyo booked for a week from Friday, and I will be staying in the city for four nights so I can see as much as possible. I’m beyond excited!
But, this week, as opposed to talking about what adventures I’ve been getting in during the past few days, I’m going to talk about your study abroad experience. That’s right, I’m talking to you, computer or mobile phone user. The prospect of going to another country for a summer, semester or year might seem difficult or even undoable, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not only possible, but easier than you think it is!
One of the biggest worries about studying abroad is the financial factor. College is absurdly expensive in the first place, how ever could you afford going to another country? Well, let’s take a look.
First off, if you’re a CSU student, you’re at a school with great Study Abroad connections. It has sponsored programs with schools all across the world, and in most major countries. These sponsored programs offer practically like-for-like costs, so you’re paying practically the same as what you’d pay at CSU. Here at Kansai Gaidai University, I’m paying almost exactly the same for tuition and housing as I would be back home.
Secondly, the majority of the financial aid you are already receiving will follow you to the other country. Any help you get from the FAFSA, any scholarships you get from Colorado State, and a good amount of scholarships from outside sources will not go away just because you’re going away. So keep that in mind! If you want to make sure that your scholarships will follow you abroad, check with Student Financial Services.
Also, a wealth of study abroad scholarships are available for you to help make your dream trip come true. The Office of International Programs offers both merit- and need-based study abroad scholarships. Certain departments at CSU also offer scholarships, especially science and engineering departments. One of the biggest outside scholarships is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, eligible to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding. I received $5,000 from the Gilman Scholarship, which helped a ton, and anyone receiving a Pell Grant should really apply for the Gilman. Generally, more scholarships are available for less popular study abroad destinations such as those in Asia, Africa and South America, so look into that, as well.
Lastly, research, research, research! You can definitely find a program that fits your budget, plenty of scholarships for that program, and make your study abroad dream come true. Going to another country for school is great fun and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t let money get in the way of you having a life-changing experience!