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Financing and Scholarships

Most students see money (lack of money) as the biggest roadblock to studying abroad, and there’s no doubt you’ll have to come up with some extra cash to make this happen. However, “worth every penny” is a phrase you’ll hear over and over if you talk to students who’ve done it. Costs are different for each program, so find an estimate for the one you want, and then get busy with a budget, a financial plan, and a determination to save.

And there is some good news. Keep in mind:

For CCI and other Kent State programs, you should be able to apply whatever scholarships or financial aid you normally receive to your semester or course abroad. Room and book scholarships cannot be used for a study abroad program.

The Office of Global Education holds FREE MONEY Study Abroad Scholarship information sessions early each semester. Watch for notices and attend. Then get busy filling out applications. Let everyone know you are in school and that you are making plans to study abroad. You may have neighbors or distant relatives who know of scholarships you could apply for.

Here’s a head start from the Office of Global Education: Searching for Study Abroad Scholarships has links to many scholarship opportunities. Some will fit your major. Some are databases you can search. If you’re willing to fill out some applications and write some essays, you may be very glad you did.

Remember that money is money – it doesn’t have to be a “Study Abroad Scholarship” to apply toward a study abroad. You’re still paying tuition here in Kent. Any financial aid will help. And remember, money adds up. Ask for travel money on your birthdays, and before you know it, you’ll have a weekend trip from Florence to Paris paid for.

If you set aside just $35 each week for three years (How easy is that?), you’ll have more than $5,000 at the end of your junior year. That’s enough to cover your food and travel expenses (think all over Europe) for a whole semester abroad or more than enough to cover all expenses for most short-term courses abroad.

Your college – Communication & Information – strongly supports study abroad and actually backs that up with money! So far every CCI Florence student has received a scholarship of $1,000 or more from the college simply for being in the CCI Florence cohort.

Because of the extra costs associated with study abroad, you may also want to begin researching various loan programs. The Student Financial Aid Office has information about the Parent PLUS loan as well as alternative loans, on its website. Go to http://www.kent.edu/financialaid/types/loans.cfm to begin your research. Be sure also to review steps to study abroad as well as frequently asked questions at http://www.kent.edu/financialaid/applying/studyabroadfinaid.cfm. Laura Gaugler, Study Away Coordinator in the Student Financial Aid Office, can answer your questions about funding and work with you to create a budget for your study away program. Email her at lgaugle1@kent.edu.

 

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