Dedicate some time and effort to finding the scholarship opportunities that are available to you. Think about your network. Scholarships can come from many outside sources and can be associated with an organization you or your parents belong to or from a foundation or a place of employment. In most cases these funds are offered to help you with your studies, and your SJSU study abroad experience is part of that journey. Look for scholarships and aid given by outside agencies such as:
- Religious organizations
- Labor unions
- Service groups like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, E.O., Zonta, Soroptomist, etc.
- Community interactions (bank, credit union, grocery store, department store, coffee house)
- Parent’s place of employment
- Professional organizations in your major, i.e. “Society of Women Engineers”
- Local city or county library for scholarship books
- National, state, and local foundations
Check out our external scholarships page for more information on some existing organizational scholarships to get you started.
Online Scholarship Search Engines
Also be sure to fully utilize internet resources for finding scholarships for study abroad. Every year thousands of dollars of scholarship money go unused simply because students do not apply. Make sure to do your research to help make your experience as affordable as possible. There are several scholarship search engines that students can search through to find scholarships they are specifically eligible for:
- Study Abroad Funding—Database of study abroad scholarships
- StudyAbroad.com Scholarships
- Financial Aid Search Through the WEB (FastWeb)
- College Board Fund Finder
- We Make Scholars - study abroad funding
Keep in mind that scholarships are funds available to help you with the cost of your education and there should not be any cost associated with applying for them. Protect yourself from scholarship scams.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, unscrupulous companies guarantee or promise scholarships, grants or financial aid packages. Many use high-pressure sales pitches at seminars where you’re required to pay immediately or risk losing out. Some unscrupulous companies guarantee that they can get scholarships on behalf of students or award them “scholarships” in exchange for an advance fee.
The FTC cautions students to look and listen for these lines as signs of possible scams:
“The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
“Youcan’tget this information anywhere else.”
“I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.”
“We’ll do all the work.”
“The scholarship will cost some money.”
“You’vebeen selected” by a “national foundation” to receive a scholarship or
“You’re a finalist” in a contest you never entered.
The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. Visit ftc.gov or call toll-free at 1-877-382-4357.
In addition to applying for scholarships, there are many ways you can fundraise to save up for your study abroad/away experience! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Use a crowdfunding platform (GoFundMe, Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, FundMyTravel)
- Ask for study abroad funds rather than other birthday or holiday presents
- Partner with a campus organization you’re involved in or that’s related to your program destination to put on a fundraising event
- Get creative - send postcards or create a custom calendar with your photos for a fee
- Host a bake sale or offer to cater an event for friends/family
- Ask your networks to donate for every milestone you hit in a competition (ex: 10k, food contest, board game competition)
- Talk to local cultural groups/businesses that might help sponsor your program, in exchange for volunteering or supporting their products/service