London Living (on a Budget)

Once Sangeet Brar got accepted into the London Global Internship Program, her first priority became finding ways to comfortably fund her trip to one of the most expensive destinations in the world. With the help of OSU and the Fisher College of Business 50% of her two months abroad were covered.

I dreamed of going to London ever since I was a little girl. Whether it was because I enjoyed learning about the UK in my history classes or because of my love for One Direction, I knew that London would be the place for me. However, working abroad for two months without pay didn’t seem possible with my financial situation. Little did I know that with the help of university funding, I was actually going to be able to embark on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I hope this post gives you some insight into how you can fund your timeabroad. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at brar.31@osu.edu. Let’s get into it!

Plan Ahead

            I knew I wanted to do an internship abroad once I found out about the program during my freshman year at OSU. Knowing ahead of time allowed me to start budgeting early. During my sophomore year I worked two jobs within Fisher, which allowed me to save up a decent amount of money for my summer abroad. I know having two jobs is not feasible for everyone, but even getting one part-time position will really make a difference. With the money I saved I was able to save up for plane tickets to and from London and also for my weekend trips. I set my direct deposit to go straight to my Savings Account rather than my Checking Account, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to spend that money during the school year. Since I was set on going to London, I made sure that I set myself up financially. However, there are a ton of different programs through Fisher and OSU that are not as expensive.

Scholarships

            As a tour guide, people always ask me why I chose Ohio State, and I always say that the amount of resources OSU has for its students truly goes unmatched. If it were not for STEP and the FCOB Global Experience Scholarship I would not have been able to have the time of my life in London.

OSU and Fisher have so many scholarships that students can apply for; it’s just a matter of being proactive and taking advantage of all these opportunities. The first thing I did was go to the Office of Global Business’ Funding Your Global Experience page. I went through the Checklist to get a basic understanding of all the funding out there. I made sure that I completed and submitted my FAFSA on time so that I would be eligible for university funding and scholarships. From this site I was able to find the Fisher College of Business Global Experience Scholarship, which I used to cover my food and transportation costs. There are also many program specific and country specific scholarships, so I made sure to look throughthose as well. Though many of those did not apply to me specifically, they are definitely worth looking into. There are also plenty of scholarships on the OSU Education Abroad page, which can be found under the OSU Funding Opportunities tab.

I also participated in the Second Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP), which gave me $2,000 to help pay for my program fee. STEP was a one of a kind program that pairs students with faculty mentors who guide them throughout their second year. After completing all the required assignments and attending the weekly meetings, I received my grant in May, right before I left for London. STEP is an amazing program, so please please please sign up for it! You will not regret it.

Budget Budget Budget

            London is an expensive city and Chelsea is an expensive borough to live in, so I made it a priority to budget how much I was able to spend per week on things like food, transportation, and tourist attractions. Thankfully I was able to stick to my plan by buying groceries rather than eating out every night and going to a lot of the free attractions in London, which there are plenty of. Using my BuckID to get student discounts and buying tickets online in advanced to get into different events allowed me to save a lot. Overall, just staying on top of things helped me manage my money pretty effectively. Because I had a plan going into it, I was able to not only experience London but also a variety of countries in Europe over the weekends.

If you are planning on studying abroad or interning abroad start thinking about what you can do to start saving and funding your trip. I never would have thought I’d be able to travel abroad for 2 months, but I was able to do it with the help of OSU!

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