Financing Education Abroad
One of the biggest challenges and often times a reason individuals shy away from education abroad is the topic of determining how you will finance your experience. I’m here to tell you that it can be done, and be done economically! It’s important to take into account the following when determining how to finance your study abroad experience: what type of program you are looking for, what locations you are looking at, and how much traveling do you want to do off program.
For starters Fisher offers a variety of programs for education abroad each ranging from a variety of prices. I personally participated in a Fisher Student Exchange Program. The great part about the exchange programs is that they are simply your Ohio State tuition. You don’t have to pay more or less you simply pay your Ohio State tuition as you normally would and essentially you “swap places” with a student from the university you will be attending. There are other programs as well that have different financing plans, but these can be affordable as well! There are many opportunities through scholarships and even using STEP money if you happen to be involved in that program. Fisher's Office of Global Business has a scholarship program that I know myself and many other students who were studying abroad were lucky enough to receive. I personally only applied for one scholarship the Fisher's Office of Global Business FCOB Global Experience Scholarship. It was a super easy process and didn't even require that much time. I just had to fill out a brief questionnaire! It’s all about keeping an eye on those opportunities early, and simply applying! Fisher does a great job at outlining those opportunities and making it easy for you to take advantage of them.
Another important factor to take into consideration is where you want to go abroad. This is something that I didn’t take into consideration and it was quite the shock for me. I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark which I didn’t know but is one of the more expensive cities in Europe. It’s important to consider this and plan accordingly. I didn't plan out a budget prior to leaving but I definitely should have. I had to be frugal when I was in Denmark. I didn’t eat out as much as I would to have liked because I had to prioritize my finances and I wanted to travel, as opposed to experience all of the restaurant’s the city had to offer.
Finally, the most important thing you need to plan for financially is how much traveling you want to do during your program. Personally, this was a key point for me. I really wanted to travel all around Europe and I did! I ended up going to 19 countries when I was out there, but it definitely required a lot of financial planning. I worked the summer and semester leading up to my exchange to save for this purpose. Besides saving I would suggest to prioritize. Like I mentioned before eating out in Copenhagen is very expensive meals ranging from $25-45. So instead of eating out multiple times a week I would opt to cook and use that money to travel instead.
Just to break down an average trip for you I have some costs listed below that were associated with each trip. This of course varied from trip to trip as some cities are more expensive than others, and some places are more expensive to fly into, but this will give you a general idea for when you are planning out your finances.
- Plane Ticket = $100-200
- Airbnb or Hostel = $50
- Food = $100
- Activities = $50
- Transportation = $30
- Souvenirs = $10
- Other = $50
- Total = $390-490
Overall, education abroad can be financially challenging, but totally do able! I would suggest that no one not study abroad because they are worried they can’t afford it because the experience is so valuable and amazing. All you need to do is plan carefully and prioritize and you can have a semester full of traveling and experiences that can’t even have a price tag. Also again apply, apply for scholarships they are there and you never know unless you simply apply!