Making Study Abroad Financially Feasible as a Jayhawk

Many of the times, study abroad can intimidate students because of the financial misunderstanding. In my experience as a first-gen, I believed it was just one big cost for every program and no scholarship opportunities.  However, after studying abroad twice and a semester working as a Peer Advisor, I heave learned you can make your semester abroad cheaper — with proper planning.

Keep in mind: our KU programs have the same cost for a program, whether you are an in-state student or not, making it in-state comparable for those of you coming from out of state. 

Typically, students will apply for scholarships at the same time they apply for the program. Some tips I suggest for funding are:

Applying for SAGE Scholarships
    • Although these are competitive, this should move you to try harder on your essays if finances are a barrier. 
    • Note: we have both merit and need-based scholarships.
Finding Scholarships in your Department or Organizations
    • Typically, departments will have scholarships for their students. 
    • I have attached a link to our handbook here, which includes some department scholarships.
If you are studying abroad for a semester/year, find outside scholarships for the academic year (those can be applied too!)
    • If you are on a KU program, you can apply any aid you are currently receiving here for that term abroad.
    • Private/Outside scholarships featured by KU
Talking to SAGE Financial Aid advisors
    • They usually take walk-ins and hold info sessions throughout the semester, giving you zero excuses of not meeting with them.
Applying for the Gilman Scholarship (pell-eligible students)
    • For those of you eligible, someone will reach out about workshop sessions, which I encourage you to attend!
    • Check out their website for eligibility requirements and tips
    • Also check out YouTube videos from prior Gilman recipients
    • Reach out to family and friends
    • Try to sell yourself, your experience and what you will get out of this once in a life time opportunity via GoFundMe, Fundly, Fundmytravel, etc.

Apply for everything and anything you meet the requirements for. Most, if not all, applications will require an essay, which you can get help writing at the KU Writing Center.  Overall, you are not losing anything you already don’t have. Instead, you will be strengthening your writing skills and find better ways to sell yourself. 

Also, check out STA Travel and StudentUniverse for cheaper flights (I actually saved ~$150 on my flight to Italy by using STA Travel).