Finding funds for a study abroad program is always difficult.
There is the Gilman scholarship available. The Deadline is October 6th. http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program
Here is how most people fund their program (assumes parents cannot outright pay for it)
- Graduation present – Many families have a tradition of giving a graduation present (even if you are not graduating this year). Asking that the graduation present be the funding of the program
- Grandparents or relatives – A number of students have asked grandparents to fund their trip.
- Loan – Either a student loan or just a bank loan. Every student who participated in the program stated that they would not only do it again, but that a loan was worth it.
- Crowdsourcing (gofundme) - The could work, but you need to do more than just put up your request. You need to provide incentives. For example, for $50 contribution you will take a specified picture; for $100 you will send s souvenir; or for $500 you will send a T-shirt. This effort will require promotion and publicity,. You could have events that create awareness that directs people to this site to donate
- Church – Many churches support the efforts of students to do things. You might have to again provide incentives or provide an explanation of how what you are asking fits the church mission.
- Employment – A number of students find work to raise money for the trip. A job with the funds earmarked for the program. (e.g., tutoring)
- Local service organizations – Almost every community has service organizations (e.g., Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions). Although each club varies, it cannot hurt to ask for support.
- Unique items - a number of student find ways to apply frequent flyer miles. I have not tried it, but you may be able to use other recognition programs (e.g., Hilton, Marriott).
- Local Businesses – Check out the interest of local businesses in supporting your program. You could get creative and say you will do product placement (photos of product in country).
- Sell stuff – If you have items that you can sell. You can post these items for sale on the following sites.
- Craigslist – Craigslist is one of the first sites that buyers go to if they need something specific. It’s free to list your stuff and you can include photos of what you’re selling. Just be sure to take safety precautions– don’t include personal information in the ad and read their warnings to help protect yourself from scams.
- Amazon – Did you know that you can list your used stuff on Amazon? Sure, it’s a great way to get sell back your textbooks, but you can also list pretty much anything else that Amazon sells. Gather up any novels that you’ve already read, DVDs you never opened, parts from your old laptop, or old sports equipment, and see if they sell.
- Ebay – You can sell absolutely ANYTHING on Ebay. And it’s easy– here’s a beginner’s guide on how to sell on Ebay.
- Plato’s Closet – If a closet cleanse left you with tons of clothes and accessories that are still in good condition, bring them to your nearest Plato’s Closet and see what they’ll buy from you. You won’t get more than three or four dollars per piece, but if you’re never going to wear it again, any amount is better than throwing it away.
- Ask your friends – Post on your Facebook page letting your friends know about any big items that they may be interested in. Someone may be looking for cheap used furniture or a spare Mac charger and would be willing to give you some money for it.
- Have a garage sale – The spring and summer are the seasons of yard sales. Even if you don’t have enough to sell to host an entire sale yourself, locate one in your neighborhood and ask the homeowners if you can post up with your own table.
- If you have a product you can sell, you could create an Etsy store.
Here are some additional ideas
For many students it takes a focus and effort to raise the funds. Every student who goes on the program says it is worth it.