Help is Essential: Why and How to Acquire it!

Written by tracytanner July 3, 2021

The first concern many students have when planning study abroad is funding and or paying for their program and travel. I am here to talk about just that!

I. It is worth the money! Too much stress only takes away from the experience.

II. There are endless ways to gain funding and support.

III. Planning goes a long way.

IV. Encouragement and inspiration is fundamental in all aspects.

I was extremely blessed to be able to partake in the CIMBA Italy Program this summer. I think the first thing to note is that the opportunity to study abroad is not greatly accessible to all and should not be taken for granted. Traveling abroad, in any situation, requires money, dedication, time and effort. But… with encouragement, inspiration, hard-work, commitment, and passion, it is extremely possible for each and every student!

Personally, my current scholarships from my home university covered my study abroad which has been one of the biggest blessings. I now understand the push from my scholarship office for their students to study abroad and the funding backed by them. The learning experience, both personally and professionally, far exceeds any normal classroom setting. Additionally, the Honors College at my university grants several thousands of dollars to honors students who desire to study abroad with a simple, accessible application. Furthermore, CIMBA grants scholarships through their home office for students applying to any of their programs. The staff is extremely helpful in helping students navigate the applications and awards.

I had planned and prepared for this trip for months prior to my departure, so I was able to save up some of my own money for my extended travel weeks and free travel weekends. Every dollar (or euro haha) spent in Europe felt much more worthwhile than the same money being spent in the states! Keep that in mind when preparing and packing for your program. I can say that my personal spending was less than I expected it to be and I did not limit myself on almost anything. As long as you are generally reasonable, you will get great use out of your money and not regret one dollar spent.

The last aspect to include in the need for help in preparing to study abroad is inspiration and encouragement. My parents were extremely excited and dedicated to my dream of studying abroad and I owe them a huge thank you every day for that. My mom helped me immensely by navigating the ins and outs of applications, forms, flights, accommodations, covid tests, and everything in between. My parents were ready to listen to any concerns or fears I had and combated each and every one with comfort and understanding. Also, the staff at both the University of Arkansas and the CIMBA program itself inspired me to attend CIMBA and travel abroad. I could not be more grateful for the people that helped me achieve this extra-large dream!