How I Financed my Trip

Written by maddylayton April 6, 2022

I am here to be honest about money to give you all a good idea of how much this program costs and how you could go about paying for your study abroad experience. One reason why many people back at my university choose to not study abroad is because the cost is so high. I agree with that it’s a lot of money, but beyond worth it. Here is how I financed my trip.

My goal was not to take out any private loans in college, but when this opportunity came around, I knew I was going to want extra money for traveling. I took out a $5,000 loan with College Ave to finance living expenses including traveling and other experiences. I had to cosign with my mom to do this. My tuition cost around $17,000, but it was decreased to around $14,000.

Some scholarships I had to pay for it were ones given out from my school for study abroad and the ones I already had for school. When I got my refund, which was about $9,000 I immediately put that away to pay for tuition. My refund was so high because I used everything I already was getting each semester for school plus all Western Michigan University’s study abroad scholarships that I got.

Furthermore, some money was decreased straight from my CIMBA tuition bill because I applied for every CIMBA scholarship I could. This included being a blogger, the merit and financial scholarship as well as any other ones that I qualified for. This is what decreased my bill by about $3,000.

The ways I funded the rest of my tuition was by creating a GoFundMe, which I posted on Facebook. I ended up getting around $700 through this method. I also had a few family members cover the rest for me, which I am extremely grateful for. After tuition was paid for, I had my $5,000 loan and around $700 in savings to make it through the program.

This is where I would like to be honest and say that was not enough money. I ended up running out of money a few weeks short of the program ending. This is coming from someone who traveled every single weekend other than one. Most people in the program traveled most weekends except two or three. Around $200 went to clothes, but other than that, all the money went towards food, Airbnb’s, transportation and experiences such as museums. I was lucky that my family ended up helping me out by giving me a little bit of money each week so I could continue to travel.

If I could go back, I would have been more frugal in the beginning because, by the end, I realized I could still travel and fun without spending a lot of money. Additionally, I would have taken $1,000-2,000 more in my loan because by the time I was considering taking out a $2,000 loan, my parents didn’t want to cosign again. That’s when other relatives decided to help me out. It would have been helpful to have taken out a bigger loan in the beginning.

I hope this was helpful! I wanted to share some more travel pictures to inspire you to go to the Amalfi coast during the program. I went to Positano for my last weekend, and it was amazing.