Let’s talk money

Written by Hannah October 10, 2019

Financing your study abroad – it’s a big task! When I was first figuring out where I wanted to study abroad, finances were definitely a huge factor in my decision. As a UI student, I receive scholarships to study, so I knew I wanted to find a study abroad program that would count those scholarships towards its tuition. For out-of-state students who attend the University of Iowa, this program is actually cheaper than a semester of tuition, housing, and meals at Iowa. Although the upfront cost is intimidating, it is very convenient to know exactly how much the academic part of the program will cost, leaving only leisure costs up to you!

My Financial Strategy

I applied for several scholarships and was able to get over $7,000 in scholarships, both need and merit-based! CIMBA has several scholarships to help finance your trip as well as your home university. CIMBA has many different scholarships available – even things like being a blog ambassador, which I am! It pays to research the options you have because it can make things much more affordable. I also took out my normal federal loans to have the full amount needed. This summer, I choose not to take classes and worked two full-time jobs to have a good amount of “fun money”.

As I mentioned in my first blog post, traveling was a big point for me. In the past 37 days, I have been to more countries and cities than I could have imagined. In the two weeks before the program, I went to Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, London, and Brighton; each city making me hungry for more. In the three weeks since coming to CIMBA, I have been to Venice (twice!), Florence, and Paris and am headed to Milan next weekend. Although I would love to keep up these insane travel adventures, my bank account has other plans. Traveling in Europe is much cheaper than in America, but I think the most important aspect is that I am paying for the experiences rather than 2 am Taco Bell.

Another important thing to keep in mind is what you are going to do once you get back home. I financed out enough money for my first few months of rent. I also have a job lined up when I return home since I don’t have an income this semester. All of this can be very daunting, but we have so many resources to help us plan, budget, and finance studying abroad. There are also many helpful apps to help budget while abroad and websites like Omio that will look across the board for the cheapest way to travel. Besides apps and websites, you can get assistance from the office or other students that have done traveling in Europe before. The most important thing is to remember you can ask for help! 

What ideas do you have to finance your study abroad adventure?