Looking to travel the world as a student?
For a student at any level – undergraduate, MA, or PhD – professional travel is a terrific opportunity. There are so many reasons to travel while getting your degree – networking opportunities, hands-on learning, and career preparation. Conferences, research, and study abroad programs can enhance your resume and give you important real-world experiences.
For many students, however, a lack of funding gets in the way of taking advantage of travel experiences. But don’t let that stop you! Once you start looking, you will realize there are lots of opportunities to explore the world for little or no cost.
Here are 10 suggestions to get you started:
Seek out travel grants and scholarships. Depending on the country you are heading to, your institution, and your class status, you might apply for a Fulbright grant, a Marshall scholarship, a Rhodes scholarship, or a Watson Fellowship. Click here see to see a neat, interactive map that will help you find study abroad funding from the Institute of International Education. Also, here is a list of scholarships and grants compiled by the University of Central Florida.
Talk to the chair of your department or another faculty member. While not all departments have money to spare for student travel, some can assist you in small ways. Your chair may know of additional scholarships or grants that you are not aware of. Additionally, your department may partner with a center or institution that does award travel funding for certain projects. You never know until you ask!
Look for assistance from your Student Government Association. Schools like The University of Central Florida have a thriving Student Government Association that often assist with travel for conferences and research. And why not? Your school fees are paying for them! Are you part of a registered student organization or society? If you apply together, you may be eligible for additional funding.
Apply for internal grants and scholarships at your university. The University of Central Florida currently gives out several scholarships, including one for graduate research. Attending a different school? Your Student Government Association probably keeps a full list of these internal awards, so get in touch with them. These funding opportunities are often extremely competitive, so make sure your application is clear, concise, and makes a good argument for your case.
Look for funding opportunities in the College of Graduate Studies or the Office of Undergraduate Research. The University of Central Florida gives a presentation fellowship to graduate students who meet requirements. The Office of Undergraduate Research gives travel awards to qualifying undergraduates. If you are unsure about whether your institution offers a similar program, get in touch with the head of graduate studies at your department, or call the graduate studies office directly.
Cultural Exchange Programs. Some foundations promote cultural exchange programs that can fund your travel. Additionally the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funds individuals who want to experience another country. For students looking to gain new perspective and experience what other cultures have to offer.
Network like crazy. Once you know your destination, try and establish contacts there. Once you begin making travel arrangements, they can give you money-saving tips. Don’t forget to network with scholars at your university who work in your field. They may be able to help you find funding sources.
Crowd-source part (or all!) of your trip. Crowd-sourcing websites such as Kickstarter and FundYourTravel have grown in popularity over recent years, and some globe-trotters are beginning to swear by them. To have a successful campaign, be sure to utilize social media to your advantage and create a compelling video. The money you earn may not fund an all-expense research trip, but it may get you part of the way there, and help you network in the process.
Teach English. If you are looking to engage with a different culture for a long period of time, consider teaching English. According to InterExchange, English language skills are “in high demand” and many countries offer an exchange program. Want to know more? Read this recent article from Business Insider.
Budget and save. This might sound revolutionary, but carefullybudgeting and saving for a few months will increase your chances of meeting your funding goals.Even once you receive travel funding, you may want to put some cash aside for extra expenses.
Have you received travel funding? Have any comments or additions? Let us know!