Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences you have during college, but it also causes stress for students with limited financial means. When I studied abroad, I applied for every scholarship imaginable and also had to dip into my savings to cover the costs. Other students on the same program took out loans or received financial aid to make ends meet. Thankfully, there are plenty of advisers and fellow students to give you advice, and this week CL interviewed Jim Pulos, the Assistant Director of the Education Abroad Office at the University of South Florida, to get his insight.
College Lifestyles™: How do you help students figure out their financial options?
Jim Pulos: We work with each student and their individual financial aid options to help guide them toward managing their finances to make the program a reality. This is done through individual meetings with the students, as well as through contact with related offices on campus that deal with students’ funding availability.
CL: What’s a good resource for students looking to get a travel scholarship?
JP: Our office directly administers a number of scholarships for students planning to study abroad. The Office of National Scholarships on campus and the Financial Aid office are excellent resources for students to investigate for funding options, as well.
CL: How early should students start applying for scholarships? Is it OK to apply before you’ve been accepted into the program?
JP: It is best to begin looking into scholarship possibilities at least two semesters prior to the term they plan to study abroad. While it is best to have been accepted into a program before applying for certain scholarships, I would still encourage students to explore scholarship opportunities even before formal acceptance.