So you've decided to lock in an overseas adventure, but you're not quite sure how to stretch the bank to make it work?
We know traveling abroad is expensive, but here are a few ways to save up and get additional funding before you go.
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS & FINANCIAL AID
There are several independent scholarship-awarding institutions around the world who see the value of GAP years and constructive time spent abroad. While many have very specific requirements, some simply want to see that you've worked hard and will continue to work hard during your time abroad. Merit-based, service and leadership, and blogging/social media scholarships offer between 20-50% off program fees. We encourage you to do a bit of research to seek out these types of associations as they provide excellent resources.
If you'd like more information about getting in touch with these types of institutions, enquire above or send us a message. We're happy to help!
Funding your gap year
STRETCH WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
A few lifestyle changes can make a huge difference with your finances.
- Cut out expensive habits like
- Eating out
- Going out more than one night a week
- Buying new clothes ("Yo, that's fifty dollars for a T-shirt!")
- Stop paying for things you don't use!
When was the last time you used your gym membership? Go for a hike and throw some rocks around instead!
Are you still paying for your own Netflix? You know they have multiple profiles per account now, right?
- Sell your stuff
You're about to head off for a year of traveling, and you won't need much. Sites like eBay and Craigslist offer endless opportunities to make a little bit of cash on stuff you never use anyway. A month or so before you leave, sell your car if you have one! Your parents will thank you for getting it out of their driveway and you'll make a ton of extra spending money.
GET A JOB (OR TWO)
Every little bit helps. A summer job before your year abroad can pay for your airfare and a portion of your in-country expenses. A few extra jobs here and there can provide some additional spending money or be the extra push you need to fund your gap year.
- Mowing lawns, helping with spring cleaning, gardening, etc.
- Driving for a food-delivery service in your town
- Walking dogs
REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY
You might be surprised how excited the people in your life may be to help fund your GAP year. Take some time to write out a letter, create a video, or meet with people individually to explain what has motivated you to travel or work abroad, how you intend to make the most of your time, and what experience, skills, and perspectives you plan to bring home with you. Start with your family, your church, and small businesses. Go online to use social media platforms like Facebook, or reach an even larger group of people on sites like Go Fund Me or Kickstarter.