More Financial Aid Tips

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In this entry I'd like again to talk about some ways to finance your study abroad experience. If you have not discovered this already, the University Office of Global Programs at Penn State is an extraordinary resource, with a very informative website detailing everything you need to know for your study abroad preparations. They have links to a myriad of scholarship resources, along with many tips for finding ways to make ends meet.

Here's some ideas about engaging your local community in helping you finance your study abroad:

Make a list of potential organizations, clubs, and businesses you could contact such as:

  • Service Clubs - Consider Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.
  • Town Hall - Go to your town hall and ask if there are any local scholarships.
  • Chamber of Commerce - Visit the Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any opportunities there. Use them as a springboard to locally-owned businesses.
  • Local Newspaper - Demonstrate your writing abilities to them.
  • Your High School - Go to the guidance department of the high school you graduated from and inquire.
  • Religious Organizations - If you belong to a church, synagogue or other religious organization, ask the person in charge of finances if there are any scholarships, grants or loans available.
  • Family Employers - Ask your parents and other members of your family to check at work and see if their company offers aid to sons, daughters, or relatives of workers.
  • Your Employer - If you hold a job, ask your boss if there are any scholarships available to workers in the company.

Set up appointments when you are home.

  • You may have a better greater chance of being considered if you can meet face-to-face with the appropriate representative.
  • You should also give some details about your study abroad program: where it is located, what you will be studying, and how you will integrate this program into both your course of study at Penn State and into your own future.
  • Be specific - Ask for help with:
    • Your airline ticket
    • Your books
    • Required field trips
  • Think about ways you can give back to the community
    • Give a comprehensive slide show of your experience
    • Talk to students at your high school
    • Do a presentation on where you went at your local community center

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