Discussing Study Abroad: Holiday Tips

Discussing Study Abroad Over The Holidays

While you’re enjoying time with your family and friends this holiday season, consider starting a conversation about studying abroad. We have some helpful tips to make the conversation about funding your Maymester trip go smoothly:

Tip #1 –Answering the tough question, why do you want to study abroad?

  • Parents and family members can be reluctant to help fund a study abroad trip if they suspect their student simply wants to use studying abroad as an excuse to have a vacation. Here are answers that show your serious about the studying in study abroad:
  • “Studying abroad will open career doors for me after graduation by showing that I’m eager to learn and willing to try new things which are desirable skills in employees. I also earn course credit toward my degree!”
  • “Did you know that students who study abroad tend to have higher salaries in the future? They also have better cross-cultural communication skills.”
  • “I can also improve my French and German skills by going on the Policy Studies in Europe trip. I will have to use French and German in order to navigate the cities we will be visiting.”

Tip #2 –Emphasize affordability

  • Help your parents and family members see that studying abroad does not have to cost a fortune.
  • “The Policy Studies in Europe visits four countries and five cities. It’s not cheap, but I’ve got a plan to pay for it.” For example: “I’m working 20 hours per week at a job and saving $51 per week. This amount will pay for 10.5% percent of the program fees and airfare.” “I also plan to apply for study abroad scholarships through GSU to help defer the trip cost.”
  • “Instead of holiday gifts, the electrical converters and adapters I’ll need in Europe would be great options!”
  • “Taking the group flight is $1,200 but if I can find a cheaper flight, it would be a way to save money. Would you (parents/family members) be willing to donate your frequent flyer miles as a way to cover the cost of the flight?”

Tip #3 –Talk about Trip Value

  • Emphasizing the academic and cultural value of the trip shows your dedication to your education, which is always a winner with parents and family members!
  • “I will still be on track to graduate on time by earning course credit through this trip.”
  • “Visiting four different countries in Europe will increase my cultural awareness first-hand and allow me to use concepts I’ve learned at GSU.”
  • “I will meet with EU business leaders and be able to gain professional experience from asking questions to making a good, professional impression.”

Tip #4 –Getting the Word Out

  • If parents and/or family members do not know that you are considering studying abroad, now is the perfect time to let them know. They might want to help you with the cost!
  • Letter writing is a great and personal way to let family and friends know about your study abroad plans.
  • Emphasize the academic and cultural value the Policy Studies in Europe trip will give you. Show family and friends that you are being proactive by applying for scholarships. Politely mention that any donation they can give towards your trip would be greatly appreciated.
  • “The best gift you can give me for the holidays is a contribution towards my trip.”
  • Check out this letter you can personalize and send to friends and family to support your study abroad experience: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f53dxv6i2hkrwaz/EU_Sample_Donation_Letter.docx

Tip #5 –Use Your Time Off Wisely

  • Don’t forget that time off during the holidays is a great time to earn extra money to put towards your study abroad trip!
  • Offer to babysit for family and friends, help clean/mow yards, wash cars, etc.
  • Apply for your passport! If you wait until the last minute, your passport will be even more expensive. Take time over the break to make sure your passport application or renewal is in order!
  • Use your downtime to search for study abroad scholarships outside of AYS and GSU that might apply towards your trip.

 Links for even more letter writing tips:

http://www.spiabroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/STUDENT-Fundraising.pdf -(Source: Study Programs International)