How to Pay For Your Study Abroad Adventure
Study Abroad can be expensive. Before you sign up to go, make sure you have or can get the money you will need. If you attend Missouri Valley College on financial aid, some of that money can be applied toward Study Abroad. Meet with Paul Gordon, Director of Financial Aid, to get information about your particular situation. Paul will need to know the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, living expenses, etc.) for the program you are interested in, so you should calculate that before you talk with him.
State and federal financial aid (including Pell Grants) as well as student loans can be applied toward Study Abroad. Missouri Valley College (MVC) scholarships cannot because they are tuition discounts rather than scholarships.
If you are receiving a Pell Grant at the time you are applying for Study Abroad, you may be eligible to receive a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. This federally funded scholarship is designed to encourage nontraditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe and Australia, and aims to support students traditionally underrepresented in U.S. study abroad. It provides awards of up to $5,000 for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue country-based undergraduate opportunities abroad that are a minimum of four weeks and up to one academic year in length. It does not award scholarships for summer Study Abroad programs.
Scholarships from outside agencies may be applied to the cost of Study Abroad, depending on the criteria of your scholarship. Please ask your sponsoring agency or Mr. Gordon for information.
Some providers of Study Abroad programs, such as American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), offer limited scholarshps. Read the website and/or catalog of your program carefully for eligibility criteria and deadlines.
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Earn Some Extra Money:
A part-time job over the summer or during breaks will help you defray the expense of Study Abroad. In some cases, having these extra earnings could reduce your financial aid award for the next year, but the money you earn will more than make up for it. See Mr. Gordon in the Financial Aid office for information on your particular situation.
Ask Your Relatives and Family Friends:
Some of your relatives and family friends may be glad to give you cash for birthdays and holidays once they learn you want to go abroad. They may even give you a little more than they had planned to spend on you. Don't forget to send thank-you notes shortly after you get the money. And send them all postcards while you are away!
Ask Local Businesses and Civic Groups:
If you or your family members are affiliated with local businesses or civic groups in your town, consider asking them for donations. In return, you could promise to make a presentation to the group when you return. Again, don't forget the thank-you notes and postcards!