When I first saw the expected cost of my trip I could hardly keep my mouth from hanging open! The estimated cost for the semester was almost 4 times what I spend for a regular semester. The first thought in my mind was “Bryan is going to kill me” haha 🙂 (Bryan being my husband) When I brought home the estimate I was pleasantly surprised that Bryan was okay with it. Now I am not saying he was excited to spend possibly four times the normal price of a semester, but he knew that it would be worth it in the long run when I have future job interviews. After getting the estimate, I had to come up with a plan to be able to afford this semester. The total including program fees, tuition, room and board, food, passport/visa, and travel expenses. My plan of attack was to try for as many scholarships as I could!
I filled out numerous scholarship applications and wrote many essays and in the end it paid off! One day, I started getting emails saying I received campus scholarships as well as a study abroad grant! My big scholarship that I applied for that I was really hoping to get was the Bengamin A. Gilman Scholarship. This scholarship is for students who will be receiving or received a pell grant when applying for the scholarship. Luckily, I fall into that category, so I was able to apply. I spent a LOT of time working on my essays and utilized my campus writing center to make sure it was the best that it could be. In the end, it paid off and I received a scholarship! I cannot put into words how excited and grateful I was when I found out.
Another excited development with student teaching was that I would be able to have all meals on campus for free, and that I would be able to live on campus for no charge in exchange of holding RA type duties! When I found that out, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders! With my scholarships and grant, I am able to pay for my program fees and UWS tuition. Over the summer, I have been work two summer jobs to try and cover the rest of the expenses such as air fair, passport, Visa (which was a shocking $500), and other travel expenses while I am abroad. I will be gone for three months, so I need quite a bit.
Overall, I cannot complain about the cost of going abroad. Had I not tried for any scholarship, I don’t know if I would have been able to afford my trip. Thanks to the Gilman as well as the UWS scholarships, I am able to teach abroad and gain experience that I would not be able to receive in any other situation.