Study Abroad students often use a combination of financial aid and scholarships. Exploring all of the resources available to you will be very helpful as you plan your finances for Study Abroad.
Valparaiso University financial aid and scholarships apply to affiliated programs abroad, with the exception of some music/athletic performance scholarships, so your payment plan remains the same. It is important to consult with your financial aid advisor before applying to Study Abroad so that you know what the cost will be and that you will be covered.
It is important to pay attention to disbursement dates for financial aid. Financial aid generally disburses shortly before the Valpo semester. Most scholarships will go through the Financial Aid Office and will be disbursed during the normal time. Therefore, it is very important that students prepare and have plans in place for any expenses that may come up prior to that disbursement, such as airfare, visa, or passport. Study Abroad staff can offer some support in brainstorming potential alternatives and methods. (As an example, STA Travel offers a deposit program for booking airfare where the traveler pays a deposit up front and the rest of the fare seven days prior to travel, which usually allows for students to receive and pay the rest with financial aid funds.)
It is absolutely possible for students to receive national scholarships, regardless of how competitive they are. Many Valpo students have received these awards in the past. While an award is never guaranteed, spending time working on putting together a strong application will make you a more competitive applicant. It is strongly recommended that you work with someone on your application, and some of them may require the university to sponsor you. Start early, and get feedback as often as you can. Your study abroad program advisor would be happy to help, or you may know a faculty member or academic advisor, or another contact on campus who could review your essay, help you brainstorm, or generally guide you as you’re working on these. Review those listed below, and continue your independent search for others that may apply to you as well.
- Jewan Attallah, Spring 2017, IESabroad in Nantes, France Affiliate Program, History Major
- Erin Brown, Spring 2017, Costa Rica Study Center Program, Spanish Major
- Maia Moore, Fall 2016, Hangzou, China Study Center Program, Chinese and Japanese Studies Major
- Jared Joseph, Fall 2014, Kansai Gaidai University in Japan Exchange Program, Psychology Major
- Michele Helen Reyes, Summer 2014
- Alex Grask, Spring 2014, La Rochelle, France Exchange Program, International Business Major
- Carly Tolle, Spring 2014, Anglia Ruskin University Exchange Program in England, Biology Major
- Daniella Tripodis, Spring 2014, Cambridge, England Study Center Program, Art Major
- Jon Bicanic, Spring 2014, Cambridge, England Study Center Program, Mechanical Engineering Major
- Tyler Clark, Spring 2014, Zaragoza, Spain Exchange Program, Spanish Major
- Michael Schrag, Year 2014/15, Zaragoza, Spain Exchange Program, Electrical & Computer Engineering Major
- Loren Schmidt, Fall 2013, Hangzhou, China Study Center Program, International Economics & Cultural Affairs & Chinese & Japanese Studies Double Major
- Sterling Summerville, Spring 2013, Windhoek, Namibia Cooperative Program, International Service Major
- Amelia Vivens, Spring 2011, Windhoek, Namibia Cooperative Program, Political Science & Theatre Double Major
- Jasmine Glab, Spring 2011, Japan Exchange Program, Psychology Major
- Claire Simonpietri, Spring 2011, Windhoek, Namibia Cooperative Program, Nursing Major
- Austin Hook, Fall 2009, Reutlingen, Germany Study Center Program, Finance & International Business Double Major
- Kari Rogers, Spring 2009, Puebla, Mexico Exchange Program, Spanish Major
Valparaiso University has a DAAD Young Ambassador on campus able to assist students who are thinking of applying for a DAAD scholarship. She’s a great resource for information about the award and how to apply.
DAAD Young Ambassador: Sarah Crowe
The application is entirely online and includes an online application form, a financial aid form (completed by the Financial Aid Office), an unofficial transcript, and a recommendation letter.
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a college or university in the U.S.
- Study abroad program must be eligible for credit at the student’s home institution
- Study abroad program must be at least 4 weeks (28 days) in country/countries
For more information and to apply, visit the Fund for Education Abroad website.
For 2018-2019, we had eight graduating seniors and recent alumnae receive Fulbright Program awards. Read more here.
Additional Scholarship Resources
More Funding Ideas
Check with campus departments, organizations, and areas on campus that you are involved in. While the list above details many scholarship and grant opportunities, these are generally specific to students who are studying abroad. There may be additional scholarships either through a department, center, or office on campus that you could use to support your Study Abroad. Below are some ideas to get you started:
- Study Abroad staff – they may know of newer opportunities that are not yet listed above or give you more individual guidance and ideas.
- Language departments – even if you don’t normally study language on campus, you may likely be learning, or at least be exposed to, another language while you are abroad.
- Department through which you are earning credit for your courses abroad
- Centers and other offices you may be involved with or aware of on campus
- Student organizations
While these resources may not lead to specific opportunities, they may at least be able to point you toward additional resources where you can continue your search.
Fundraising can be another great way to help fund your Study Abroad experience. Local, regional, and national groups, as well as individuals, could all be contributors. Here are just a few ideas:
- Church or other religious organizations
- Heritage groups that have interests in specific countries, language, and/or culture
- Civic groups (Rotary, Lions Clubs, and more)
- Agencies or foundations
- High school and/or college alumni associations
- Professional and business clubs
- Sororities and fraternities
- Charitable, ethnic, religious, or political organizations
- Previous or current employers or parents’ employers
- Local businesses with an international focus
- Family and friends (i.e. in lieu of a birthday gift)
How do you solicit funds from these groups? Talking to them in person is often the best approach. Prepare what you will say. It’s important to tell them how you intend to use their funds (i.e.: on your program fees, airfare, etc.). If you can’t talk to them in person, send a written request and include a photo of yourself to establish a personal connection. It may also help to offer to do something in return for their financial support. You could offer to share updates while you are abroad and/or offer something upon your return. Ideas include:
- Writing an article
- Making and/or showing a video
- Sharing a blog or website
- Offering to do a presentation
- Volunteering to work or do some type of service for them
- Asking them what they would be interested in
While they may say no, they can’t say yes if you don’t ask! If you do receive support, be sure to keep records so that you can be sure to thank them. Handwritten thank-you cards are a great way to show your appreciation.
Research ways other students have funded their programs. You can do this online or reach out to returned Valpo Study Abroad participants. Often, those students are very eager and willing to share, not only about their experience and what they learned, but how they made their experience possible. Your Study Abroad Advisor is always a great resource as well, as they may know what past students have done or may be able to connect you with individuals.
Remember, it is possible to fund your program! Don’t get discouraged and keep coming into the office regularly as you run into problems, if you want advice, or to find someone to help you come up with more ideas.