Alex Norman’s Study Abroad Blog: Finding Financial Assistance for Your Off-Campus Program

Alex Norman

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I figure there is no better time than right after a showcase of my camel ride in the Sahara to speak a bit about how I got here. If you are a Whitman student who is interested in studying abroad but reliant on financial aid to do so, then here are a few tips:

1: If you are already receiving financial aid from Whitman, then you can make things a lot easier for yourself by applying to Whitman’s Partner Programs (http://www.whitman.edu/content/ocs/current/programs/partner). Whitman’s Off Campus Studies office also has been planning for some time to add more programs to its list of Partner Programs, so don’t immediately despair if you don’t see your intended destination on the list. If, like me, however, you do not see your preferred country or program of choice on the list, then

2: Check to see if the program you’re planning to apply to offers scholarships or, if you’re eligible, a Pell Grant match (my SIT program offered the former but not the latter, but there are several programs that offer both).

3: Look for outside scholarships. My study abroad costs were drastically decreased in particular by the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, whose site I am including here: http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program

I’d like to particularly commend the Gilman Scholarship because one of its few requirements for applying is that you devise a Follow-On Project (this blog is mine, by the way), the goal of which is to plan out a way of essentially sharing your experience with others in such a way as to promote cool things like cultural understanding, tolerance and world peace. As an added bonus, Gilman also provides links to a bunch of creative Follow-On Projects that past students have done.

I hope that this brief entry is helpful as you look into studying abroad. Stay tuned for upcoming posts in the few remaining weeks of the semester!

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