Center for International Education - Study Abroad
Holloway Hall

Creative Fundraising

In addition to scholarships and financial aid, students can find creative ways to raise money to help support their study abroad experience.  Fundraising can help to make your trip more affordable a well as help to educate people around you about your plans and studying abroad.

Some ideas that have worked for other students:

  • Waive holiday and birthday gifts and request financial gifts or loans instead
  • Write a creative letter to all your relatives, asking for financial support in exchange for monthly letters while abroad and a presentation and dinner upon return
  • Ask friends to join you in raising money by painting, cleaning, or washing cars
  • Collect used books, CDs, computer software, etc. and have a sale
  • Ask your church synagogue or temple to sponsor a special offering, dinner, or raffle and give the proceeds for study abroad
  • Organize a radio talk show and solicit contribution
  • Approach stores for donated supplies such as clothing, camping gear, etc.
  • Find out if your parents’ employers have a scholarship program for their children or find out if your employer will make a cash advance to be paid back through payroll deduction – no harm in asking!
  • Collect cans during football tailgating (be sure to identify yourself and your purpose so fans will readily pass on their cans and bottles)
  • Sell coffee and baked goods with a sign stating your purpose

Do not be afraid to approach organizations as well.  In exchange for financial support, “give something back” such as updates while you are abroad and volunteering a service for the organization when you return.  Be sure to explain how you intend to spend the funds (tuition, airfare, program fee, travel needs, etc.).

Think of ways to “give back” such as:

  • Write an article
  • Make a video or presentation to share
  • Lead a discussion or campus or community forum
  • Do a community service project
  • Help to encourage others to study abroad by sharing your experience

Get creative and make the fundraising fun.  The more enthusiastic and energetic you are about your upcoming travels, the more others will be interested in your studying abroad experience.