Ahhhh dead week, how I have missed you… not really. But in all seriousness, this semester is coming to an end at an alarming rate. With final projects, papers and tests on the horizon, going abroad is in the back of the minds of many (or maybe you are going abroad this summer and that’s all you can think about. If so, I’m jealous!!) BUT the end of the semester marks a crucial milestone in the study abroad process: it gives us an entire three months of summer to prep for next year.
The dog days of summer are hot and keep us inside; its a perfect time to start the application for the study abroad location of your choice. Deadlines for Spring 2017 come up in the beginning of September, so it is best to get applications knocked out before school returns and gets crazy. Summer is also an opportune time to get acquainted with the necessities of the location you are planning on studying in. This means researching visa needs and charges, looking at possible vaccinations that are needed, and even planning out a mock itinerary of things to do or places to see.
The time off school also provides a great chance to lessen the financial burden of going abroad. A lot of scholarships for travel in the 2016-2017 year have deadlines in the months of June and July. There are tons of scholarships out there for people wanting to travel everywhere, it just takes a bit of digging to get to them! This is the perfect time to buckle down and spend some time and energy applying for support to make your travel dreams a reality. Along with applying for scholarships, there is the other option of working and then starting to save for your trip. My personal saving technique is as simple as sticking loose change in a jar. Eventually that change adds up in a large way and can really make a difference in the amount of extra spending money you end up with.
All in all, summer is the time to take charge and make some major strides towards your goal of spending time abroad. You will thank yourself come fall when you have extra time to plan your trip and extra money to make it happen. Happy savings and have a great summer!