How to prepare to study abroad: my financial journey

When I first became interested in study-abroad programmes, one of my biggest concerns was funding. After my first semester at the University of Texas at Austin, I had heard so many stories from my Korean professor about her students who had studied abroad.

Before attending college, going abroad had not been a goal for me. But as I studied a double major in Asian Studies and Asian Cultures and Languages, with a focus on Korea, I knew that studying abroad would help me become more immersed in my studies. 

After completing all the applications, I began to prepare myself financially, in case I was unable to get enough financial aid. I remember being disappointed when I got three scholarship rejection emails back to back, but I didn’t give up. I began saving all the money I could. I learned how to crochet so I could make some money on the side. 

I also tried to take into consideration the popularity of the area and the university that I wanted to study at since these processes can be quite competitive and require some prerequisites. For example, my target university, Seoul National University, needed a minimum of 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and one year of college-level Korean.

So here are my tips to help you through this process. 

Start those applications 

The most effective way to approach finding multiple forms of funding is to organise application deadlines and start applying as soon as possible. Most scholarship applications have deadlines that are due at the same time (or even sooner) than the university application deadlines. I found this out the hard way, so I had lots of cramming and emails to write. 

Write down all the deadline dates and keep checking them to make sure you don’t have to cram all your application writing into one week. 

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