+ Stories About Finances +
"The biggest challenge about going abroad was definitely the costs. I just knew I wouldn’t have the chance to travel to Asia until I was much older because that was just what we call ‘life’. Where was I going to get four thousand dollars to pay for these [study] abroad courses? I knew that without a doubt my mom would never agree to [me] going on this trip if I had to pay the full price. I am so eternally thankful for receiving the Chancellor Study Abroad Scholarship. I honestly never thought I would ever win something like this. Being able to go to Thailand was just…wow. Who would have thought that a first-generation college student from a family that migrated from Colombia just one month before she was born would be going to Asia before even finishing her college degree?"
"This summer I was lucky enough to be able to go to France and study the microbiology of cheese and wine making. This was all thanks to the scholarship I received from Rutgers Global. [One really] faces a number of challenges while abroad. It was my first time traveling alone, my first time out of the country, and only the second time I had ever flown on an airplane. My family doesn’t usually travel very far. One might say that I was totally unaccustomed to traveling. I was definitely nervous about the prospect of navigating the airport, the Paris metro system, and French streets, not to mention the fact that I barely knew any French! Despite this, I was able to make the most out of my experience, arriving in France, exploring Paris solo for five days, and learning more than I could imagine about the science, history, and culture that surrounds cheese and wine."
"None of this would have been possible without getting Rutgers Study Abroad Scholarship that helped ease the pressure of finances. I was also very apprehensive of choosing classes and credit transfer [process] in the beginning, but the advisors at both City and Rutgers made it seem like a cakewalk. The Study Abroad experience is definitely smoother when pre-planned properly in terms of academics and finances. I started planning my semester abroad early during the fall semester by meeting with advisors and attending the study abroad workshops. Everyday abroad I experienced something new, be it food, travel, people, culture, or academics. It certainly is a difficult task to adjust to a new environment within such a short span of time, but it all depends on how one seizes the opportunity to learn something new every day."
"The last thought that I want to reflect on about going abroad is a misconception that I hear about this experience, which is that it is too expensive and it is impossible to go for a normal student. This is really wrong and I wish more students would realize this. One thing is that financial aid is still applicable even when studying abroad. A lot of programs are also very similar in the price of living at Rutgers in the dorms with a meal plan. This great thing about the Valencia program is that everything is included in the price (including three meals a day) and a trip around Spain for the first month, and it costs just about the same as a semester at Rutgers would. In conclusion, studying abroad was such a great experience for me and I’m so glad that I was able to do it."
“The fact that I lived in the heart of the city, took public transportation, and ate at local spots, made this trip an immersive experience. I shared an apartment with two other RU1st students across the street from the Eiffel Tower. One of the challenges we had while abroad was shopping for groceries and cooking dinner nightly. Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world and Europe portion sizes are a lot smaller than we are used to in the United States. My apartment mates and I had to be strategic with our spending to maximize the amount of food we bought and be resourceful when preparing dinner. I feel like this experience challenged us to handle our money wisely and it also made us operate like true Europeans. While abroad we had to take shorter showers, recycle all materials, respect the citywide quiet hours, and wash our clothes in a certain way. This was different than what we were used to, as France is much more environmentally conscious than the United States. I find Parisians to be resourceful, less wasteful, and more caring towards their neighbors. Among the new knowledge of art abroad, this mindfulness of environment and community is definitely an aspect of my experience that I plan to take home with me.”
“One of the biggest challenges I had in Mexico was accepting that I was there and deserved to be there. I would never been able to afford this study abroad experience on my own. As a minority, first generation college, and EOF student, I was eligible for many opportunity and diversity programs. Although I am so grateful for all the experiences I have gained through this amazing program, I felt like I didn’t deserve everything I accomplished. Being Mexican amplified these feelings a bit. I felt I didn’t deserve to be here and that I couldn’t make it because without the program and scholarships I wouldn’t have even been in Mexico. Working at the clinic helped me realize that if the adult care facility could accept help, then I could as well. I could use the help I have gotten to study abroad to create an amazing future and actually make an impact on this world. Realizing this was actually my favorite part of the study abroad experience.”
“Financing this trip has been one of the most difficult things to do. I had to make a budget sheet before I left to plan out the semester to see how much money I could spend. While in Italy, I have had to be conscious of my bank accounts (both debit and credit). Being financially stable in a foreign country is a must, and being in control of my bank account has made me more responsible and understanding of the concept of money which is essential to growing up!”
“I remember back in early October I had to submit a $500 deposit to secure my place in this amazing program to study abroad in Ecuador. I knew that I would not be able to go unless I got a scholarship from the Rutgers Center for Global Education, along with the scholarship from SEBS. Because the Galapagos is so strict about who gets in and out, and when, our deposit was due especially early. I took a big risk putting that deposit down, since I knew I would lose the $500 and not be able to attend the trip if I didn’t receive the scholarships. I am so glad that I had faith in myself and took this risk. I received both the scholarships I needed and had the chance to embark on the adventure of a lifetime."
"Leading up to the program, the biggest challenge for me was, by far, finances. The price-tag was formidable, and I had only menial savings left over after tuition loan payments. I credit my eventual success partly to the mindset I maintained throughout the process that it is not impossible. I went on a search for scholarships. Luckily, my academic success and extracurricular involvement are boons when searching for aid, and I managed to find three substantial scholarships from institutions around Rutgers that helped me pay for nearly all of the program's cost (though I applied to many more)."
"Most of my peers in the trip have families that are very well-off. I am a first-generation student and minority so that is not the case for me. I paid for most of the trip through scholarships from Douglass and from the Center for Global Education. I work hard to have a high GPA that will help me receive scholarships from Douglass and they have given me the opportunity to afford a trip like this. I know more of the world now than my parents who are very proud of me and eternally supportive. I am excited to go back home and share my experience with them and other EOF students at Rutgers like myself."