Pre-Departure ~Part Two~
“So you want to study abroad? Thinks it’s too expensive?”
You’ve probably heard part of that phrase if you’ve ever considered studying or going abroad. Please allow me to be an advocate in saying, “You can do it!”
Sometimes, we forget how many scholarships are available out there. In my case, I had known since 2011 that I wanted to study abroad, so I had a good 1-2 years worth of preparation. Not only did I scope out every scholarship or grant available, but I made sure that when the time came to apply I had everything prepared. The sooner you get the paperwork/application done, the easier it is to make up for mistakes.
The main scholarships I looked at, in regards to studying abroad were: The Gilman Foundation, The Bridging Scholarship, and the Fund for Education Abroad. These, plus some smaller scholarships, such as those available through the University, proved to be a HUGE help toward funding my trip. The application processes are self-explanatory. In most, if not all cases, you need to provide your own financial information, reasons why you want to study abroad, etc.
As for other paperwork you will encounter in your preparations to study abroad, your study abroad adviser should be able to provide to you the paperwork and then guide you through the process. In my case, I probably had to fill out my address, and passport information maybe half a dozen times, and then write another essay, and then wait.
Waiting is the hardest thing about this process!!
Shipping or sending mail abroad not only takes forever, but then it has to be processed, and if any sort of confirmation needs to be returned to you (such as a Certificate of Admission, or Certificate of Eligibility for your visa) then it takes even longer! I highly recommend getting everything turned in as soon as possible. The last thing you want to happen is being unable to fly into your destination country if your visa paperwork is late.
So, to summarize the important points:
1) Plan ahead! Look at as many scholarships you can and apply to them ALL!
2) DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!!! Remember that the process is going to take time on both sides!
3) Ask questions! Don’t assume you know all the answers, especially when it comes to paperwork. If there is something you are unsure about, it’s best to ask and confirm, then to make a mistake and lose time correcting it.
4) Get used to waiting. :/
If you have any questions, you can ask me! I might be able to help, or at least guide you in the right direction. You can also contact the CISP office!! http://www.utoledo.edu/cisp/
Until then, take care
P.S. The next blog should be more fun since I have arrived in Japan! Please look forward to it, and check out my main blog (where other pictures and videos will be posted) JAPAN320