Funding can make or break a dream to explore the world. Almost everyone worries about how they will be able to afford the costs associated with international travel. Get ready to learn about many ideas that poeple just like you have used to make their dream of going global a reality.
Did you know about all these ways to pay for your travel abroad?
- Financial aid if you are already attending a college or university. Financial aid can be used to pay for program fees, books, tuition, and more on an academic program of your choice.
- Scholarships offered through the program or other sponsors
- Social Security (Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Income)
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Veteran's Benefits
- Your personal savings
Don't stop there! Other sources of funding available to people with disabilities include:
- Applying for disability- and diversity-specific scholarships that can be used towards international exchange
- Applying for fully-funded or partially-funded programs such as U.S. Department of State programs or foundation-supported programs like the Rotary Foundation
- Fundraising and crowd-sourced fundraising like Kickstarter or GoFundMe
Finding Resources to Pay for Accommodations
- If you are a university student and your accommodations are normally covered on campus, ask if disability services will cover costs up to the amount of your standard on-campus accommodations.
- Ask if scholarships, grants or other funds are available to reduce the price of tuition, room and board or other costs.
- Check to see if the program is willing to reduce or waive other program costs so that paying for accommodations is more affordable.
- If you need a personal assistant or sign language interpreters, find out if the cost of their room, board and travel can be reduced through discounts from hotels and other service providers.
- Consider researching similar exchange programs that may have more accommodations or infrastructure in place.
- Research the possibility of forgoing some of your typical accommodations in return for the opportunity to take part in the program. While this is not ideal, you may feel that you will still be able to benefit from the program with fewer accommodations.
Check out the Related Resources to learn more details about leveraging your existing resources and finding other funds to apply towards international exchange. With time, planning, and creative use of resources, you can join other Americans with disabilities who have had these life-changing opportunities!