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Yale College
Center for International and Professional Experience
55 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT
06510

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Self-Funding Success

A current Yale student's success story on self-funding an international experience

"The key to self-funding your study abroad experience is planning ahead. Although some programs do not return acceptance decisions until April, lining up funding should begin as soon as you submit your application. There are many sources of funding here at Yale, most notably in the form of ISA or fellowships, but in the event that the money allotted is not enough, there are still many avenues to try.

Based on my own experience, finding a job in the time between the end of term and the program start date has proved most useful. However, steps to secure a job after returning home should be done during Spring Break. There is nothing more relaxing than coming home after finals with nothing to do. However, one can easily get caught up in this relaxation mode and kick the can down the road in terms of finding a short-term job and starting to make money. If you return home for Spring Break, make the effort to either talk to an old boss about returning to your previous position or maybe even look for a new one. Most importantly, however, once you line up a job, set a start date with your boss on the spot. Give yourself some time - five, six days - after you return to wind down, but ultimately start working as soon as you can.

Second, once you figure out where you are going to be, plan out your expenses - everything from flights to food to expenses on tourist attractions - so you can have an idea, given your wages and other sources of income, about how often you need to work and whether you need to begin looking for other sources of funding. In doing so, one lessens the risk of approaching the program start date with an insufficient amount of money.

Last, if one does need to consider external sources, get creative! I myself have taken out a 'short term loan' with my parents to help cover expenses. Treat the experience as an investment and work out a plan to pay whomever back over a specified amount of time, either through getting an on-campus job or applying for external funding elsewhere. In addition, don't be afraid to solicit help from family and friends. Any internship or time spent abroad is a commitment that will help you develop and give you exposure to the world as a whole, so treat it as such! Send out mailers to family and friends explaining what they can do to help you realize your goal - even if it is pointing you in the right direction in terms of cheap airfare or other opportunities to make money."