With online social media platforms forefront and center, international and study abroad students are looking at new ways to self finance their education overseas. In addition to looking at scholarships, grants, and fellowships, international students are branching out when it comes to financial aid and considering “crowdfunding” websites.
Crowdfunding is essentially asking a network of people to give a monetary contribution to attain a certain goal. What that means for your students is they can create a page about their international experience and ask their friends, family members, and online community of visitors to donate.
Kickstarter is the largest crowdfunding site of its kind and allows members to list their creative projects – which includes studying abroad. Students can go right online, list their overseas experience, and ask visitors to contribute towards a monetary goal. Students design their own page and share it within their community. Kickstarter is an “all-or-nothing funding” model where students who reach their goals will receive the money from their contributors. If students do not reach their goal by their listed deadline, then no money is collected. According to their website, Kickstarter has collected $373 million and only $48 million went uncollected due to failure to meet their goal.
Kickstarter is a website that is geared toward all creative projects – including studying abroad – but there is also FundMyTravel which is specifically for people looking to fund their education overseas as well as finance volunteer programs, TEFL, and internships. This website also helps students calculate their expected costs to determine a realistic budget and they’ll receive all donations even if their goal isn’t met by their indicated deadline.
If you have international and study abroad students coming to you asking about ways they can self-finance their education, suggest fundraising online as this can help students fund their education overseas! Share your comments with us and let us know what your experience has been with crowdfunding.
* Crowdfunding picture courtesy of Shutterstock