Traveling is notoriously expensive…but it doesn’t have to be, especially if you're volunteering abroad! We’ve got tips for paying less and raising money to make your semester abroad affordable (or even free!) Sounds pretty great, right?
Unless you found a suitcase of money under your bed this morning, it's up to you to pay for your semester abroad...You could keep hoping it'll show up one day or you can fundraise. Do yourself a favor by picking a program in the first place that’s pretty affordable to begin with and then using these fundraising tips. Or you can make things really easy and use one of these 5 websites to help you raise money for a semester Thailand or Russia or Haiti...or wherever else you decide to volunteer.
Hey there - need more money saving tips? Of course! We all love saving money. Check out this guide to paying less for your semester and tips about discounts and ways to afford your international semester!
We’ve had volunteers raise more than $1,000 by writing fundraising letters and sending them around their neighborhood, having spaghetti dinners and car washes or hosting a garage sale. If you need a couple more ideas on how to fundraise check these out:
Liesel B., gave a 1 minute pitch at her dad’s business group about what she’d be doing while teaching English in Thailand. ILP is a nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible which totally helps your fundraising cause! Liesel sent around tax deduction slips around after her presentation and arranged a pick up time for cash, checks and other donations to be collected from those who wanted to donate. Liesel fundraised a few hundred dollars “and a box of stuff that wouldn’t even fit into my suitcase!”. She also posted on social media about what she’d be doing in Thailand and let her friends and family know they can help….by donating! I know it’s awkward to ask, but most of the time, people are happy to help when they can.
Hannah W. went to China with ILP and was able to raise money and school supplies by making people laugh — In college, Hannah was a part of a stand up comedy club, so she figured she’d use her talents and host a charity stand-up show for friends and family. She posted the event on Facebook and was surprised at how successful it was. She asked people to donate money or supplies as an “entry” ticket. Though she only suggested a couple dollars for the entry, price, there were lots of people who wrote checks for way more than the ticket price— So generous! Lots of people ended up donating, even if they wouldn’t come to the show.
So, get thinking! Ask your friends to help you throw a concert or recital where you all play different instruments or sing, use your artistic talents by having an art show where you display and auction off your pieces, or spread the word at where you work. Use cute pictures of the kids from our website and remind everyone all donations are tax-deductible so you can sleep overnight and wake up to the sunrise on the Great Wall of China!
Read more about saving money on our blog to help you before, during and after your semester abroad...and get thinking about where in the world you want to travel to.