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How To Pay Way Less For Your ILP Semester

Posted by Emily Henkel on 1/6/20 3:00 PM

Volunteering in Europe with ILP

Want to live abroad for semester but don’t have the money? Don’t worry! We’ve got the tips you need to only pay half of your ILP program fee!

International Language Programs lets you teach English in classrooms in countries all over the world.  You’ll also get vacation time to see cities like Paris and Venice or Shanghai or Bangkok on your days off. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, maybe not the part about paying for the program fee. 


We have a whole guide to help you out
Affording a Semester Abroad


ILP has helped nearly 10,000 college-aged volunteers (who are low on funds...sound familiar?) be able to make their semester abroad work. If not having enough money is standing in your way to making your dream of traveling the world happen, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at some of the best tips to help you know how to pay for ILP: 


First, ILP offers discounts you can use to pay less overall. You can save $100 just by paying the program fee in full within 3 weeks.

Want to travel the world with your friends? They can save you some serious cash if you both go! If you refer a friend, you get $300 off and so do they. You don’t even need to be going to the same country, just the same semester. Some conditions do apply, but if you quality, it's pretty awesome, right? 

These discounts are constantly changing, but we always have some sort of discount available to make this option more affordable. That's the first place to start because these discounts often don't require much from you when compared to other options, like fundraising. Please contact our office about our current promotions and discounts. 

ILP China


Our volunteers have had tons of success fundraising half (or even all) of their program fee. Seriously! I know, I know…It can be intimidating, embarrassing or unrealistic to ask your friends and family for money but they want to help, honest.

Because we know this method works, we are so here to help you out. It's a lot of work, but really worth the effort if you can get half or more of your program fee totally paid for.  Here's all of our fundraising tips in one spot, but before you dive in, I'd suggest picking a fundraising tactic that works for your personality. If you're really shy, hosting a big party or bake sale will probably be your worst nightmare. But if you're a social butterfly, you could make lots of money by throwing a party or dinner for your friends and family. Make sure you're picking the right kind of fundraising

Good To Know 

Be sure to include facts about ILP; we are a non-profit organization, their donations are tax deductible, and our volunteers really do make a difference. Attaching a cute picture of the kids you will be helping isn’t a bad a idea, either.

Fundraising might not sound like your favorite idea to raise money for your semester, but it really does work. 

Teach kids English in Mexico


Okay, stick with me. Budgeting won't actually decrease the amount you have to pay on your program fee, but think about it  ... it kind of does. If you cut out $100 out of your spending money for eating out and shopping, that's like fundraising for yourself. You just got $100 closer to your program fee!

It's not fun, but cutting corners can really help you save some money (fast). Not eating out and going shopping are easy ways to let your cash go to beaches in Thailand rather than a soda in between classes.

If you're nervous to budget and don't think you can do it, think again. Your phone basically does it all for you. These apps make budgeting super easy. 

Cancel Subscriptions 

You can also save money by giving up a few of your luxuries; cancel your Spotify subscription and listen to the ads for a few months or try working out by watching Youtube videos instead of going to the gym. You can cancel your Hulu and Netflix and instead use a library card to check out something to watch. It's a sacrifice, but you can easily save $40+ a month by cancelling a few subscriptions before you leave to go abroad. 

Skip Out On Some Things 

Let your hair grow out instead of getting it dyed, watch some YouTube videos on how to paint your own nails, and skip out on getting your eyelashes done. Making some beauty sacrifices can be a way you can amp up your savings account, fast. This is actually a little piece of advice some ILP volunteers suggest ... since you might not be able to get all these things done while you're volunteering abroad, learning to live without these luxuries is a good way to transition for your semester.

Some Short Term Solutions

Can you imagine how much money would save if you didn’t have to pay rent for a semester? Maybe you can move back home with your parents for a semester before you end up leaving on your ILP semester. You can eat at home and keep all the money you were spending on an apartment. Even just a couple month of this will help your bank account grow.

Budgeting and living at home isn't ideal, but living abroad and getting the chance to experience a totally new culture and see new cities is worth it, right?

Every little bit helps!

ILP China

Ready to get started with volunteering? 

Our application process starts online. Just fill out a quick form and then we'll be in touch to help you through the rest of the process. Get started by clicking that button!

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Topics: All About ILP + Volunteering, Saving Money + Fundraising

Hey friends!

We are ILP, a Utah-based non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. We love travel so we're sharing all our tips for making the most of your time living abroad + seeing the world, and how to do it all on the tiniest budget.

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