The first question most study abroad candidates have is how to fund their overseas excursion. Most college students don’t have a bottomless pit of money to dig into when they want to pursue such grand and advantageous trips. However, thanks to the same technology that is making wealthy men out of making a potato salad, students are now raising money through crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding has been a known to help many businesses, individuals, and charities over the year by allowing contributors from all over the world to give funds to worthy investments via Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe and other hosting sites. This in turn can be taken advantage of in many ways, which RU students have been discovering as they search for ways to enhance their college experience.
There are, of course, both advantages and risks to such an innovative way to raising money.
The benefits include the customization of a personal profile for the candidate, much like a more intimate application. Feedback, however, is more immediate than a scholarship application.
Risks involve the reputation of the user — such a public display does mean that everyone has access to your progress. And of course, there is always the risk of failure due to the public fear of abuse for such modes of fundraising. However, with a smaller goal and the marketing vehicle of friends and family, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for students.
Those of you who have been in search of just such a replacement or supplement to financial aid, scholarships, and loans can now look at websites specifically created to host such campaigns, like Fund My Travel. Already these attempts have had some success, such as RU’s own Jodie McKaughan who used crowdfunding to finance two study abroad internships this past summer.
With the use of global technology, it only makes sense that students should take advantage of the global advantages.