‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’ | Study abroad as a college student through accessible programs

Story by Emily Roberts

When it comes to studying abroad, most students don’t know where to start. Fliers promoting trips to tropical places are either too expensive or unappealing and students walk away before considering alternatives. But there are resources available, on campus and online, for students who want to go abroad but feel like there are obstacles stopping them.

Funding Your Trip

When you’re paying over $100 for a textbook, living off of a Top Ramen diet and owe thousands in student loans, taking a trip abroad sounds like a financial nightmare. But, it doesn’t have to be.

To get funding for studying abroad, you can research and apply for study abroad grants, study abroad scholarships, and look into financial aid websites, such as NAFSA, for studying abroad related financial aid. One scholarship in particular is the Gilman scholarship; it’s for students to study abroad for two weeks and can pay up to $5,000. If you are Pell Grant eligible, you are also eligible for the Gilman scholarship. If you’re attending this college in association with a university to gain credits, you can receive financial aid from their services as well. The best first step when trying to receive financial aid is to make an appointment with a financial aid officer at your school. You can reach Clackamas Community College’s financial aid at 503-594-6100 or email them at finaid@clackamas.edu.

CCS

Cross-Cultural Solutions is an organization that offers a wide variety of programs for going abroad. There are the main programs for traveling, including volunteering abroad, internships, gap years, high school trips, and group trips, but CCS has programs for anybody and everybody who is interested. Nick Ruiz, the program specialist, said, “We have different programs that are just designed for individuals, recent college graduates, families, working professionals, recent retirees. So we have different programs that kind of speak to, I would say, you know, for whoever’s interested.” Getting involved is quite easy. With no application or interviewing process, enrolling can take as little as 10 minutes. For more information you can go to their website www.crossculturalsolutions.org, call them at 1-914-632-0022 or enter a live chat available on their website.

The Future for CCC

In 2018 a group of students and faculty partnered with CCS in order to travel to Costa Rica. Jacquelyn Curry, an instructor at Clackamas Community College, said, “Ida was the one who found this program, and Costa Rica was decided ‘cause it’s very safe, Spanish speaking and that this program was established in Costa Rica.” Having established a relationship with CCS, it’s very likely that CCC will partner with them again for future trips. A few years back, English instructor Sue Mach and a larger group of students and faculty journeyed to Ireland. Mach is hoping to bring more students on the trip and has been planning another trip for 2019. “They’re starting a foundation called The Wishing Chair,” Mach said. “They’re creating a national, or international I guess it would be, foundation to help students pay for trips so that students can apply.” In the upcoming year Mach and one of her past students, Thomas Boyd, who joined her on the first trip, are planning to share their experiences from Ireland at the Irish Embassy. “We’re gonna go kind of as a representative to the Irish Embassy to help get funds for students to go,” said Mach.