5 Ways to Fund your Trip Abroad

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Realstep is here to help

Ever since being established, Realstep has always included the trainings to know all the financial aids for international mobility. Our main goal is to provide the necessary information and resources for students and young travellers to have easier access to international programs.

To be able to finance and carry out your project abroad, we’ve come up with ideas, advice and above all, reliable and up-to-date tools and resources. Our team is constantly on the lookout to know all the possible options and make international experiences accessible.

Important points

  • It’s important to note that raising funds or finding financial aid takes time. We encourage you to explore several paths amongst those we list as well as begin planning your desired
  • departure date as soon as possible. (Between 6 and 12 months)
  • The funding process is an essential part of the project. Knowing how to finance a project is already a small dive in the humanitarian field; It is a sought-after skill in this sector which requires organization and perseverance.

    Covered in the financing section:

  1. The Erasmus+ programme
  2. Scholarships for international mobility
  3. Paid internships (Working Holiday)
  4. Sponsorship: who to contact?
  5. Local actions to raise funds.
    1. 1. The Erasmus+ programme

      a. Who can benefit from the Erasmus+ programme?

      People who are interested in areas such as education, apprenticeship, work-study programmes, training, teaching, job search, as well as volunteer work can go abroad with Erasmus+.

      There is only one condition: this stay must have an objective towards learning, training or sharing experience and knowledge.

      Attention: to benefit from the Erasmus + program you must contact an organization with a project funded by the program. For example: a student will have to contact their institution (e.g. university) and apply for a scholarship through them.

      b. Erasmus+ for students

      Which students is Erasmus+ targeted towards?

      All students enrolled in initial or work-linked training in a higher education institution. Universities are not the only ones included: all public and private institutions in higher education offer Erasmus+ mobility. Some examples of included institutions are example: business schools, engineering schools, agricultural institutes, art schools, music conservatories, nursing training institutes or apprentice training centres.

      For individuals interested, you will need to apply through an organisation, for example, a university or company. Namely:

      • – Study or internship mobility can be done from the first year of study.
      • – Mobility lasts from 2 months to a maximum of 12 months per study cycle.
      • – You can go to EU member countries and since 2021, to all countries worldwide!
      • – You can benefit from a scholarship between 460 and 750 € (approx. $510 – $ 820 USD) per
      • month for an internship abroad depending on the destination (the amount is set by each institution).

      c. Erasmus+ for young individuals and professionals

      If you are registered in a local project, in an employment centre, or in an associative structure, your supervisory can help you benefit from an internship in a company not only in Europe, but worldwide (this includes vocational education and training sectors.)

      Anyone can benefit from Erasmus+ training periods, regardless of their status or qualification level. Find out more about Erasmus+ by clicking here. Find out if your country is eligible(Outside the EU) here

      2. Scholarships for international mobility

      a. Scholarships from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

      If you are not going on an exchange (e.g. Erasmus), there are other ways to obtain the financial aid you need. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs , for example, offers the Universe “language scholarships” program, awarded to individuals with a secondary/high school diploma or equivalent who wish to do an internship abroad from 2 weeks to 6 months.

      b. International Mobility Aid

      The International Mobility Aid is intended for students who wish to pursue higher education abroad or undertake an international internship.

      The student must submit an application for mobility aid to the international relations department of their institution. The duration of the training or internship must be between 2 to 9 consecutive months. The amount of aid is €400 (approx. $440 USD) per month. The aid consists of [minimum] 2 to [maximum] of 9 monthly payments.

      Before your departure, the institution informs you of the amount of aid awarded to you. You can benefit from a mobility aid several times throughout your higher education journey.

      c. Regional Council Scholarships for International Mobility (European Citizens)

      Contact your Regional Council which, depending on your status, will offer co-financing for your mobility in Europe. The regions support the mobility of young people and collaborate with employment centres to decipher the labour market and jobs “in tension”.

      This website has a list of 20+ countries and their grants/mobility scholarships: https://telecos.upc.edu/en/international/studying-abroad/beques-i-ajuts-a-la-mobilitatv2#section-10.

      The amounts of the grants can vary between 300 € per month to 1000 euros per month depending on the social criteria and the destination of the project.

      3. Paid internships

      Another alternative to finance your stay abroad are:

      a. Working Holiday Visa: definition

      The Working Holiday Visa allows you to travel and work for 1 year in a foreign country, even with no specialized skills. Individuals between 18 and 30 years of age can be eligible for this visa in no less than 16 countries of the world.

      The overall concept of the Working Holiday Permit is to be able to finance your trip. By finding an onsite job, you can quickly reimburse your flights and expenses on site.

      Because the idea of the visa is not to be able to work for a year, but to be able to discover a country, learn a new language, meet young people from all over the world and immerse yourself in a new culture.

      b. Support programs to find a job easily

      Realstep specializes in locating available professional experiences abroad such as seasonal jobs, training, or internships in more than 30 destinations.

      Whether it be in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan or South Korea, our local teams help participants settle into their new location in ways including:

      • Assisting with administrative procedures, tax registration, SIM card, bank account
      • Airport reception and accommodations
      • Guided tours, orientation, cultural introduction
      • Helping find a seasonal job, CV workshop, and/or access to a specialized site

      Everything is planned to start your Working Holiday on the right foot. Some programs even guarantee a position before your departure!

      Some examples of Working Holiday programs:

      After a one-week training, you will start working on a farm in Australia. Housed and fed with a good remuneration as soon as you arrive, your savings can reach up to AUD $10,000 (approx. 6726 USD / 6141 EUR) in 3 months! Enough to be able to enjoy the country to the fullest!

      And for those interested in a gap year abroad : working in New Zealand may be to your liking! After completing a week of orientation in Auckland, you will be staying with a local host family to fully immerse yourself in the culture. At a minimum, you can receive a salary of about $2190 USD per month on a seasonal job in New Zealand.

      Other places:

      • Canada : Work and Study in Canada
      • Japan : Work and Study in Japan
      • South Korea: Work and Study in South Korea

      4. Sponsorship: who to contact?

      Whether you’re alone or in a group, there are many ways to raise funds to help you reach your goal. In this section, you will find the tools and advice to present your project and go looking for sponsors / sponsors / patrons who could participate financially in your project.

      1. Creation of an online fundraiser

      This is the first step in your fundraiser! You can create an online fundraiser on a crowdfunding platform and share your goals. Be careful to take care of the presentation, if possible, include videos and all the elements that contribute to presenting your project.

      There are many popular online fundraiser/crowdfunding sites available online, but ones that we recommend are Chuffed.org or IndieGoGo, which is not only user friendly, but offers a step-by-step process to creating a good fundraiser.

      If you are a group, we advise you to create an association, appoint a president, treasurer and secretary, and open an account on Fonzip.

      This website will help you organize your funds and offers quality NGO management tools that will further impact the growth of your fundraiser. Another great thing about it is the site can be used in more than 20 countries and translated in 9 languages!

      Once your project is online, you will be able to share your story with the whole world and especially have support to contact your loved ones and possible sponsors to finance your project.

      2. Media campaigns

      Now that your crowdfunding page is online, it’s time to spread it on all the social media accounts you have. Post it in relevant groups, student associations, relevant professional networks and/or contact committed influencers who agree to pass on your message to their followers.

      Alternatively, ask for an interview in a local newspaper. Many groups of students planning to go on a volunteer trip share press articles featuring their photo, project description and online fundraiser.

      3. Contact corporate foundations

      Search and make a list of all the companies that promote a foundation, a philanthropic organization, a social responsibility.

      Many companies now say they are committed to sustainable development and support for social and environmental causes. Most have significant funds to support humanitarian or solidarity initiatives.

      How to get a sponsorship: 8 key tactics!

      1. Look for potential sponsors.

      2. Tell your organization’s story and make a presentation of your project

      3. Offer against parties. Sponsors are looking for visibility.

      4. Turn to reliable and robust companies.

      5. Use stats and numbers to support your argument.

      6. Find the right contact or the right service within the company

      7. Establish a relationship with regular contacts.

      8. Jumpstart!

      4. Contact private foundations

      Lions Club / Rotary Club

      The Lions Club and Rotary Club foundations distribute funds and support projects in the areas of youth, disaster relief, humanitarian, medical, hunger alleviation, education, and the environment.

      Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million supportive decision-makers who see a world where people come together and take action to bring lasting change to the world.

      Less elitist, Lions clubs are made up of middle and senior managers of small businesses, while Rotary Clubs tend to bring together leaders and professionals.

      Some private and philanthropic foundations provide grants for the participation in environmental, animal, and social projects. Do not hesitate to contact them to present your project and know what eligibility criteria is necessary to finance a project.

      International Animal Rescue: They are an international foundation that has a goal to protect the wildlife ecosystems and prevent the endangerment of animals. Since 1989 they have been working across the globe to end the torment and trade of animals as a way to restore the equilibrium between human and animal life.

      World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF): WWF is an international based non-governmental organization that aims to protect nature and wildlife. They aid local communities in preserving their area’s habitats and ecosystems and are committed to relieving the stress that us humans put on nature.

      5. Think about local actions!

      a. Sporting Events & Activities

      Sign up for a race or sports competition and ask your loved ones to donate for your participation. Another option is to organize a waste collection and ask donors to donate per filled garbage bag. The options are endless, so let your imagination run wild!

      b. Organize events

      A great example is of a group of nursing students from France that hit the jack pot by organizing a day hike. With a participation fee set at $5.50 USD per person, they managed to raise $7,670 USD in one day! That was almost all the funds needed to finance their internship in Thailand!

      Other events such as raffles or trivia nights can be organized with a participation fee. Remember to approach companies or businesses to offer them to aid in sponsoring prizes for the winners!

      c. Partnership with a restaurant

      Present your project to restaurants near your establishment or find a restaurateur in your neighbourhood who is willing to offer a small donation per meal ordered for one evening. It’s time to invite your friends and family to inflate the note a little 🙂

      d. Donations as gifts

      Take advantage of a special occasion and ask your loved ones for a donation. Anything from Christmas, birthdays to parties … Send your fundraiser to your friends and family and ask them to donate instead of buying you a gift this year.

      e. Sell your stuff

      Clothes, books, games and other accessories that have been lying around in your house for severalyears can surprisingly bring you a sum of money. It could be from a garage sale or a sale on a secondhand site (Vinted, Depop, eBay …). And if you don’t have enough stock, invite your friends and family to donate their books to make money while decluttering homes!

      f. Collecting Miles

      Airfares are an important part of the costs of an international project. Ask your globetrotting friends; some might give you a boost by donating their miles… A good plan for traveling at the lowest cost!

      g. Put your talents to work

      Use your skills! If you are good at photography, you can organize an exhibition to sell your pictures,make a calendar or shirt, offer portraits in exchange for a small donation. Be creative and use your talents to achieve your goal.

      h. The classic: The cake fundraiser

      Everyone knows how to make pancakes, cupcakes or cookies. Whether it be at your workplace, school, or local neighbourhood areas, selling pastries or small sweets will always be a safe bet!

      Conclusion: The Power to Act Within Everyone’s Reach!

      Whether you’re going solo or in a group, a viable development project requires significant resources. Contrary to a tourist stay, travelling with an impact requires logistics, supervision, equipment, and a serious structure. This is the minimum to ensure that journeys are long-term, managed by specialists and carried out in collaboration with local communities.

      Financing a humanitarian trip therefore is an integral part of the project. Just like field experience, it’s a learning process. You have a goals and aspirations; and you’ve got to find any means to achieve it, and the good news is that it’s achievable!

      So, what are the keys to success? Anticipate, plan, research, persevere.

      We send hundreds of students and young individuals to various programs every year, helping each one of them blossom their passions and dreams. So why not you?

      Still have questions? Our team here at RealStep is here to help!