Does it feel impossible to afford the opportunity to go abroad? Well, one of the great things about UNC is that there is a vast array of resources (read: money) for students.

Options as varied as the Phillips Travel Scholarship or a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the Office of Undergraduate Research are available and offer funding amounts of up to $6,000. Some opportunities even include coverage for lost wages that you would have gained from working a summer job.

Visit Embark Carolina’s Funding Finder to view a complete list of grants, awards, and other forms of funding.

If you receive financial aid, those funds can be applied toward a semester or year-long study abroad program. In many cases, (but not all), financial aid will not be enough to cover the full cost of a study abroad program. Federal financial aid is not available for opportunities that do not offer academic credit like work experience, research, service and other self-designed projects.

When you apply for a study abroad program, you can choose to apply for scholarship consideration. Scholarships and financial aid may cover a larger or smaller piece of your costs, but likely not all. “Full ride” scholarships are rare.

Before applying to a study abroad program or funding opportunity, it is essential to understand the program costs, fees and estimated living expenses abroad.

Study abroad programs will include budget sheets to help you estimate costs, but no matter what type of experience you’re having, it’s always best to understand your personal spending habits and the cost of living in your destination. Consider costs for transportation, housing, food, and other items for the duration of your trip in order to apply for funding and keep track of your spending while you’re abroad.

For both Study Abroad and non-Study Abroad opportunities, consult our Funding Finder to view a robust list of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and other awards for global travel and study. Realistic funding opportunities exist, whether you’re a first-year student or PhD candidate. Some funding opportunities are merit-based while others are need-based. Obtaining internal funding from UNC or external funding can go a long way in making your budget feasible.

If you work during the school year and/or during the summer and need that money to help cover your expenses and the rising cost of tuition and fees, and if taking out another loan is just not an option, can you still go abroad? Global opportunities like alternative break programs and scholarship opportunities that cover wages lost from not working a job may be great fits for you. And there are some Study Abroad programs that may even be cheaper than studying at UNC (start by looking at Exchange or Direct Enroll Programs).