No Worries Wednesday - Exchange Expenses

Student in front of vineyard
Author: Alissa Ward

No Worries Wednesday is a series where blog contributors speak to a topic which they were worried before they participated in an education abroad experience. Leaving all that you are surrounded by and comfortable with can be challenging or even frightening. This series will hopefully dispel myths and ease worries for students who are considering taking part in exchanges, field schools or other international learning opportunities!


One of the most common worries for myself and many other students, is the expenses of an exchange, but luckily I was able to receive plenty of funding to help cover the costs through External Funding, Global Citizens Network Stipend, and VIU Scholarships and Awards.


1. Exchange Award

One of the Education Abroad funding opportunities, is the Exchange Award. If you are a student going an exchange for 1-2 semesters, you are guaranteed the Exchange Award, upon completion of the Pre-Departure Checklist. This provides you with a guaranteed $2,200 that you can use for your tuition, already minimizing the fees associated with an exchange.


2. Exchange Agent Stipend Program

Another Education Abroad funding opportunity tailored to exchange programs, is the Exchange Agent Award. VIU Exchange Agents are ambassadors of the VIU Exchange Program who help prospective exchange students find out more about the possibilities of exchange through info sessions, classroom presentations, social media campaigns and other events. As a recognition of your time and engagement, Agents are awarded with a $750 stipend per semester, upon completion of the Stipend Activities. See the program page for more information on how to apply to the program. For more information, see the Exchange Agent Stipend Program page.


3. Global Citizens Network & Stipend Program

Another Education Abroad funding opportunity is the Global Citizens Network & Stipend Program. Regardless of your education abroad experience selection: field school, semester exchange, practicum, or internship, this applies to you! As an opportunity to engage in international education events on campus, develop your intercultural skills, while you earn funding for your international experience. The funding includes $500 for 15 hours, meaning over $30/hour! For more information on this funding opportunity and how to join, see Global Citizens Network & Stipend Program.


3. VIU Scholarships & Awards

In addition to Education Abroad scholarships and funding, VIU offers many opportunities to gain funding for your abroad experience as well. Many of these funding opportunities are tailored to specific education abroad experiences, while others are applicable to anyone. To apply for these scholarships, update and submit your Scholarship/Award/Bursary profile on your student record for the October 31 & March 31 deadlines. For a list of eligibility requirements, see VIU Scholarships & Awards.


4. External Funding

In addition to just funding through Education Abroad and VIU, there are many external stakeholders that provide funding for all forms of education abroad experiences. To see application deadlines and eligibility requirements, see External Funding.


5. StudentAid BC

For students who receive grants through StudentAid BC, you may be eligible to continue to use this funding while abroad. For full eligibility requirements, see StudentAid BC. By paying your tuition fees through VIU, your fees will be lower than if you paid them to the partner university as an exchange student, allowing you the possibility to maintain using student loans, and save money on tuition while gaining an education abroad experience.


There are many valid worries before deciding to go on an exchange, but hopefully these tips on ways to gain funding to support your experience abroad will help mitigate your worries.


Full list of scholarships and funding opportunities. As I mentioned, I received three scholarships from the above categories, decreasing the financial aspect of an education abroad program, that you too could receive!

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