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Panelists discuss ways to fund education abroad

February 24, 2014

A majority of students, when determining if they will be able to participate in an Education Abroad program, find finances to be a primary concern. Many students do not believe that an international experience is even possible because of financial obstacles. However, this doesn't have to be the case.

In 2013-2014, the Office of International Programs will administer approximately $170,000 in education abroad scholarship awards for CSU programs, which is up nearly $70,000 from the previous year. Average awards have ranged from about $300-$2500 dollars. CSU also had record number of Gilman scholarship recipients (12-13 annually), which has an average award amount of $4000. Additionally, many students do not realize that they can apply most of their financial aid that they receive at Colorado State University to their CSU approved education abroad program.

"Being awarded scholarships gave me the opportunity to study abroad twice and learn about two completely different cultures. Without them, I wouldn’t have gone and I wouldn’t have the same future aspirations of living abroad," said Sabiha Dubose, a senior accounting major who studied in France and the Czech Republic.


This spring, Education Abroad staff have brought together a panel of professionals in the field of international education, fundraising and development, and student financial services to talk with students about resources related to funding their education abroad program. Topics include scholarships, financial aid, and personal fundraising. The event is set for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Lory Student Center Room 220.

Panelists include:

Rachel Case, development associate at Trees, Water & People, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Fort Collins. Case spent time during her undergraduate career in Uganda, completing research on “bottom-up” development. She had to fundraise for her undergraduate travels and looks forward to sharing her experiences.

Virginia Fanning, director of Development for Student Affairs and Academic Programs at Colorado State University. Fanning has worked in development at CSU for over 9 years.

Thomas Schawel, special programs counselor in CSU's Student Financial Services. Schawel has spent the last few years advising CSU students on their options related to financial aid and education abroad. Schawel will speak about the process for applying financial aid to education abroad programs.

Julia Helminiak, education abroad coordinator in the Office of International Programs at CSU. Helminiak manages Education Abroad scholarships and has served on various scholarship committees. She will discuss the scholarships that are available for Education Abroad as well as tips for writing scholarship essays.

Kayla Tolbert and Josh Krokowski, CSU undergraduate students who received the Gilman Scholarship for their education abroad. Both students will share their experiences with finances and how they funded their education abroad programs.

Molly Dupuis, international program specialist at Globalinks Learning Abroad. Globalinks Learning Abroad has been sending students abroad since 1990. The representative will share resources and advice related to financing an education abroad.

Irene Gawel, vice president and director of University Relations at the American Institute for Foreign Studies. Gawel has worked in the field of education abroad for over 15 years. AIFS has sent 1.5 million students abroad since 1964.

Contact: Aimee Jones
Phone: (970) 491-3205