My name is Forel Kourouma, and I am a third year student at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. My area of study focuses on African studies, entrepreneurship and computer science. Last semester I participated in a SIT Study Abroad, multi-county program where I conducted a field study on the Senegalese Murids in Senegal, Italy, and China.
Financial planning and multiple financial strategies are critical when it comes to studying abroad. When I found my study abroad program, the first thing I did was figure out a budget. Meaning, how much does the program cost, how much will my college aid cover, how much will federal aid cover, how much does the study abroad program give in scholarships, and how much needs to come out of my own pocket. The best way to figure this out is by meeting with your school’s study abroad office for the right paperwork and advice and meeting with the financial aid office to figure out a budget.
Once you have your budget numbers laid out you should also look into grants and scholarships on campus if you need it. I wrote a grant proposal to all Hampshire College schools and departments that I was apart of. I then applied for every grant I was eligible to apply for. If you come up short on funds before the deadline, appeal to the study abroad program (or other funding sources) and let them know how much you still need. . .this was the key to me being able to study abroad.
1. This was when I was in Rome during a break from the program. This is the area of the Roman colosseum. (Rome, Italy)
2. Behind us the university that we studied at in China. We took this picture after a group visit to the market. (Guangzhou, China)
3. “Pop out day” was a chosen day for students who wanted to show off clothing we made in Dakar before relocating to a more rural setting, Touba. (Touba, Senegal)
4. This photo was taken before I rode the horse around the yard. Nobody got hurt. (Touba, Senegal)