There’s nothing more fulfilling for me than to receive messages like this one from people that I don’t know. Since I launched Word Traveler, I got more than 20 private messages to talk with students about scholarships, Erasmus programs, Work & Travel, how we can travel, what options do we have, where are the grants available and how do we get them. There is an official Erasmus+ Guide of 327 pages which I am not sure who reads it, so…
It is my pleasure to summarize everything for you! That’s why I created Word Traveler. I want to help students hack their studies, by doing what they love, travel and study abroad through different scholarships. If I did this for 5 years, you can also do it. Did I tell you that none of my trips abroad were funded by my parents?
Let’s find out how did that happen and what options do you have so you can also do it.
6 Student Scholarships in 2017 – Get at least One!
1. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a European exchange program for entrepreneurs or anyone who wants to become one. Nobody is telling you about this scholarship in school. It is open for people between 18-40 years old, which means there is plenty of time to get it. I started my “scholarship hunt” with this one, and I got it at 18 years old, thanks to my friend Bogdan who found the ad in the newspaper. There are 3 parts involved in this exchange: the Young Entrepreneur (You), the Host Entrepreneur (the company where you go), the IO (Intermediary Organisation).
The deal is you have to write a business plan (at a high level) about something you are passionate, then contact your local IO in your country and give the business plan. (you don’t have to defend it or present it). The IO will check your business plan and if everything seems OK and proves that you have a feasible idea, they will upload it online on a platform where all the Host Entrepreneurs can see it. You will receive access to the platform, create a profile application, upload your CV + business plan.
Then you wait.
I waited 1 year til my Host Entrepreneur contacted me. Then I made the papers through an IO in Bucharest, signed a contract and left to Greece for 2 months. You can stay in this exchange between 2-6 months. I got 780 euros/month. Depending on the country you go to, you can receive more or less (see here how much exactly). Also, you can find out in this blog post more out about my experience in Greece with Vitaverde and Hans Buster, my Host Entrepreneur.
2. Erasmus Intensive Study Programs (ISP). These are short programs of study which bring together students and teaching staff from participating higher education institutions. The goals is to gather in a school somewhere abroad, go from 9 a.m to 2 p.m to classes, and learn about a theme from the teachers in the participant countries. The good thing about this program is that the workload of participating students is recognized through ECTS credits.
This is how I went to Greece in Larissa in 2014, for 14 days. (in other words, it was a summer holiday for FREE: accommodation, flight and 3 meals/day included). There were people from Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria, Denmark, Romania, Greece, Portugal (3-4 participants from each country) discussing about Simulation Training in Operations Management. You can find out about the available scholarships for Intensive Programs from your Local Point – Erasmus Office in the city. If you are from Cluj, you need to go to Centrul de Cooperari Internationale. Your Erasmus Office in your faculty can also guide you. Just ask about Intensive Programs, if there are any soon. :) You’ll need a letter of motivation and a CV. Not many people know about this one, so you won’t have competition.
3. Youth in Action was a program which run until 2013, and it is now under the umbrella of Erasmus +. You can find more information here. These are short exchanges which you can access through local NGOs in your country. There are some FB groups and organizations which often post call to participants.
Resources to check out:
Support 4 Youth (follow their page because they will soon post the 2017 calendar)
With this program, I went 10 days in Istanbul and I had one of the most beautiful cultural experience.
3. Erasmus Studying Abroad. This one is the easiest because you go through your school. The call for participants is usually in April, and that’s when you decide if you want to go for 1 semester or for 1 year abroad. If you are from Romania, your scholarship will be 450 euro, if you are from Western Europe, it might be less because you are living in a more developed country :). You only need to go to the Erasmus office at your school and see what cooperations you have. If I went to Portugal and The Netherlands, it doesn’t mean you can also go there. It only depends on what agreements your faculty has with other universities in Europe. I recommend you apply for this scholarship in your second year of studies at Bachelor and second year of studies at Master. (12 months of traveling or 24, if you are more courageous :)
4. Erasmus Traineeship Abroad. This is also possible, it is an internship which you can do during your studies (I recommend to do it during the summer if you don’t go with Work & Travel in the USA) or 1 year later after finishing your studies (only if you applied during your last year). The only thing you need to do is to search for a Host Company abroad through your school and apply. It is something similar with Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, the only difference is that everything happens with the help of your school. This one I didn’t get, because of timing reasons. :)
5. Erasmus Mundus Master Joint Programs is for the ones who want to do their master abroad between 12 and 24 months. For this one you need to apply directly to the Universities abroad and comply with their application process. Here is an updated list with all the Master Join Programs. You can do the same for your Doctoral studies.
6. Work & Travel USA, Greece or Australia. This is the new age revolution. Every year, more than 100.000 students from around the world go to the USA and 6.000 of those are from Romania. You can go to the USA with the help of an intermediary agency in your country. (If you are from Cluj, I recommend you Adira because they supported me to leave to USA 2 times and I had no problems.) Once you chose the agency in your city, you pay a certain fee (often close to 800$) and they offer you support to find a job in the USA. I wrote more about this program in the article “How to get 5 digits in you bank account in 6 months with Work & Travel” .
Feeling overwhelmed already?
You don’t have to. This article is meant to give you a suggestion about the possibilities.
This is my “secret” about how I travel. With no parents money. 22 countries in 5 years.
So many opportunities, so little time, so much research and applications to be written.
But if you can plan and get at least 1 scholarship from this list, it might be a life game changer.
Take your time, analyze, and research.
Wish you a lot of success!
P.S Let me know if you need more information, I will answer your questions. Write me a comment or write me on Facebook.
P.P.S. If you know more, please let me know so I can update this article.