Alright so this blog is going to be geared more towards my low-income siblings near and far who, just like their peers, want to take advantage of the Study Abroad experience. As a low-income student myself, I have learned a lot about how to navigate the expenses of study abroad and how to make the most of the resources I have access to.
One thing about CIEE that was extremely helpful was the fact that they have many scholarships that are available for students to apply for. I received a scholarship to help pay for flight tickets which was a huge burden lifted from my shoulders.
There will also be pressure to travel and go shopping with other students in the program but if you are unable to afford to do so, then a good tip is to opt for the homestay instead of staying in the hostel. You will get a fair stipend for lunch and transportation but if you are able to budget well, then you could end up saving a good amount of money. Also, if you are unable to travel anyway, don't feel too bad because there are endless amounts of things to see in Hyderabad itself! It's such a big city with so much history and entertainment.
And lastly, of course save before you go. If you are able to get a job and put money to the side for your study abroad experience that is a great way to help supplement some of the costs. Don't be afraid to openly communciate with your directors or program leaders if you are feeling overlooked it is their job to take care of you and make sure you have an accessible, fulfilling, and open study abroad experience. Speak with your school financial aid office as well and ask if they know of any resources that could be helpful. There are also outside scholarships such as the Gilman, that provide funding for low-income students to study abroad.
Keep your head up and don't give up if you want to study abroad, it's possible!