Funded Travel

On a sunny afternoon, walking along the River Thames felt surreal as I headed toward the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. I never would have expected to be there, especially as an undergraduate student, to study and conduct research. Being a student can sometimes make it difficult to find opportunities to travel. However, here are three ways to help you live your dreams and travel as a student.

1. Orca Grants

At Brigham Young University, the Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) funds grants to undergraduate students. The grant is used to encourage students in all fields of study to research with a mentor, who is most often a professor. Each year, approximately one third of ORCA applicants are awarded grant money: $1,500 to the student and $300 to the mentor. Students can use the money they receive from the grant for whatever they want, such as travel so they can research abroad.

I received an ORCA grant in 2015 to learn about theatrical adaptations of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. I applied because I wanted more experience researching a topic that truly interested me. To conduct thorough research on different theatrical adaptations, I needed to travel and to see them in the UK. In addition, I wanted to work more one-on-one with my academic advisor and receive feedback on my analysis. Once I arrived in the UK, I had the opportunity to research at the archives of the Globe Theatre in London and the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon to provide information for me to write my paper.

If you plan on applying, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to write and edit your application. Additionally, you will want to find an academic advisor with whom you have a professional relationship and feel comfortable working. If you do not attend Brigham Young University, research opportunities at your own college by reaching out to academic advisement centers and current faculty members. There are many opportunities to have your research travels funded by on- and off-campus scholarships and grants.

2. Fundmytravel.com

If you are volunteering or studying abroad, you can use the website, fundmytravel.com, to help with the expenses. This website explains the simple, three-step process for funding your trip.

First, create a profile in order to show your passion for traveling.

Second, create your campaign by creating a page to showcase what your cause is. You can add a video or photo to help tell your story and to attract potential donors.

Third, share your campaign. Invite your family and friends to donate by sharing your campaign through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and blogging. Social media will be your friend. You can also extend your audience to the friends of your family and friends and then to the general populace at large. You can also send emails to potential donors.

Fourth, raise funds. The website’s secure payment system collects donations from your network of friends.

3. International Student Identity (ISIC) Card

Whether you are a student or under the age of 26, there are ways to receive discounts for attractions in your destination. ISIC cards are only $25 and can be bought online at statravel.com. There are opportunities to buy discount tickets for flights all over the world. In addition, there are discounted hotels, hostels, train tickets, and bus passes that will make traveling easier and less expensive. The ISIC card is not some scam—UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) endorses them.

Once you arrive at your dream location, you are most likely going to want to play the tourist, watch a show, or wander the city. This card helps you receive discounts for shops, attractions, and restaurants not only in over 133 countries but also in the United States. It can certainly pay to be an adventurous student with an ISIC card.

—Katie Hollingsworth

Feature photo by Matthew Brodeur, cc

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