Give up on the dream? Not a chance.
Blanks used her grandmother's pound cake recipe to get her over the Pacific Ocean. She drove from Columbus to her home in Dayton, Ohio, on weekends to cook about 30 pound cakes a week — and selling them for $15 to $25 each to raise the cash for the experience.
"I could get a loan, but a loan you have to pay back anyway, so why not try to raise it yourself?" said Blanks, who studied food science while a Buckeye.
Blanks’ story is one of many among students who are trying to figure out how to finance study-abroad opportunities in a tough economy. Most students have to raise the funds themselves, and while many resort to loans to do so that’s becoming a tougher avenue to finance overseas study.
Ohio State officials say one way to improve the affordability of study abroad is to combine the study programs with service-learning opportunities. In one case, the university was able to send a group to students for only about $1,000 over the recent winter break.
“Some people were able to go on this trip and not others,” said Chris Barrington, an Ohio State junior. “Even if they wanted to go on other trips they couldn’t participate because it was expensive. This one was substantially less.”