Funding Your Summer Adventure| 4 min read

Our favorite season is fast approaching; it’s almost time to wave goodbye to the harsh and bitter winter and welcome the sun into our lives. Summer is coming; when better to engage in a culturally rich and educational program?

Summer is our busiest period as students and graduates begin flocking abroad to gain the invaluable experience they need to get a foot in the door in the international job market.

But how much do study abroad, volunteer and internship programs cost? How can one effectively budget for such an experience and is there funding available?

Let’s begin by asking a different question – Why should I PAY to do an internship program? – There is one mammoth reason; the support and guidance that ImmerQi offers is essential. It’s incredibly difficult to arrange an internship without assistance; visas, internship positions and accommodation are just a few examples of arrangements that are difficult to organize without the help of a well-established company behind you.

The summer months are the perfect time for an individual to travel the world; not only is the weather more agreeable, but most of us have a lot of free time during this period. China is a beautiful country at this time of year, with temperatures reaching the high 30’s (C) and nature in full bloom.

If you are planning a trip to China this summer, there are some expenses that you will need to consider: Program fees, flights, insurance and living expenses. It’s pointless to dwell on figures surrounding arbitrary fees like flights and insurances – these are relatively easy to work out. What’s really important to consider is how much money you should bring with you – for personal spending and living costs.

China is famous for its inexpensiveness – you can find almost any product in China for a reasonable price. But just how reasonable are we talking? That depends entirely on the lifestyle you choose to pursue. If you are happy to truly immerse yourself in the culture, eat with the locals and partake in some traditional Chinese pastimes, you may find that you only visit the ATM every once in a while.

However, if you are interested in western style commodities, regularly eating food from home and indulging in the luxurious every day, then you may be dipping into your savings fairly frequently.

Local restaurants and grocers are very cheap; you will be paying pennies (cents) for vegetables and fruits and a decent Chinese meal might cost you anywhere between 10-50RMB. Super tasty ‘local’ restaurants can be found on almost every street in China and you can get your fill in these for next to nothing. Eating out most evenings is very affordable in China.

It’s also a great idea to cook at home – try and master some of those delicious Chinese dishes! Other regular expenses may include:

  • soft drinks (RMB 3-5 per bottle)
  • beer (RMB 5-20 per bottle)
  • toilet paper (RMB 10-20 for a large pack)
  • shampoo (RMB 20-50 per bottle)
  • instant noodles (RMB 3-5)
  • water (RMB 1-2 per bottle)1 RMB = 0.15 USD

A 3 month program in China does cost money but it may even be cheaper or equivalent to the cost of living in your home country with smart choices. You won’t need to spend too much time saving money to have an amazing and financially stress-free experience in China.

Program fee’s can be an issue for some applicants and this article might be able to help you think of some ideas to generate some cash to pay for your summer program. ImmerQi also suggests that applicants consider creating a campaign on www.fundmytravel.com. On this website, you can create a detailed campaign that others can contribute towards.

Applicants should also consider applying for grants and scholarships and enquiring within educational organizations to find out whether or not there is funding available for such a project. You might be surprised how much some people are willing to sponsor you as you embark on the trip of a lifetime!

Don’t let money be an issue for you; don’t let it stand in the way of your dreams. There are plenty of opportunities for you to fund your adventure. That summer voyage might be a lot closer than you think!

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

Victor Hugo – Les Miserables

Rachel Yoon

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