Monday, October 16, 2017

Everyone Likes a Free $500: A Thrifty Students' Guide to Study Abroad Vouchers

When we go shopping, we all love deals, flash sales, promo codes, etc. The best thing about these deals is that we can strategically time our shopping trips around them and save boatloads of money. Let's face it- when you are a college student, getting a great deal can bring on the same rush of adrenaline as reaching the top of Mount Everest.

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with study abroad.

I was compelled to write this blog because right now, students across the country are saving $500 on airfare thanks to a voucher from CEA Study Abroad. See "Current Deals" below. In order to receive it, they must apply by an earlier deadline. For those students, this is like receiving a free $500 off your airfare without having to write and edit extra essays or request letters of recommendation like you would for a scholarship. (CEA is one of our partner organizations for summer study/internships. Learn more about summer opportunities here.)

While this all may seem too good to be true, the Center for International Education here at MC has seen students get these vouchers time and again. This past summer, two MC students got the same deal: a $500 airfare voucher for Student Universe, a travel booking site for students. They applied for a CEA Study Abroad summer program and entered the valid voucher code on their application.

What's the catch? (Eligibility)

Before using any voucher, read through the eligibility requirements. Oftentimes, to be eligible you must complete the given organization's program application by a particular date. This date may be earlier than the standard application deadline. The catch is that you need to be sure and ready to apply by that date. Do not rush into something if you think you may back out since there can be application fees and deposits to be paid if you back out of an application. Check out the official rules for the aforementioned promo to see what I mean.

How can you make sure that you know about these deals?

-Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@MCScotsAbroad) and keep an eye out for the Study Abroad Monthly Newsletter in your MC email. Subscribe to the newsletter here. (Scroll down and look for "Subscribe to our mailing list"!) We'll try our best to let you know about deals that come up.

-Make sure those of us who work in the Center for International Education know about your interest in study abroad! (Email us at to set up an appointment.) or subscribe to our mailing list.  We send out deals we find on facebook and to our newsletter subscribers.

-Check for vouchers yourself! Check for vouchers on CISabroad, CEA, and ISA websites. All are for summer study/internships. These deals come and go, so check back regularly.  Read more about our program offerings here.

No, $500 deals will not be available every day!

But checking the study abroad provider websites regularly or even a simple Google search for promos will usually save you something. In addition to vouchers, promo codes are also available. For example, a simple Google search of "Student Universe Promos" today gives you a free $25 off.

Be intentional about looking for deals and you will not regret it! If you have any more questions about vouchers, please email

Current deals:

CISabroad: Trip or Treat and Location-Specific Promos                                     

CEA: $500 Airfare Voucher 

By: Cindy Columbus, International Programs Coordinator