Alyssa's Study abroad Program

Being a first generation college student, I wasn’t aware of the requirements to properly prepare for the financial challenges I would face. I was raised by a single mother who worked two and three jobs so that we could have basic necessities - to eat, have a safe home and clothing.  Unfortunately, this did not leave much time for her to aid me in my college search.  

When I started school, I had no clue how I was going to pay for college or apply for financial aid. The financial aid office simply provided me an FAFSA application. I never received any scholarship information. Unfortunately, I learned a little too late about the importance of scholarships and how to effectively apply for them. I did not qualify for any government grants because my mother’s income was just above the threshold.  She could not afford to help me with any of college expenses. This led me to accept the loan amounts that were offered to me so that I could attend school. Working two jobs and going to school full-time left me with hardly any time to do any extracurricular activities, let alone much time to devote to scholarship searches. The student loans that I was offered had to be accepted in the full amounts as well because my family needed the extra income. As of September 16, 2014, I am currently carrying $63,658 in student loan debt. I have reached my federal loan limits and after applying for scholarships for the last two years and being unsuccessful, I had to take out a private student loan to help pay for my senior year. Needless to say, my financial restraints has significantly contributed to my need for Aid for the study abroad program.

I am starting this gofundme because I was accepted into the “Business Mediterranean Style: Study Abroad in Greece & Turkey”. I chose this particular program because it comes highly recommended for the accounting students and professionals at Georgia State. In addition, I’ve always been intrigued by Plato and Aristotle, Greece and many Greek Philosophers such as Socrates. Ethics are extremely important to me and I find it fascinating that Aristotle’s philosophies are the basis of ethics all over the world.

However, the most important reason for wanting to study abroad is to expand my knowledge and widen my world view. I truly believe that in order to diversify my way of thinking, I need to experience different cultures. One of my goals is to study many different business processes and corporate cultures. Having the opportunity to go to several different businesses in two different countries and several different cities will allow me to reach my goal. It is one thing to travel to a different country to experience the culture but, it’s a much different experience to meet business professionals, ask questions and form relationships and potential long-term partnerships.

I’m confident that this study abroad will have a significant impact upon my professional career and I’m certain that I will be able to educate my future colleagues on my experiences. No one in my immediate or extended family has had such an experience. 

Participating in the study abroad will  also help me reach my CPA exam requirements with out having to find a way to fund the Masters Program. I am only six credit hours away from reaching the required 30 upper-level accounting hours. I have taken the max number of credit hours as an undergraduate of 24 credit hours so this study abroad will cover the remaining hours.

I am asking for any help that anyone can provide to me.  My fees for the study abroad trip are due in full by March 15, 2015.  I am applying to scholarships daily but unfortunately I have still been unsuccessful.

What most of you may not know is that I currently hold a 3.99 GPA at Georgia State, I have been on both the Presidents and Dean's List. I am a part of Beta Alpha Psi which is an International Honors Organization. I have always worked and went to school full-time often working two and three jobs to not be a financial burden on my family.

$500 deposit by December 15th 2014
$2000 payment by January 15th 2015
Balance by March 15th 2015
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Lyssa Wheeler 
Marietta, GA
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