Studying abroad attracts students for a number of different reasons: Visiting somewhere completely new. Breaking out of comfort zones. Trying new foods, experiences, and ways of life. For many college students, this experience is a goal to strive for and a centerpiece of their undergraduate years, but for some it can also be prohibitively expensive.

Skyline College and the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Study Abroad Program want studying abroad to be an option for any student, no matter their financial means, and so the District has developed a unique way to fund scholarships for students who wish to study abroad.

Through its new “Community Travel Program,” community members can sign up for a unique educational vacation to one of five international locations, and with each individual registration fee, a $500 tax-deductible donation is made directly to the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship Fund to help students live and learn in other countries. Travelers receive a curated travel experience, and in the process they help to support a life-changing experience for a student.

“These trips allow the local community to directly support a student’s goal to study abroad,” said Zaid Ghori, Director of Study Abroad. “This is a chance to make a real, tangible impact on someone’s life while enriching your own. We believe that in itself will be a powerful motivator for people to book their international travel through our program.”

The Community Travel Program tours are specifically designed for a wide range of people: those who have never studied abroad themselves, who are looking for a deep dive into a local culture, or who have simply been promising themselves a vacation. Participants will enjoy local food, special attractions and guided sightseeing, and the reassurance of a San Mateo County Community College District travel ambassador and professional tour director on the trip.

There are only 20 spots available per tour, so community members are encouraged to enroll early.

2016 trips include London, Spain, Munich/Prague, Italy, and Ireland. Find out more at the Community Travel Program website.