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How can only focusing on “fully funded” opportunities harm you?

You may be aware that some youth portals repost only 10–20 student opportunities each week. In most cases, those few opportunities are all “fully funded” and “win a trip to…” types of programs.

The truth is, those 10–20 opportunities are only a tiny fraction of the dozens of thousands of opportunities that are available from around the world (even less than 0,00001% of a total number of available student opportunities).

If you limit yourself to a handful of opportunities with fully funded or free trips, you may actually be lowering your potential for career development and global experience. Here are the reasons why that is the case.


  • They give you the wrong impression of you and your abilities.
We can all agree that winning a free trip or receiving full funding to travel are exciting and awesome possibilities. Presented with such an opportunity, you would find it hard to resist clicking on it to find out more. However, that is the very reason that youth portals keep reposting those types of student programs. They want as many click-baits as possible!

Now, imagine the insane amount of competition you will experience when you apply to those types of programs. The competition will be global and fierce and often 1 or 2 applicants only will be selected.  You will assume that it will be extremely difficult to be selected for any of those opportunities. After so many rejections, what will you begin to think and feel about your own abilities and chances for success?

Well, from our users who have gone through a cycle of hope and rejection as they applied to those programs, we keep getting emails saying, “I am not good enough to get selected for student programs,” or, “I do not have a chance to succeed in the real world. I keep getting rejected!”

These conclusions are not only wrong, they can mess up your whole perspective on life and your future career. Rejections are a part of your professional journey, but you will probably only receive rejections if you only focus on ''Win a trip'' type of programs. Having made that mistake, many young people get it stuck in their heads that they “cannot do it” or that they are “not worth it.” These ideas can be really destructive when you are in the most critical part of your life: your 20s.


  • They create a false idea that those opportunities are the extent of what is available.
Youth portals that keep posting a few, usually ''Win a trip'' type of student programs every week spread the false idea that those few opportunities are the only ones that are available. This cannot be more wrong!

The world of opportunities is thousands of times larger than that, if not infinitely so. At any given moment, there are literally dozens of thousands of other internships, scholarships, student competitions, conferences, projects, and workshops, including fully funded opportunities that those youth portals failed to provide.

By ignoring 99.99% of the opportunities that are out there, you are ensuring that you will miss the life-changing internship that could turn into a full-time position, the scholarship that will bring you to another country to study abroad and explore jobs overseas, or the student competition that will impress HR managers and business partners.

Thanks to our unique technology and network of partnerships, HeySuccess has offered over 23,000 student opportunities in over 190 countries (with 6,400 active at any given moment). Use the HeySuccess search tools and never miss another opportunity or deadline.


  • They create false concepts about how the world works
We have noticed that young people who only chase “fully funded” and “win a trip to…” types of opportunities tend to develop a destructive attitude towards the world.

The first attitude that we have seen is a sense of entitlement that causes them to think that everything in life is free, and that they will always be able to get something without paying back anything. Usually their first job searches after graduation reveal a very different reality.

The second mentality that we have seen is one that says, “I do not have money, so I do not have a chance to do anything with my life.”

Even if they get selected for a program with no or only partial funding, a dedicated and proactive young person will be gratified, and they will take on the task of raising money for their costs. We have met dozens of young people who, despite being from disadvantaged families, managed to fundraise amounts from $2,000 to an astounding $60,000 for their studies, internships, and trips abroad.

Imagine the enriching experience these students had while fundraising, and the skills that they can now demonstrate, including marketing themselves and convincing other people to invest in them. That fundraising experience can be more valuable than the opportunity itself. You can download a fundraising guide created by fellow students here.


In conclusion, do not totally disregard “fully funded” and “win a trip to...” types of opportunities. You should definitely keep applying for them too but remember that:

  • In most cases, being rejected by these programs is not a reflection of your value and abilities.
  • They are only a tiny portion of all of the opportunities available around the world.
  • There is no free lunch. You must take large steps, work hard, and deliver your best if you want to get great things in return.

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