How To Start A Business And Pay For School Abroad

starting small business

There are three things that I love most in this world:

  • Animals
  • Medicine
  • Finding new ways to pay for school abroad 

Luckily, I’m becoming better at all of these!

Some quick background if you are new to my blog – I’m a Canadian veterinary student studying abroad in Croatia.

Why Croatia? That’s a great question and one that I’ve covered here.

Many reasons lead me to pursue veterinary school abroad. This decision has opened many more doors and opportunities by forcing me outside my comfort zone. A great thing really!

In this blog post, I’ll introduce you guys to my new online business – A tool that I’ll use to help me pay for school abroad. 

The Problem – How to pay for school abroad?

When I started my first year of vet school, I didn’t have enough money to cover my expenses.

Fast forward to today – I’m in my second year, and I still don’t have enough money to pay for school abroad.

It’s just the reality.

School abroad is expensive, and for anyone to have all the money ready in advance is extremely fortunate.

With the help of family, friends, and my personal savings – I had secured about one-third of the money that I needed to pay for school abroad.

I knew this was what I wanted to pursue, so I went after it.

Initially, I thought I would move to Croatia and find a job once I was settled. Maybe something that works around my school schedule at a cafe or restaurant – whatever that could help pay for school abroad.

This was a great idea… until I learned the minimum wage in Croatia is around € 3.40 /hour (much lower than other EU countries).

Suddenly, a traditional job became much less appealing.

On top of that, a traditional job lacks flexibility.

So, I started looking right under my nose.

One Solution – Starting a Business

I began building an online store to sell t-shirts.

Now, you’re probably thinking – Does this guy want to be a vet or make it to Paris Fashion Week? 

Basically, starting an online shop is something that caters to my schedule and allows me to supplement my income by working remotely. 

Even before creating a small business around the idea, I was already making my own shirts.

Personally, most shirts in stores were either too flashy or outside of my budget.

I like a simple shirt with a cute animal embroidered on the chest. Something classic and minimal.

Not a colossal print design that takes up the whole shirt. 

Is that too much to ask for these days?!

T-Shirt Shop

How did I start the business?

Using the Etsy platform to market my business and interact with others, I started building the shop from the ground up.

This took a lot of time.

I launched the store in Summer 2021 and have had support from around the world.

So far, I’ve sent shirts to Germany 🇩🇪, Russia 🇷🇺, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, Canada 🇨🇦, and the US 🇺🇸!

Every shirt purchased has a huge part in helping fund my veterinary education!

At the same time, you get a quality shirt with an original touch in return. It sounds like a win-win situation to me!

The Truth – How Much Do You Profit By Selling Shirts?

This is the part that people are always curious about – How much can you make from selling shirts?

To be fully transparent, my profit margin is around $10 per shirt.

That means every shirt sold is another $10 towards helping me pay for school abroad. The rest of the cost directly goes toward creating and delivering a quality product.

This may sound far-fetched, it’s still worth considering. If I were to pay for school abroad entirely through the Vet Abroad Etsy Shop, I’d have to sell around 9,000 shirts

Who knows, maybe it’s not so unrealistic after all.

I’ve been working tirelessly this summer to brainstorm new ways to market my talents and use them to support myself as best as possible.

In the coming blogs, I’ll talk about some other forms of passive income that I’ve started using to develop my skillset and help me pay for school abroad. 

As a small gesture for reading to the end, here’s a code for 10% off your first purchase at my shop!  Use this code at checkout: ILOVEANIMALS

You can check my store out here:

I hope you enjoy these shirts as much as I do. Thanks for the support!

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