Ask a College Advisor: How Can I Pay for Study Abroad?

Hear from one of our education professionals on financing your time abroad.

portrait of Mary Louis
by Mary Louis

Published on February 22, 2022 · Updated on March 15, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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Ask a College Advisor: How Can I Pay for Study Abroad?

Question: How can I pay for study abroad?

Answer: Students might feel intimidated by the cost of vacationing or studying abroad. The difference with vacationing in a foreign country is that you usually have to pay solely out of pocket or with a credit card.

The great thing about studying abroad is that many options are available to fund your program. Let's dive into how you can pay for a study abroad program.

Deciding Where to Go

You should first figure out where you want to go and pick a place that aligns with your goals and expectations. Sometimes institutions will advertise their study abroad programs to pique students' interest.

Once you know where and when you want to go and for how long, then you should speak to your study abroad office for program details.

Choosing a Study Abroad Program

When speaking with the study abroad office, you should check where your programs are offered or review the programs offered at a specific institution. If your desired program is not provided at your institution, you can check with external organizations that offer study abroad programs.

Of course, you should make sure any external study abroad program is trustworthy. You can always verify that with your study abroad office. You should not end up in a country without institution supervision and support.

Study Abroad Costs

Study abroad costs vary based on the country and program. For example, some short-term study abroad programs can cost between $3,000 and $5,000, while more extended study abroad programs usually cost more.

In addition, many study abroad programs have a program and application fee. And you may have to pay for extra expenses such as a round-trip plane ticket, food, housing, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Study Abroad Funding

You can utilize various resources to cover your study abroad program costs.

Once you are committed to attending a study abroad program, you should reach out to the financial aid office for funding opportunities. These funding opportunities include internal and external scholarships as well as federal study abroad scholarships.

Finally, you can also utilize federal and private student loans to fund your study abroad program. Of course, you should only borrow what you need and can afford to pay back.

Summary

The short answer to how you can pay for a study abroad program is checking with your financial aid and study abroad offices. Don't rely solely on your campus offices to provide you with study abroad information.

Do the research and have a budget for how much you want to spend on your study abroad program. Keep in mind you should be applying for internal and external scholarships. Lastly, loans should be an option only if needed.

Have a Question About College?

In our Ask a College Advisor series, experienced advisors provide an insider look at the college experience by answering your questions about college admissions, finances, and student life.


DISCLAIMER: The responses provided as part of the Ask a College Advisor series are for general informational purposes only. Readers should contact a professional academic, career, or financial advisor before making decisions regarding individual situations.


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What are the biggest myths about paying for college? Avoiding these misconceptions can save you money and set you up for financial success. Winter break study abroad programs take students around the globe. Learn more about how short-term study abroad programs work in college. Students who wish to study abroad or travel in general can take advantage of student offers from booking agencies, carmakers, and auto insurance providers.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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