The opportunity for a student to study abroad is an exciting one. Getting an immersive experience in a foreign country is something that may never happen again in a student’s lifetime.
Yet, the cost of studying abroad can be hard to come up with a lot of students. There’s the need to put a roof over your head, pay for food, classes, books, and the incidentals of daily life. All that being said, you might be surprised to learn it can be more affordable than you think.
Finding a Study Abroad Program
If you’re interested in studying abroad, chances are you know the locations and programs that are of interest to you. The best and most cost-efficient, way to go about planning your study abroad program is to work with the school that’s hosting the program directly.
Your program/school will be able to work with you to hammer out details, suggest financial aid options, and handle required paperwork.
After getting direction for your school, you’ll have a sense of how much your program is going to cost and can begin planning from there.
Breaking Down the Costs of Studying Abroad
Study abroad programs come in many different forms. Some people spend a year abroad and others just a few weeks, not to mention that certain countries cost more than others. So, the cost of each program can differ significantly.
On average, a study abroad semester in Europe costs about $14,295.
If you’re working with a school or program, be sure to ask them for a breakdown of what their costs cover. They may not cover every aspect of your time abroad, so figuring out what’s left is a must.
Here are things you should consider when figuring out the cost of your study abroad program:
- Administrative Fees
Some programs cover the cost of tuition, and others don’t. Getting an idea of what a program covers is essential to know if you can afford the trip. That way you can understand the remaining amount you’ll need to come up with.
Administrative fees can be an expensive part of the program. But the fees provide coverage and assistance to students who become temporary foreigners. Some of the events the fees cover include:
- Providing support in the event there’s an emergency
- Advising students on a one-on-one basis
- Providing information for students that covers expectations, information about the location, what the school is like, etc.
- Keeping in contact with students while abroad
- Making sure credits transfer back to the home school without issue
The rest of the costs are the same that a student faces while they are stateside. That includes tuition, books, housing, food, and necessary fees.
Once you know what your cost is going to be, it’s time to figure out how to pay for it.
Money For Your Study Abroad Program
There are several ways to help pay for your study abroad program.
Start With Your School
If you’re attending a program affiliated with your college or university, you might be able to use your loans, scholarships, or grants for your program.
If you can, that means you’re already a step closer to paying for your program, and you can start figuring out ways to supplement your aid.
A list of schools participating in federal student loans and direct loan programs can be found here.
Ask Your Program About Grants and Scholarships
The best place to ask about supplemental financial aid is with your study abroad program. Many international schools offer grants, scholarships, and loans to foreign students to encourage study abroad program participants.
Your study abroad program administrators should be able to guide you in the right direction when it comes to applying for and accepting foreign aid.
Plan to Work Abroad
If you didn’t get enough money through grants, scholarships, and loans (or don’t want to take out a loan at all), you should consider working while you’re abroad.
Just like some students work part-time while in college here in the states, you can do the same in other countries. For different job types, you may have to apply for a work visa, depending on the country you’re in.
However, there are some jobs you can do in your spare time that may not require a special visa. We go over potential study abroad job options in this post.
Budgeting for Study Abroad
Now that you know the cost of studying abroad, and have an idea of the financing you’ll be going away with, you can build a budget.
To come up with a great budget, consider the following:
- The cost of living
- Additional school supplies
- Travel and entertainment
- Cost of tuition you need to cover
If you need a little help budgeting for your study abroad trip, we’ve got some great tips here.
Studying abroad is a life-changing experience that allows you insight into different cultures and lifestyles. Getting the opportunity to explore a new city and country is one of those educational experiences that you’ll never have in a classroom.
While the cost of every study abroad program is different, you do have resources you can tap into to get financial aid. Do your research, budget your money, and get ready to see the world.