Understanding Program Costs

There are hundreds of study abroad programs available. Whether you can make it or not depends on how well you plan for it academically and financially. To make a good financial plan for your study abroad program, you will need to:

1. Understand your programs’ policies

In this step, you will need to read through program policies and you may want to discuss with your study abroad advisors to fully aware of:

  • How many installments will you have to make?
  • How much and when to make each payment?
  • To whom you will have to make the payment?
  • What does the program fee cover?
  • What are the withdrawal policies? (See General Withdrawal Policies for more information)

2. Estimate and compare your programs’ costs

A study abroad program involves two general costs:

  • Program fee (billable) - the amount charged to the student's account for study abroad enrollment. A description of what's included in the program fee is published in each program page.
  • Out-of-pocket costs (non-billable) - estimates of other costs directly related to participating in a study abroad program. Some of these costs may vary according to individual preferences and needs.

In the previous step, you have understood which specific fees are included in the program fee. Now you will need to figure out what else you will need to pay (out-of-pocket costs). Although the program coordinator often outlines an estimated out-of-pocket cost for you in advance, you still need to examine this estimation carefully and make necessary adjustments to identify your overall cost (program fee + out-of-pocket costs).

When it comes to comparing the costs of each program, instead of comparing program fees, you’d better compare the overall costs. Some program fees may sound inexpensive at first if they do not include tuition or airfare. However, in that case, the out-of-pocket costs are often much higher, leading to higher overall costs. Hence, be mindful of the overall costs. You can utilize our Budget Sheet to help you calculate the total costs of each program to inform your program decision.

3. Apply for financial support 

Does the program overall cost fit in your budget? Do you know you can apply financial aid and veteran benefit to your study abroad program? Moreover, there is plenty of study abroad scholarships that you can apply for support. Although, those funds may come to you after the due date of program fees, savings ahead and submit more applications will help you have more choices to study abroad.

See more instruction about Financial Aid, Veteran Benefit, or Study Abroad Scholarships.