For many students, studying abroad is an important and exciting part of their plans for college. Studying in another country is an amazing experience, but it costs money — not just tuition, but travel, housing, and living expenses. These costs can be significant, and can become a substantial barrier for students who are looking to study abroad with a small budget. Even during the college application process, you should be aware that studying abroad can be expensive and to start planning ahead if that is what you want to do.
I believe that a lot more people can afford studying abroad even if they don’t think so. However, you will need to do planning, budgeting, controlling program costs, making use of financial aid and other funding options. If you spend time researching your options, you can make studying abroad an affordable prospect for you. I have a few tips for you to start looking for an affordable way to study abroad!
How Much does Studying Abroad Cost
Each college and each study-abroad program has its own set of policies, so it is difficult to predict the financial aspects of studying abroad, but here I provide some advice about the policies you may encounter.
What can affect your personal cost for studying abroad:
- Your college’s study-abroad and financial aid policies
- The availability of grants and other financial aid specifically intended for study-abroad students by your university
- Type and length of study-abroad program you’re looking for
- Whether your study-abroad program is managed by your school (cheaper), by a partner school, or by an independent organization (more expensive)
- What type of housing you’ll be living in during the program
- The cost of living and tuition at your destination
- The cost of traveling to and from your intended destination, including fees for getting a passport, securing a visa, and fulfilling other administrative requirements
- Which other opportunities you undertake during your time abroad, such as cultural events or additional travel
- The income you’ll lose if you’re not able to work during the school year
You will also need to have some amount of emergency funds prepared to deal with unexpected challenges. Some countries may require you to provide proof of your financial resources in order to get a student visa.
How to Save on Studying Abroad
Check Your Study Abroad Options With Your University
My college had several partner colleges, which meant tuition was the same abroad as it was there. If your university has any similar programs, you might be able to save up quite a bit. Your billed costs would stay the same, and the university would take care of any difference. If you are already spending money on rent and living expenses, your per-semester price should be about the same price for you to go abroad as it is in your home country. Of course, you will have to spend money on travel tickets, but there are usually scholarships that can help you with that, too.
Look For Scholarships With Your University
Consult your college or university to see if they can help you find internships or work placements abroad. Most of the time you can get credit from your home institution. You should also talk to your university about scholarships that they have for study abroad students and if you qualify for any of them.
Look For Scholarship Programs
You can also look for programs that cover all of your study-abroad experience, like this Summer study-abroad program in Denmark. This program offers foreign students Danish language instruction, while showcasing Denmark and Danish culture over the summer. Among others, there is also SIT Study Abroad program. It offers summer undergrad programs all over the world: Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East. Participating students get hands-on experience in a variety of fields. This program also offers scholarships and grants to students based on need. Students that apply can receive between $500 and $3,000 to cover tuition, room, and board. There many more to pick from, you just have to look!
Look For Cheaper Study Abroad Options
Most students study abroad during their junior year of college, either for one semester or for the entire year. Summer study-abroad programs may also be available through your school or independently. Summer programs are usually shorter and cheaper. There are even week-long programs during spring or winter breaks! I found a budget-friendly study abroad website, which offers pretty low prices and a variety of flexible choices for study abroad.
Share an Apartment with Other International Students
When you study abroad, it will be cheaper to live in a dormitory or a shared apartment with other students. Most countries have their own search tools for apartments in the area, but when I went to Spain, it was really easy to find roommates with Idealista. A lot of international students look for roommates on this website and there are always a lot of good choices.
Are you looking for cheaper options to study abroad specific to your interests? Leave me a comment below and I would love to try to help you with some choices!