Students often dismiss the idea of studying abroad because they assume that they cannot afford it. However, studying abroad can be very affordable under the right circumstances. The Office of International Education will work to find study abroad programs for all budgets. In fact, depending upon the program you choose, there are some real bargains out there!
Many students also do not realize that in some instances their existing financial aid and scholarship money may be applied to approved study abroad programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid to see what portion of your financial package can be applied.
Additionally, there are many study abroad scholarships for which students can apply, including a brand new International Education Study Abroad Scholarship which will award $100,000!
There are several affordable options for Alabama residents to study abroad. The least expensive programs are often exchanges. However, these programs require a significant amount of independence, and are therefore not the best fit for every student.
There are also many affordable affiliate programs that offer benefits and are not considerably more expensive than USA tuition, room, and board. Look through the Program Types section for a brief description of the different types of programs available to USA students.
Calculate all of your current on-campus costs, starting with your USA tuition. Think about your summer, semester, and/or annual budget: Add up your housing or rent, meals, tuition and fees, travel and transportation expenses, entertainment, books, supplies, etc. Use this calculation as a baseline for comparison with costs abroad.
It will be helpful to plan for these estimated primary costs:
- Application Fee - Typically $0 - $200 applicable to the program fee-different for each program. Sometimes applied to the cost of the program.
- Program Deposit - Post-acceptance fee to reserve your space in a program usually applied to the cost of the program and NOT in addition to the published price
- Program Fee - May include tuition, some fees, and housing
- Round Trip Airfare - May be a group flight, in addition to the program fee
- Room & Board - If not included in the program fee
- Estimate for In-Country Expenses - Local travel, meals, etc.
- Educational or Cultural Excursions
- Miscellaneous Personal Expenses
For some programs, there will be additional expenses such as:
- Visa - Varies for each country
- Passport - New or renewed US or other country for US Permanent Residents
- Immunizations - Specific to certain parts of the world
- International Insurance
If program costs are still unclear, contact the program provider for a full explanation. Determine your needs and interests. Compare the features and costs of various programs to find the best match for you.