Planning for Study Abroad is full of excitement. From scoping out must-see attractions to enrolling in the perfect class, anticipation fills the air during the preparation phase. For many students, studying abroad helps fulfill new-found or life-long goals of gaining international experience, broadening academic horizons, learning second or third languages, seeing iconic sites and landscapes, and so much more. But in all this excitement, concern about finances can weigh heavy on a student’s plans. Money can be daunting, especially when dealing with a foreign currency or an unfamiliar cost of living, but the Study Abroad team is here to help. Our goal is for students to feel confident and successful as they prepare to go abroad, especially with their finances.
How Can Students Pay to Study Abroad?
Can Students use Financial Aid and Scholarships?
Usually. Study Abroad offers a few different program types, which each carry their own fees. When searching for programs, students should always check the program type. It may be Faculty-Led, Exchange, Arizona Abroad, or something else. Students and families can use this chart to determine which varieties of funding can be used on each program type. For example, a student on a Faculty-Led program could use their Pell Grant but not their Wildcat Excellence Award, whereas a student on an Exchange program would be able to use both. Additionally, students should keep in mind that some tuition awards are only available in the fall or spring, so summer programs may require different funding. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid has a great page on Study Abroad funding.
Can Students Apply for More Funding?
Yes! Knowing that many students rely on jobs or scholarships that cannot be used for study abroad, many groups outside of the University of Arizona provide additional scholarships to help balance out the costs of going abroad.
- The UA Global Scholarship Tracker lists opportunities for various destinations, majors, minority groups, and more.
- Scholarship Universe contains thousands of opportunities for general scholarships.
- The Gilman Scholarship offers Study Abroad awards to students eligible for the Pell Grant. Students and Families should check the Study Abroad calendar for Gilman Information Sessions throughout the year.
- UA Study Abroad Application Scholarships. When a student applies to study abroad, they are automatically entered into the running for some scholarships. Information on opportunities and eligibility can be found here.
- Departments and Colleges often have scholarships for their students and programs. Students should speak with advisors and faculty to find this kind of opportunity.
Once Students Go Abroad, How Can They Keep Expenses Low?
Which Additional Expenses Should Students Prepare for?
It depends! A higher or lower cost of living in a program’s location will make a big impact on a student’s day-to-day and overall expenses. For example, students can expect to pay about 22% more for common items in Seoul, South Korea, but pay about 17% less for similar items in Tarragona, Spain. Students and families should use resources such as Numbeo to estimate prices abroad. If a student or family is concerned about the cost of studying abroad, selecting a program in a relatively less expensive country or city can help reduce the economic burden.
What Can Students Do to be Cost-Savvy?
The number one tip to save money is to plan ahead. That doesn’t mean that students can’t be spontaneous or try new things, though. Students should set aside room in their budget for new adventures but should be ready to hold themselves to a limit. Students and families can download a budgeting guide for Study Abroad to help them think about their finances. Planning ahead while abroad can also mean cooking with local recipes rather than eating out, packing lunches for day trips, using public transportation, and finding student discounts at museums and attractions.
With the right combination of funding, budgeting, and savvy spending, studying abroad can be no more costly than a semester in Arizona. Studying abroad should be an option for everyone, so our team is here to help families and students plan a path to go abroad. Have Questions? Don’t miss our Financial Aid & Study Abroad virtual event, March 31, 3:00-4:00 pm. Or find us at https://global.arizona.edu/study-abroad