Aug 17, 2023
Studying abroad is a chance to further your education while engaging in a unique, cultural experience. There are multiple ways to put a global spin on your learning. Some students spend a semester overseas, while others earn their entire degree in another country. If you’re curious about how to study abroad, there’s a lot to consider—including figuring out how to pay for it.
Studying abroad means spending some or all of your educational experience in a different country. You might live on campus, in an apartment or house, or with a local family. Here are a few ways to study abroad.
Lots of US colleges partner with international schools so that students can earn credits abroad. Some even have satellite campuses in other countries. Check to see if your university has an international education office or study abroad home base. If so, you can likely connect with study abroad advisors and program coordinators.
These organizations provide study abroad programs for all types of learners. They typically coordinate the details around travel, lodging, course administration, and additional travel once students are abroad. Just be sure to vet the organization beforehand. That means digging into their reputation, licenses, safety record, and reviews from past students.
There might be a specific school in another country that you want to attend. If you want to earn your entire degree abroad, you can directly enroll in a foreign university. You might also be able to stay enrolled in your home college and take a semester abroad on your own. Check with your school first to ensure you’re able to be enrolled in two colleges at once.
“Study abroad” is an umbrella term that covers all kinds of opportunities. The right one for you will depend on the type of experience you want to have. That can include:
Study abroad programs can vary widely. The idea is to enroll in a program that’s compatible with your education, personality, and lifestyle. The following criteria can help you find the right one for you:
The cost of studying abroad can vary widely based on location, housing, and number of credits. Here’s what the average numbers looks like, according to the University of Louisville:
If you already have a scholarship or grant, check to see if it can be applied to your study abroad expenses. Use a free online search tool to help you find additional scholarships specifically for studying abroad. You can also ask your home college and destination school if there are any scholarship or grant opportunities for students studying abroad.
If you’re unable to fully fund your study abroad experience, federal or private student loans can help cover the difference if your program is eligible.
You’ll also need to budget for actually living abroad. That includes day-to-day expenses as well as extra cash to explore your new country and any additional travel on the weekends. If you’re hoping to earn some extra money, check the rules for working in your destination country first. For example, there may be a cap on how many hours you can work per week.
Before you leave, make sure you have a debit or credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. These fees can add up to a big expense while traveling.