Study Abroad

What it Costs

You may be very excited about the idea of studying abroad, but you are concerned about whether or not you can afford to go. We are often asked by students, “how much does it cost to study abroad?” It’s difficult to provide a simple answer to that question because it will depend on a number of factors – duration of the program, the type of program, and the cost of living in the program’s destination. Below are the topics to consider when you are in the initial phases of planning your term abroad.

We understand that finances can be complex and we are here to help. If you have still have questions after reading this page, come to an advising session or email us at studyabroad@uw.edu.

Know your spending habits

Identify all of your on-campus costs and total them up. The Office of Financial Aid provides estimates on how much the average student will spend in a year at UW. The traditional undergraduate spends about $27,000 annually for in-state students and $49,000 for out-of-state students. Use this site as a resource to determine your own on-campus budget. Your on-campus budget can serve as a baseline when researching program options.

Learn about program costs

As you start to research programs of interest, take note of the program fee and what that fee includes. You can use the Find a Program page to begin your search. Considering the cost by program type can be an easy way to break down UW’s huge spectrum of study abroad options. Refer to the Programs at a Glance page to familiarize yourself with the various types. UW program and affiliated program fees tend to be higher, but include housing and in-country travel. University exchange fees are based on tuition and typically do not include housing, but give you the flexibility to choose your own living arrangements.

Each program webpage provides a program fee, estimates of airfare, and personal spending costs. These figures can help you determine the program’s affordability. There are additional costs associated with studying abroad that you should be prepared to consider.

  • Airfare
  • Meals – some programs include homestay meals, but most do not
  • Student Abroad Insurance (about $2/day)
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Study Abroad Fee 
  • Immunizations
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal spending money

Use the Program Cost Comparisons page in the Finances section of our website to compare the cost of living on campus with various study abroad programs and models.

You can also contact UW Study Abroad for a program’s estimated budget from a previous year.

Align cost with your study abroad goals

Read the Getting Started page to learn which questions to ask yourself when deciding to study abroad. Compare programs based on your needs and goals. Factors to consider:

  • Number of credits
  • Courses available
  • Location
  • Local cost of living
  • What the program fee includes

Each program brochure should include this information. If you have any questions about a specific program you are always welcome to contact us via email at studyabroad@uw.edu or drop in for advising.

Financial aid

A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees. Students can also submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually in the form of loans. Consult the Financial Aid section of our website and the UW Office of Financial Aid to learn more.

Scholarships

There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW has some of our own, but there are also national awards available to you as well. Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need based, some are location based and some are merit based. Consult our scholarships page to learn about UW-based scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Visit the Finances section of our Resources page to access more information about financially planning and funding your study abroad program.

Get creative with saving and fundraising

  • If you have a job, put aside a portion of every paycheck
  • Ask for financial contributions rather than birthday or holiday gifts
  • Organize a car wash or bake sale with friends
  • Organize a garage sale
  • Ask family members to donate frequent flier miles
  • Research if any community or religious groups you belong to have scholarship or donation programs
  • Start a kickstarter or gofundme site
  • Put all your spare change in jar – it will add up!