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.
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 Study Abroad program types page to familiarize yourself with the various types. UW program and UW Partner 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.
- Meals – some programs include homestay meals, but most do not
- Student Abroad Insurance
- Passport or visa fees
- Study Abroad Fee
- Books and supplies
- Personal spending money
You can also contact UW Study Abroad for a program’s estimated budget from the previous year.
Align cost with your study abroad goals
Read the Get 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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule an appointment for advising.
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 they 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.
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 the Scholarships section of our website to learn about UW-based scholarships and other scholarship opportunities. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.
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, bake sale, garage sale, etc. with friends
- Ask family members to donate frequent flier miles
- Research if any community or religious groups you belong to have a scholarship or donation program
- Start a Kickstarter or GoFundMe site
Visit the Budgeting & Fundraising Tips section of our website to learn more about financial planning and funding your study abroad program.