3 Ways To Study Abroad Without Breaking The Bank

As a study abroad peer advisor at my university, I have learned that the #1 reason why students hesitate to study abroad is cost.

However, living in a foreign country doesn’t always come with a big price tag. Some programs actually cost the same amount of money as your home university does.

Regardless of price, there are plenty of ways to lower the cost of studying abroad.

Financial Aid

Did you know that you might be eligible to receive financial aid for studying abroad? The process just takes a few simple steps.

The amount of financial aid you receive will first depend on your eligibility from your home university. However, you may be eligible for more money depending on the price of your program abroad.

The program you chose and whether it is approved by your home university will also help you determine whether you are eligible for financial aid.

  • What to do: After you have decided on a program, book an appointment with your school’s financial aid office. During this time, I highly suggest requesting a budget sheet from your study abroad advisor. This will give you and your financial aid advisor a visual breakdown of how much your program will cost. Your financial advisor will then guide you through the rest.


One of the easiest ways to fund your study abroad experience is applying for scholarships. As an advisor, I always tell students to apply for scholarships even if they think they have a slim chance of receiving one.

There are plenty of places to look for study abroad scholarships, one being your university’s study abroad office. While these scholarships may only offer a few hundred dollars to an individual, you can always apply for several different scholarships.

Here are some other great places to look for scholarships:

  • Your academic college/major department.
  • Online (search study abroad scholarships).
  • Your university’s study abroad website (many sites give students a list of several scholarships available and their eligibility requirements).


Another great way to obtain money for study abroad is through sponsors. A sponsor is a person who is willing to help fund your study abroad experience. Universities, businesses and individuals can all be sponsors; you just have to do your research first.

However, this doesn’t mean you should start asking random people for money. Make sure you have a legitimate reason for wanting to study abroad and why you think they should sponsor you. Similar to a scholarship, some sponsors may ask you to apply or write an essay.

Some programs such as ISEP, an international student exchange program, allow people the opportunity to donate and sponsor their organization. This helps to cut costs for students studying abroad under an ISEP program.

If none of these options appeal or are accessible to you, a loan is always an option. There are plenty of student loans out there specifically for study abroad students.

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Jane Marie Trombly

Jane Marie Trombly

Jane Trombly is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing a degree in apparel merchandising with a minor in journalism. She has also participated in a study abroad program at the University of East London. At school, Jane is an active member of the Greek community, and CMU’s fashion association. In her spare time, Jane enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and writing for her very own fashion blog.
Jane Marie Trombly

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