Budgeting for Study Abroad

Understanding your budget for study abroad will help you in selecting the right program. It is important to make financial plans and apply for scholarships and aid.


Plan your funding early

Research and apply for scholarships a minimum of 6 to 12 months in advance of when you plan to travel so you don't miss important deadlines.

Understand your program costs

Consider the difference between cost and value.

  • Sometimes a longer-term experience can be more cost effective! Replacing a semester abroad with one you had already budgeted for here at UC can make study abroad more affordable. 
  • While a semester abroad may have a higher cost, it can sometimes be a better value than a shorter stay in the same country.

Consider countries where the cost of living is lower.

  • Cost of living will vary from country to country and is often the largest determining factor in overall program cost, i.e., a program in Thailand will likely cost less than a program in the UK due to the vastly different costs of living in the two countries. 
  • Similarly, consider a smaller city; it costs much less to study in Viterbo, Italy than it does to study in a city like Rome.


Think creatively and save

  • Create a budget - whether old-school on paper or on an app like Mint, creating and maintaining a budget can help you manage your funds abroad. 
  • Ask relatives to contribute to your study abroad for birthdays and holidays, consider setting up a crowdsource account like FundMyTravel.
  • Live like a local, rather than a tourist. Utilize public transportation, seek out local markets, and make friends with local students.
  • Look for student discounts! There are often discounts for young people on train tickets, museums and more.  Be sure to ask and have ID ready to show.