Money Matters

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▼   Paying for Study Abroad

Students often dismiss the idea of studying abroad because they assume that they cannot afford it. However, studying abroad can be very affordable under the right circumstances. The Office of International Education will work to find study abroad programs for all budgets. In fact, depending upon the program you choose, there are some real bargains out there!

Many students also do not realize that in some instances their existing financial aid and scholarship money may be applied to approved study abroad programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid to see what portion of your financial package can be applied.

Additionally, there are many study abroad scholarships for which students can apply, including a brand new International Education Study Abroad Scholarship which will award $100,000!

▼   In-State Students

There are several affordable options for Alabama residents to study abroad. The least expensive programs are often exchanges. However, these programs require a significant amount of independence, and are therefore not the best fit for every student.

There are also many affordable affiliate programs that offer benefits and are not considerably more expensive than USA tuition, room, and board. Look through the Program Types section for a brief description of the different types of programs available to USA students.

▼   Out-of-State Students
Out-of-state students should consider affiliate or direct enroll study abroad programs. There are numerous programs to choose from, offering courses in a variety of disciplines across the globe. These programs are frequently less expensive than the cost of attending USA!
▼   Summer or Interim Programs
The Office of International Education wants you to study abroad no matter the length of the program. We realize that not all students are able to spend an entire academic year or semester abroad. With that in mind, we offer many shorter programs during the summer. In addition, we are working to find and create programs that offer credit during the interim terms between semesters. Many summer and interim programs are quite affordable and generally offer three to twelve credit hours over an abbreviated period of time. Please be aware that not all scholarships and financial aid will apply to summer programs, so be sure to visit your study abroad and financial aid advisors early in the planning process.
▼   Tips for Finding the Money for Study Abroad
Studying abroad is an investment in your future. Like any other type of investment, it requires planning, careful management, creativity, perseverance, and commitment.
▼   Planning Ahead

Calculate all of your current on-campus costs, starting with your USA tuition. Think about your summer, semester, and/or annual budget: Add up your housing or rent, meals, tuition and fees, travel and transportation expenses, entertainment, books, supplies, etc. Use this calculation as a baseline for comparison with costs abroad.

It will be helpful to plan for these estimated primary costs:

  • Application Fee - Typically $0 - $200 applicable to the program fee-different for each program. Sometimes applied to the cost of the program.
  • Program Deposit - Post-acceptance fee to reserve your space in a program usually applied to the cost of the program and NOT in addition to the published price
  • Program Fee - May include tuition, some fees, and housing
  • Round Trip Airfare - May be a group flight, in addition to the program fee
  • Room & Board - If not included in the program fee
  • Estimate for In-Country Expenses - Local travel, meals, etc.
  • Educational or Cultural Excursions
  • Miscellaneous Personal Expenses

For some programs, there will be additional expenses such as:

  • Visa - Varies for each country
  • Passport - New or renewed US or other country for US Permanent Residents
  • Immunizations - Specific to certain parts of the world
  • International Insurance

If program costs are still unclear, contact the program provider for a full explanation. Determine your needs and interests. Compare the features and costs of various programs to find the best match for you.

▼   Location & Length of Program:
It's important to keep in mind where you are going and how long you will be there. Living and traveling abroad incurs costs. Prices are also subject to the exchange rate. For the most up-to-date rates, visit For specific program costs, please contact the program director. Make the program work toward your long-term goals and it will be worth the investment. Apply for financial aid well in advance. Determining your award ahead of time will help you budget accordingly.
▼   *** Study Abroad Admin Fee***
All students participating in Reciprocal Exchange, Affiliate, or Alternate Study Abroad Provider Programs are required to pay a $150 fee. This fee, along with USA required forms and documents will assure the following: maintenance of full-time USA student status while on an approved program abroad, Financial Aid that can be applied to an overseas program, pre-approval of courses toward the USA degree program, transcript processing, and credits that will be interpreted and applied to the USA transcript upon return. In addition, students are provided with ongoing advising throughout the process. Pre-departure classes and orientations are required and must be taken/attended the semester before studying abroad. All USA students are covered by International Travel & Emergency Insurance while participating on an approved overseas program. The cost of this insurance is included in USA faculty-led programs and some other programs. See your study abroad provider for information on additional costs of insurance on your program.