When students are asked if they would like to study abroad, most students enthusiastically answer YES! However, after a few moments, they always add this one caveat: “I don’t know if I can afford it.” Most students, including me, believe that studying abroad is expensive and therefore cannot be achieved. But, as a student who went through the studying abroad application process, I am here to say that everyone can afford it with enough research and a little bit of work!
Most international schools cost less than domestic schools.
US colleges have the second most expensive tuition in the world, which means that studying abroad in other countries will cost way less than what you are paying here now (unless you are going to England). In my case, I found that I am paying almost half the tuition for Japan than what I would pay here. So don’t believe the popular assumption that studying abroad costs more than studying at home!
You can still receive financial aid.
Most study abroad programs have partnerships with the University of Rochester, so you can pay the tuition to the school and still receive the financial aid you would have if you were attending school at home. Grants and scholarships that you would typically receive are still applied to the study abroad program, and this is the best part: most study abroad programs offer their own financial aid! I am going to Japan through the IES Study Abroad program, so I was able to receive both Rochester aid and IES Program aid. With a little bit of research, you can receive double the aid to study abroad.
Apply for scholarships!
Scholarships require a little bit more work, but they are great opportunities to save even more money. You can easily find scholarships through the study abroad program you are applying to, and you can even look for outside scholarships. Although most of them require writing essays or sometimes answering interview questions, they can add up to quite a bit of money.
Plan ahead to save up money.
Study abroad applications must be completed at least five to six months before the actual program date, which means you have enough time to look for a part-time job and save money. While financial aid and scholarships can provide much help to pay the tuition fee, the actual living abroad costs must be financed personally. Plan ahead to work and save some pocket money for yourself, so that you can enjoy your time living abroad.
As you can see, there are many ways to save money and afford studying abroad. Go out there and do your research, and if you don’t know where to begin the research, just ask the study abroad financial counselors! Studying abroad is a rare opportunity, so don’t doubt yourself and hesitate just because you think you can’t afford it.