How Much Does It Costs To Study Abroad?

How Much Does It Costs To Study Abroad?

For American students, study abroad programs can be a rewarding experience. Travel for school is frequently exempt from the COVID-19 pandemic’s restrictions on international travel, and many schools are providing inventive virtual alternatives.

The average cost of studying abroad varies depending on the U.S. university you are attending as well as the foreign nation and city you choose to travel to. Even while some programs have high costs, there are ways to cut costs and make studying abroad more affordable.

The Price of International Study

In 2019, the typical cost of studying abroad was $14,295 per semester.

  1. The study abroad programs that are linked with your institution or university and the cost of living in the country you plan to visit will determine your fees, though. To begin with, ask your school about the cost of the individual programs.

 Consult the study abroad office at your institution for information on funding options for studying abroad.

Iowa State University, for instance, provides a sample budget sheet for a semester spent studying abroad in Germany. The total is anticipated to be $13,305.2 after host university tuition and fees, lodging and board, insurance, airfare, books, supplies, and other expenses.

Likewise, the University of Washington calculates that a semester spent studying abroad in Madrid will cost $13,800.

Even though the cost of each degree varies, there are some costs that every college student should be prepared to incur. You can finance your study abroad experience by being aware of those.

The primary costs of studying abroad

Many typical college expenses, such as accommodation, food, and transportation, apply to study abroad programs. However, there will be additional expenses as well, such as airfare, passport and visa fees, and spending cash. Recreational travel fees may also increase a student’s out-of-country spending.

Here are some of the most frequent outgoing costs, organized by popular study abroad locations.

Both domestic and foreign higher education costs are eligible for reimbursement through a 529 plan.


Depending on the continent, nation, and city you select, housing costs vary. The easiest and most economical option to obtain housing may be through student housing. However, some programs permit participants to book their own accommodations.

To choose the location that best matches your budget, compare the cost of living in several cities. The monthly costs given below are for a furnished studio apartment in a reasonable neighborhood and do not take into account potential housemates or exchange rate changes.

  • Paris: between 1,450 and 2,600.
  • Around $1,750 to $2,600 in London
  • Between $2000 and $4000 in Hong Kong
  • between 1100 and 1500 in Melbourne
  • In Rome, between $800 and $1,400
  • Moscow: between $500 and $900
  • Barcelona: $900 to $1,300
  • $500 to $800 in Johannesburg


Public transit is frequently the least expensive option, although you can choose an expensive mode of transportation like an Uber or cab. The monthly transportation pass prices listed below are approximations and subject to change owing to exchange rate variations.

  • Paris: approximately $92.
  • £200 in London.
  • Hong Kong costs 77 dollars.
  • Approximately $124 in Sydney
  • Around $43 in Rome
  • Russia: Around $30.
  • Barcelona: $50 or so.
  • Cape Town: $494 approximately


You can either economize on or indulge in food and beverages. The average cost of a casual dinner in the city is listed below. If you anticipate being inclined to overspend in this area, increase your budget.

  • $11 to $19 in Paris.
  • $8 to $18 in London
  • In Hong Kong, the price ranges from $5 to $10.
  • $9 to $14 in Sydney
  • $10 to $18 in Rome.
  • $4 to $6 in Moscow.
  • Spain: $10 to $18.
  • $4 to $84 in South Africa

Getting There by Flight

The city from which you are departing will determine how much your flight to your study abroad program will cost. The following flight prices are determined using Google Flights for a single round-trip ticket leaving from JFK Airport in New York. Remember that ticket prices may increase the closer you book to the day of your departure.

  • Paris: between 600 and 1,200.
  • Around $500 to $1,200 in London.
  • Hong Kong: About $80-$1,300
  • In Melbourne, between 1,300 and 2,100
  • Between $500 and $1,200 in Rome.
  • $500 to $1,200 in the Russian Federation
  • Between 400 and 1,000 in Barcelona
  • Between $1000 and $2000 in Cape Town

Be mindful of the existing COVID-19-related travel restrictions and blocked borders. Be aware that future restrictions may have an impact on how you can get to and from your destination. At the conclusion of your program, you don’t want to be stranded abroad, especially if you’ve already used up all of your vacation funds.

Charges and expenses are not included

It’s crucial to take additional expenses and fees into consideration. These can include the price of a new passport, the cost of travel or study insurance, and the cost of the necessary vaccinations. Students participating in the study abroad program at Iowa State University, for instance, can anticipate paying a $275 study abroad center fee, $170 for international insurance, $175 for a passport, and an additional $135 for a visa. 2. To create a budget that works for you, ask your institution or university for a cost breakdown.

Last but not least, think about including extra spending cash for mementos, lunches or nights out, and further touring.

Options for Online Study Abroad

Saving money on flights and other travel-related costs, virtual study abroad provides a global learning experience without the need for travel. These programs provide students with a distinctive educational and cultural experience through online instruction, virtual encounters, and videoconferencing.

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus epidemic, virtual study abroad programs give students a secure opportunity to engage with another culture through an academic program.

For instance, Washington State University provides online courses for conducting international internships and studying abroad.

Six virtual study abroad programs are offered by UMass Lowell and include online curriculum, travel opportunities, cultural encounters, and even cooking lessons. Each three-credit course in this program costs $750 plus a separate $300 study abroad charge. 

Although virtual study abroad programs can offer valuable networking opportunities and engaging multicultural experiences at a fraction of the price of traditional study abroad, they may not be the same as overseas travel.

Taking Out Loans to Study Abroad

Study abroad programs can be financed with the aid of federal, state, and institutional funding.

 For summer programs, the majority of colleges advise you to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, by March. Your current aid package may cover or lower the cost if you want to study abroad at another time of the year. 

Speak with your school about the alternatives, timelines, and particular procedure for requesting extra aid or transferring already awarded aid to the program of your choice.

Even though federal student loans frequently have lower interest rates, private student loans should also be taken into consideration if the cash you have access to is insufficient to meet costs

Advice on How to Cut the Cost of Studying Abroad

Depending on your destination, travel might either be expensive or inexpensive up to a certain point. Try these tips to save money when traveling abroad:

Use public transportation: There are efficient and reasonably priced systems in many foreign cities. Consider using public transportation instead of more expensive options like taxis in your study abroad city to save money.

Cook meals together at home: Experiencing a new culture through food is essential, but eating out can get expensive. Cooking or eating simple meals in your apartment is a fantastic way to cut costs if your school abroad doesn’t provide a meal plan.

Reduce weekend excursions: It can be tempting to see as many places as possible while you are in a new and fascinating place. However, if money is tight, try to avoid going on long expeditions. Instead, spend the weekend discovering new areas of the city you already reside in. This will give you a more authentic experience while also keeping costs under control.

If your program is in a touristy area, you run a larger chance of being pickpocketed while out and about. Wear a money belt. Put anything you can’t risk losing in a money belt. Additionally, when carrying a backpack, wear it around your front (or back) and secure pockets and zippers with a luggage lock or other lock.

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