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If you have the aspirations of a world traveler but the bank account of a broke college student, you’re probably wondering how much an educational trip overseas would cost you. You’re not alone in asking this question. The expense of studying abroad can be considerable. In fact, price is “the single largest nonacademic deterrent” that keeps would-be study abroad enthusiasts from seeing the world, according to Forbes. Fortunately, some study abroad options cost far less than the average, and there are steps that students can take to make the experience more affordable.
The Average Cost of Studying Abroad
The average expense of one semester studying abroad is a shocking $31,270, Forbes reported. If that figure sounds high, that’s because it is. This amount is nearly “double what a semester at private colleges run,” according to Forbes. For many students, that’s simply unaffordable.
However, just because the average price of a study abroad experience is high doesn’t mean that all academic trips abroad cost this much. The expenses for a semester abroad “vary greatly from school to school and even from program to program within the school,” according to U.S. News & World Report. It is possible for students to find study abroad opportunities that cost the same as – or less than – a semester at a school’s physical campus or online learning platform.
The Factors That Affect Study Abroad Costs
A number of different factors influence how much your study abroad experience will cost you. The country you travel to plays a big role in determining how expensive your trip abroad will be. Many European countries are especially expensive to spend a semester studying abroad in, Forbes reported. Additionally, some schools focus more on providing affordable study abroad options than other schools do.
What accounts for the significant differences in price from one destination to another? Some nations have a particularly high cost of education. Studying abroad in these countries will cost you more in tuition and fees than in nations where education expenses tend to be lower. In countries where the cost of living is high, room and board can be particularly expensive – even if the tuition charge is not. Additionally, you must pay for the transportation needed to reach your destination, as well. If the airfare is outrageous, keep in mind that the thousands of dollars it costs you to get there will drive up your total cost.
How to Keep Study Abroad Options Affordable
The first step to studying abroad without breaking the bank is making sure you know the full cost of any program you are considering. Find out not only how much tuition will be, but also how much you will spend on room and board, airfare and estimated living expenses. This will allow you to have a realistic idea how much you will have to spend, and to make sure you’re comparing the total costs of different programs rather than bits and pieces of the expense. You can also seek financial aid, including special scholarships for students studying abroad, that can help you offset the cost.
If you haven’t yet enrolled in a college or university, be aware that a school with a robust study abroad program is likely to offer more options, including low-cost options, for students to consider. Choosing one of the top schools for studying abroad can help you keep costs in check. After all, at a school where nearly 100 percent of all students participate in some sort of domestic or international study away experience, it is likely that there are at least some affordable options.