- Understanding Program Costs
Programs offered by the Office of Overseas Study
Students pay a "program fee" for their term abroad which covers all academic fees, and often the room/board and international health insurance. In addition to these fixed costs, estimates for variable costs are provided for each program. These additional expenses can include: housing and meals (when not included in the program fee), round trip international airfare, visa fees, textbooks, local transportation, personal expenses, and vacation travel. These estimates are compiled using feedback from returnees and can help you anticipate the full cost of participating in the program.
To see the fixed fees and the estimated variable expenses, refer to the "Fee Sheet" for each individual program. The Fee Sheet can be found on the "Costs and Financial Aid" accordion menu of the program's webpage.
IU Unit-based and Non-IU Programs
Consult directly with the program organizers to obtain cost information.
- Selecting an Affordable Program
An important variable in the cost of studying abroad is the type of program you select. Many study abroad programs charge a flat fee to all students, including IU co-sponsored programs and most Non-IU programs. IU-administered programs base their academic fees on residency status, which may make IU-administered programs more affordable for in-state students.
You should also take into account that some countries and cities have a significantly higher cost of living than others. The length of time abroad will also affect the cost. Summer programs can seem appealing because of relatively lower fees compared to longer durations, but students can take most forms of existing aid with them on semester and academic year programs. Semester funding opportunities also tend to be for higher amounts.
- Maximizing Coursework Abroad
One way to increase the value of your study abroad experience is to plan your coursework at IU to maximize the number of major and general education requirements you can fulfill on your study abroad program. For example, students can fulfill their World Language & Culture (WLC) requirement by studying abroad on a (minimum) six-credit / six-week program. We encourage you to discuss studying abroad with your academic advisor and make it an early part of your academic planning and goals. Please visit our academic planning page for additional guidance.
- Financial Aid
Most forms of financial aid can be applied to an IU-administered study abroad program. There are some financial aid exceptions for students on co-sponsored and non-IU programs. If you are considering a summer study abroad program, be sure to check what financial aid may be available to you during the summer term.
In addition to using federal aid on a study abroad program, there are many sources of grants and scholarships available to students for study abroad. Note that you may also be able to apply scholarships you already receive toward program costs. Visit the Overseas Study financial aid page for more information.
- Planning Your Budget
It is important to evaluate how your budget can accomodate program fees and the additional costs associated with studying abroad (such as airfare, visa fees, independent travel, etc.) that you may not normally need to take into account. Please download our Overseas Study Budget Worksheet to assist your financial planning proces. The worksheet can be downloaded and completed electronically.
- Housing Before and After Your Program
Students studying abroad may incur fees associated with housing in the U.S. before and/or after their program. For example, students with annual housing contracts are often required to pay fees to end their contracts early, or find themselves unable to sublet while they are abroad.
The Office of Overseas Study encourages you to check with your current housing provider to learn about their policies regarding the breaking of a contract and/or subleasing so that you can make the best decision for your study abroad experience. If you live on campus, you should contact RPS as soon as possible regarding the impact of study abroad on your housing contract and be aware that some housing units, such as Union Street and Willkie, have breakage fees as outlined in the housing contract. If you live in a fraternity or sorority house, check your house's breakage policies. If you live in off-campus housing, check the landlord's policies for breaking a contract and/or subleasing.
Whenever possible, plan your pre-program housing well in advance. Students studying abroad in the spring should opt for a fall-only contract, which is available in some RPS facilities and some off-campus apartment complexes, or look for semester-long sublets on One.IU Classifieds. Students on fall or academic-year programs should investigate post-program housing before they depart for their programs.
The decisions you make while selecting and planning to study abroad experience can greatly affect the cost of your experience. Use the guidelines below to help assess and understand the costs involved with studying abroad.