If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re thinking about or have already decided you’re going to study abroad or do a global seminar. First of all, congratulations! You would be surprised how few students actually leave the country during their time in school; it truly is an enriching experience and gives you access to a more diverse portfolio of cultural perspectives.
So, now let’s talk about paying for it. Typically, studying abroad involves more expenses and complications than what you would normally encounter here in the states. I’ve made a little list of costs to expect to help you plan:
- Apartment/Dorm/Flat Rent & Fees
- Supplies / Books
- Spending Money (an on-campus job is unlikely, and federal work study doesn’t apply abroad)
In most cases, you will still be eligible and receive whatever federal aid you qualified for after filing your FAFSA, but what about the extra expenses? In general, I personally would recommend having about $1,000 a month available to you in spending money while you are abroad. It sounds like a lot, but all sorts of stuff comes up that you don’t expect while you are away from home… and having the money if you need it is invaluable. There is *nothing* worse than being in a strange place and feeling helpless because you ran out of money without the ability to work and earn more.
A private student loan can be a good choice for this, because it allows you to borrow as much as you need to have a good safety cushion while you are away. When you return, you can simply apply the leftover funds back onto the loan so that you are not paying interest on the extra money.
In addition, some schools offer scholarships or loans of their own for their students studying abroad. Check with your college’s financial aid department to see if there are any special forms of financial aid you can apply for to cut down the cost of your SA program.
ScholarshipPoints Redemption Code: STUDYABROAD10
Image Credit to Jack Hess on Flickr
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