Making learning abroad affordable

Currently learning abroad opportunities are being impacted by COVID-19. For the latest information go here.

When you hear the words “study abroad” what comes to mind? You may have heard the prevalent myth that it’s too expensive. I’m here to tell you that it can be affordable and is a great complement to your academic journey at the U. Establishing your goals, especially your budget goal, is key to making learning abroad a reality for you.

In addition to running workshops about funding your experience, learning abroad recently created an affordable programs page. Here you can find resources about things to consider such as goals, location and program length, how to plan and a list of programs that we consider to be close to the cost of regular attendance at the U for most majors. There are numerous affordable opportunities you can take advantage of and, surprisingly, many aren’t sought after.

Learning abroad is an experience that with patience, strategy, and sometimes compromise, is totally attainable. For example, if you know you can only budget for $3,000 plus the cost of attendance at the U, focus on programs that fall within your range. Yes, many of you want to go to London, but London may not be in the range above, but a program in Spain or France (still taught in English) might be. They are in the same region and only a train ride or short flight away. Another example could be that you want to learn Spanish. In addition to doing research for Spain, explore programs in Latin America, which in many cases are more affordable. Ask yourself, is your actual goal to go to Spain, or learn Spanish? See, compromise and strategy.

Five years ago, when I decided I wanted to learn abroad, I made a wish list of locations and topics I wanted to study, and started my research. This was a year out from when I actually planned to go abroad, a timeframe I always recommend to students I advise. I eventually found the best program to complement my degree and that met my budget goals. After confirming the holistic (program cost, flight, housing, insurance, food, etc.) cost, I started working a second job and applied for scholarships for additional assistance. A year later, when it came time to pay for my program, I had saved the total amount needed, including flights and extra spending money. The location wasn’t my first choice, but the topic was spot on and contributed to my degree.

Learning Abroad introduces you to different perspectives, allows you to gain transferable skills, and helps you stand out amongst your peers with employers and on grad school applications. Our office has over 500+ programs in 50+ countries with opportunities to learn, intern and research, many taught in English. Set your goals, find an affordable program and be the 1 in 10 that learns abroad.