College Study Abroad Programs That Don't Cost a Fortune?

Updated on February 11, 2013
R.M. asks from Fulton, CA
15 answers

I was just checking into the jr. college study abroad program, which costs approx. $9K, but that does not include food, flight, community college fees, $1K in other fees, etc. So this could be approx. $15K for 3 months.

There has to be a better way. I would like my kid to have an overseas experience, but that sounds prohibitively expensive, for what you get. Have any of you/your kids done this? Any other ideas?


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answers from Seattle on

Study abroad at Uni costs less that at CC... The vast majority of the time. That's because the university subsidizes rather a lot (buildings, teaching staff, etc.), plus each program will already have had a budget.

But wait... There's more.... At Uni one also qualifies for study abroad scholarships.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter attended a state college here in Minnesota. She traveled to Africa for a semester through a small, private, very expensive college. There was some sort of a reciprocity program where we didn't pay any different tuition than we payed for her at the state college. It was a great deal. We did have to pay travel expenses and send tons of money for her to use while there (she gave away a small fortune as it was her first time seeing how some folks live). They did not actually attend any college, they traveled and lived with people in different parts of Africa. They met with local politicians and toured so many places. It was an eye-opener for her for sure. I was amazed at the difference in her. I sent my daughter with a suitcase(s) full of things she thought she needed. She came home with next to nothing as she had given it all away. It was really very much worth the cost.

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answers from Dallas on

When I went as a college exchange student in 1988, it was a true exchange. I paid to go to school and then went in a different country, while the student from the abroad school took my spot at my college. My tuition in my US school covered the program completely. It doesn't sound like this is an exchange, it sounds like a trip abroad to study. Not the same at all. I would look into the abroad programs that the college your child is expecting to go to already has in place. If it is an exchange, then that's how it works.

Both have value, and study abroad is wonderful. But the money thing is b
best addressed by the exchange, it would seem.

ADD: The college I went to in the states was more expensive than the sister college in England, so the cost was completely covered.

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answers from Detroit on

Have your child finish college and then work abroad by teaching English. That way it won't cost money, but instead, he or she will make money!

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answers from Dallas on

We've looked aat programs that are within the college that daughter goes to.

My daughter is 18 and will begin college in the fall. All of the colleges where she applied have study abroad programs and a major chunk of the $$ is covered with the regular college tuition. The colleges have "sister" colleges in other countries andthe student spend most of a semester in the other country.

There are grants to also help out with it through the college you are enrolled in at the time.

Check with your college and find out what types of programs thay have. You may be able to go for far less than that amount of money. Some students get paid while they are abroad.

Good luck

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Volunteering overseas or finding a job working as a nanny is a great way to get immersed in another culture. It's also a better way to become fluent in a language than the study abroad programs, since there is more interaction with the locals, less with English speaking students. You still have to pay for transportation and other fees. But your daughter may find a situation where her room and board are paid for. There are also opportunities to teach English abroad. The pay is minimal but can cover basic living expenses.

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answers from Eau Claire on

Often while in college, you can use financial aid to cover these expenses...sometimes even grants based on financial need. If she doesn't qualify for those, look for the programs where they teach English to students oversees...these are usually much cheaper...sometimes even free. Otherwise possible a shorter college offer winter break and spring break oversees trips (1 month and 1 week) that may not be as long as you want...but much cheaper.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Many four year colleges offer study abroad programs where the tuition you pay overseas is no higher (or just a bit higher) than what you pay for a semester here. Housing, food and travel is extra but often discounted as these schools have reciprocal arrangements (use of dorms and food programs.) You should take this into consideration when your child transfers. Look for a university that has a good program/relationship with the particular part of the world your child wants to travel to. My son goes to Northern Arizona University and I believe their program focuses on South America. He has a friend that goes to NYU and she spent her first semester in London.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

What about something like homestay? That's probably cheaper than staying in a dorm. And that's how the kids really learn the language.

We haven't done this, but I hope that your college has some more affordable options.


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answers from Austin on

Our daughter says at her college, there are different grants for these types of things.. Are there any grants that can be applied to through this college?

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answers from Washington DC on

My SS did a semester abroad through his university that actually cost less than a semester at home, not including food. Yes, we had to fly him there and back and he did take his 3 week spring break to tour Europe with friends. If you want an "overseas experience" define that. Could it be 2 weeks through Europe with a tour vs school? And location matters. Wales was more affordable than some other locations.

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answers from Portland on

I googled "student exchange programs collegel" and came up with a long list of sites.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Mine was $5K all inclusive except air-fare. It was for 6 months and was in 2002. It was a public university I went through.

I would look around. Avoid popular places and research, research, research. There is a lot out there!



answers from Washington DC on

My sister did a summer in Spain. It wasn't expensive. She did it through her university. She attended classes, got 9 credits, and had a blast. That was a LONG time ago. Times and political climates have changed quite a bit since then.
My children are in college. We told them that since they are both ROTC scholarship students they would see the world on the Army and Navy's time with big guns to protect them after they graduate.



answers from Sacramento on

It may depend on the school and where you go abroad. I did one in college where we spent 6 weeks in Thailand and it was only about $3,500 including airfare, lodging, classes, trips and most food. Of course, that was in 1996, but still...I think it really depends on where you go and what college you got through. I was at CSU Hayward.

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