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Financial Considerations for IU Overseas Study Programs

The decisions you make while selecting and planning your study abroad experience can greatly impact the cost of your study abroad experience. Use the guidelines below to help assess and understand the costs involved with studying abroad.

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 past participants 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" tab of the program's webpage.

IU Unit-based and Non-IU Programs

Consult directly with the program organizers to obtain cost information.

Program Selection

The biggest variable in the cost of studying abroad is the type of program you select. Some countries and cities have a significantly higher cost of living than others.  The length of time abroad will also impact the cost.

Many study abroad programs charge a flat fee to all students. IU-administered programs, however, base their academic fees on residency status, providing cost-savings to Indiana residents. 

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.

Financial Aid

In addition to using federal aid on a study abroad program, there are many sources of grants and scholarships available to students to study abroad.  Note that you may also be able to apply scholarships you already receive toward program costs. See the Overseas Study financial aid page for more information.

Planning Your Budget

Please download our Overseas Study Budget Worksheet to assist your financial planning. 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 break 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 can find more information about RPS’s contracts on the RPS website. 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.

Study abroad is like spring training for this century. It helps you develop the fundamentals, the teamwork, and the determination to succeed."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State