Average cost of studying abroad


The number of students choosing to study abroad is on the rise, with more than 350,000 students studying abroad in 2018-2019, according to data from Open Doors. Most undergraduates take a study abroad program in their first year, but these days you can find programs that are suitable no matter where you are in your undergraduate experience. If you’re considering studying abroad, it’s best to start your planning early; this way you can find the best program for your needs and start budgeting for any additional expenses.

Key Study Abroad Statistics

Average cost of studying abroad

The cost of a study abroad program depends on a wide range of factors, from the basic costs of education in a particular country to what the study abroad program itself includes . The University of Louisville estimates that a one-semester study abroad program costs on average between $7,000 and $15,000.

Remember that the cost of studying abroad does not only include tuition fees; you’ll also need to factor in flights, meals, health insurance and more. Below is a sample of estimated fees for various programs.

University of Washington: Madrid University of Iowa: Florence Pace University: Costa Rica Syracuse University: Wroclaw
Program fees $5,300 $18,500 $24,039 $29,220
Books $500 $400 $141 $175
Lodging $3,000 N / A $1,970 N / A
Food $2,000 $2,000 N / A $2,710
Plane ticket $1,500 $500 $900 $1,300
Study Abroad Fees $450 $1,110 $100 $5,875
Health insurance $500 $109 $3,117 N / A

Study Abroad Cost by Region/Country

According to Open Doors, the most popular study abroad destinations are Spain, Italy, UK, France and Australia. However, some of these destinations are also among the most expensive. A study by APRIL International reveals that Australia is the most expensive country to study based on annual university costs and annual living costs, while the UK and France are not far behind.

Country Estimated annual cost (tuition fees and cost of living)
Australia $42,093
UK $35,045
Canada $29,947
France $16,777
Malaysia $12,941
Indonesia $12,905
Brazil $12,627
Turkey $11,365
China $10,729
Mexico $9,460

Source: APRIL International

Study Abroad Cost by Program/Agency

There is a thriving ecosystem of companies arranging study abroad opportunities for students. Many of them are non-profit organizations that partner with a wide range of universities and colleges to offer credit courses. They are often the link between an American university and an international university, and they frequently supplement courses with field trips and events.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular organizations and how they rank.

Organization Number of countries Estimated program costs for one semester in London, England Included in the cost
IES abroad 17 $19,500 Tuition, accommodation, insurance, personal advice, on-site support
CIEE 26 $18,750 Tuition, accommodation, field trips, insurance, on-site support
IEC abroad 14 $21,490 Tuition, housing, insurance, field trips, on-site support, school counseling
AIFS 21 $17,495 Tuition, housing, field trips, on-site support, alumni network
IS A 28 $22,450 Tuition fees, accommodation, field trips, personalized support, on-site support, complementary health insurance
USAC 26 $17,317 Tuition fees, accommodation, field trips, personal advice, on-site support, supplementary health insurance, scholarship advice

How to pay to study abroad

If you’re considering studying abroad, make budgeting part of your planning process from the start. Studying abroad is expensive, but it’s also totally doable if you keep the numbers on track from the get-go. Be realistic about your costs in a given location and know the ins and outs of what the different program options include. And don’t forget to save some money to buy souvenirs.

The good news is that much of your existing financial aid can be used for study abroad costs. You may be able to use:

In addition to your existing aid, there are many scholarships specifically for students studying abroad, which you can discover using a scholarship search engine. Third-party companies that facilitate study abroad programs also often have their own scholarships.

Once you arrive at your destination, look for discounts that may cover your costs. For example, many major cities offer student discounts at museums and national monuments.


What is it to study abroad?

Study Abroad is a program that allows students to earn academic credit at an international college or university. Study abroad programs are offered through international university partnerships and are generally available to all students in good standing.

Students can choose to go abroad for a whole year, an academic semester or a few weeks. There are general study abroad programs, where students can take college courses as they would in their home country, and there are also major-specific programs where the sole purpose is that students focus on their field of study.

What are the requirements for studying abroad?

Study abroad requirements vary depending on the school you attend and the program you choose. You will need to have good academic standing, often with a GPA of at least 3.0, and you may need to pass a language proficiency test.

Here is what you may need to have on hand for the application:

  • Photo ID (driver’s license or photo ID).
  • Transcript of records
  • Proof of high school education, such as a GED or high school diploma (if applying in freshman year).
  • Program admissions test scores, such as GRE scores (if applying for a graduate program).

Which country is the best to study abroad?

Ultimately, the best country to study abroad depends on your personal interests, your field of study, and what you’re looking to get out of your time abroad. For example, the UK may be the first choice for a major in English literature, while Spain is a great location for a major in Spanish.

Studying abroad is not just an academic opportunity; it is also a chance to experience different cultures and see new parts of the world. Consider the destinations you’ve always wanted to see and where you might be able to travel while abroad.


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