When navigating how to find the right study abroad program, American students have a couple of options.
- Participate in your school’s sponsored study abroad program
- Find a different program on your own
Choosing which path to take may seem overwhelming. Read on to learn how to find the right study abroad program.
How to Finance Your Study Abroad Program
I always wanted to study abroad. For two years I assumed that I would just participate in my University’s study abroad program. I knew people who had gone on the program and loved it, so it felt like the logical step. I attended an interest meeting for my University’s study abroad in London Program, and realized how expensive the program was. Specifically, I would have had to pay a semester’s worth of out of state tuition and an expensive program cost.
After talking it over with my parents, we decided to look into other programs options. At first, we thought that for all programs you had to pay tuition + the program cost. So, we looked into programs affiliated with in-state Universities. Doing so would save money on the tuition part, since I would be paying in-state tuition. My dad found a program with one of the in-state Universities but I didn’t like it for a variety of reasons, like the ones I list below. I looked into programs affiliated with another in-state University listed under “programs we recommend.” This meant that I wouldn’t have to apply through the University, and could apply with the third program provider only. This is how I found the perfect program for me: CEA Study Abroad in London. The 3 month long program had one cost of just a program fee. The cost is actually cheaper than my out of state tuition at my home University. So, in essence, studying abroad on this program was actually cheaper than spending a semester at my home University.
When considering the financial aspect of studying abroad, it is important to note that everyone’s situation is different because different schools finance their programs differently. For example, at some schools if you are an out of state student and you study abroad with the school, you pay the equivalent of a semester’s worth of in-state tuition. This would allow you to save money. Do your research early, as figuring out how to finance your study abroad takes time, effort and planning.
How to Get the Most Bang For Your Buck
After realizing that the program cost was the right fit for me, I considered what the price tag included, and compared it to the more expensive option of going with my home University. Here are some factors that I compared between the two programs:
- My program’s accommodation gave my own room and bathroom in a shared flat. In contrast, the other program provided me with a shared bedroom and bathroom with several other people.
- CEA’s program included several exciting excursions including a visit to the London Eye, several walking tours, a weekend trip to Wales and more!
- Living like a local
- I wanted to feel like I live in London while studying abroad. My program allowed you to live and take classes with students from all over the world, including British students, while on the other program, I would only be living and learning with other American students studying abroad.
Given all of these factors, I decided that the cost of the program was well worth it.
How to Navigate the Logistics
In order to study abroad with my desired program, I had to complete a lot of paperwork. This paperwork included finding out how my credits would count towards my degree, how I could use my financial aid and more. I recommend starting all of the paperwork as early as possible, as it can become quite tedious. For reference, I started it in the winter of my sophomore year to study abroad the fall of my junior year.
All in all, I am so happy studying abroad in London and I believe I have found the ideal program for me. This is the program that I am on. It’s with a company called CEA. You can check out their wide array of programs here. Again, every student’s situation is very different, so it is important to carefully consider these factors when trying to find the right study abroad program.