In This Section

Tips & Tools

Before You Apply

  • Consider the program duration. Short-term and summer programs are almost always cheaper on the whole than semester and year-long programs; however, long-term programs typically provide a lot more value per dollar spent because students can earn two or three times as many academic credits.
  • Examine the program location. Program costs vary widely by location. For example, many large cities in Europe have high costs of living while cities of comparable size in Latin America usually have much lower costs of living. Consider living abroad in a less traditional location to save money. You can also compare the exchange rates of currencies in several countries to get the best deal on the U.S. dollar.
  • Think about program type. If you are an in-state student, then exchange partner programs are usually cheaper than third-party provider programs; however, if you are an out-of-state student, then you may find that third-party provider programs are not necessarily more expensive.
  • Look into financial aid and scholarships that may be available to you. The keys to getting your hands on financial aid or scholarship money are starting early and planning ahead. There is information on our website to help you find additional funds.

Before You Go

  • Reflect on your current lifestyle and budget. Are there ways you could save? Do you have a job? If not, could you get one? Many students are able to save substantially by working part-time job before going abroad.
  • Compare costs. You will receive a comprehensive budget of estimated expenses for your education abroad program, and you can use this cost of living calculator to interpret determine the differences between cost of attendance at CCU versus abroad.
  • Understand the currency and money etiquette. No matter where you go, money must be handled safely and responsibly. Though it may look different than what you're used to using, foreign currency is not “Monopoly money” (and it can be insulting to joke about it this way). Some countries prefer using cash whereas other countries only accept credit or debit cards with chips. Do your homework BEFORE you go to learn basic information about the host country’s currency and how it is used.
  • How will you bank abroad? Generally, it is not necessary for a student to open a bank account abroad. Your home debit card will work for most ATM's internationally and allow you to draw money in the host country currency. The ATM may charge a fee for this, so try to plan how much money you will need for the week to avoid using the ATM many times. You can keep the majority of your money at your accommodations in a safe place and only carry what you need for the day. In some countries, use of debit and credit cards is limited, so do your research before you go to know what to expect.

While Abroad

  • Live like a local. Observe how people in your host country and city live, where they eat, where they shop, etc. If you live like a local rather than as a tourist, you are likely to save money.
  • Use student discounts. Ask around about discounts for education abroad participants. For example, many museums in Europe have one day each week when students pay a discounted rate rather than full price. You can also buy an ISIC card, which has many benefits for students.
  • Travel locally.Personal travel (during the course of an education abroad program or before/after the program starts/ends) can cost students a lot. If you are trying to save money, you might want to consider limiting your personal travel to the country in which you are studying (or to a couple of nearby cities) rather than traveling to a large number of neighboring countries. Many students reach the end of their education abroad program and realize that, while they have seen much of an entire continent, they have not fully explored their own host city and country. Save a lot of money by spending your "personal travel" money and time getting to know the area where you are staying.
  • Manage your funds carefully. Make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it! Ask for help when thinking through anticipated expenses you will have while living abroad.

Helpful Links

Before You Go

Consider the program duration. Short-term and summer programs are almost always cheaper on the whole than semester and year-long programs; however, long-term programs typically provide a lot more value per dollar spent because students can earn two or three times as many academic credits.

Examine the program location. Program costs vary widely by location. For example, many large cities in Europe have high costs of living while cities of comparable size in Latin America usually have much lower costs of living. Consider living abroad in a less traditional location to save money. You can also compare the exchange rates of currencies in several countries to get the best deal on the U.S. dollar.

Think about program type. If you are an in-state student, then exchange partner programs are usually cheaper than third-party provider programs; however, if you are an out-of-state student, then you may find that third-party provider programs are not necessarily more expensive.

Look into financial aid and scholarships that may be available to you. The keys to getting your hands on financial aid or scholarship money are starting early and planning ahead. There is information on our website to help you find additional funds.

Reflect on your current lifestyle and budget. Are there ways you could save money? Do you currently have a job? If not, could you consider getting one? Many students are able to save substantial funds for education abroad just by working part-time and budgeting carefully.

While Abroad

Live like a local. Observe how people in your host country and city live, where they eat, where they shop, etc. If you live like a local rather than as a tourist, you are likely to save money.

Use student discounts. Ask around about discounts for education abroad participants. For example, many museums in Europe have one day each week when students pay a discounted rate rather than full price. You can also buy an ISIC card, which has many benefits for students.

Travel locally.Personal travel (during the course of an education abroad program or before/after the program starts/ends) can cost students a lot. If you are trying to save money, you might want to consider limiting your personal travel to the country in which you are studying (or to a couple of nearby cities) rather than traveling to a large number of neighboring countries. Many students reach the end of their education abroad program and realize that, while they have seen much of an entire continent, they have not fully explored their own host city and country. Save a lot of money by spending your "personal travel" money and time getting to know the area where you are staying.

Budget your funds carefully. Make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it! Ask for help when thinking through anticipated expenses you will have while living abroad.

Comparing Costs

The Education Abroad team will provide you with a comprehensive budget of estimated expenses for your international program. Pay attention to the entire cost of attendance, which will give you the best sense of the actual difference in costs when you compare it with the cost of attending CCU.