Studying abroad can be an awesome experience. You get to immerse yourself in a different culture to learn things you'd probably never be able to without leaving the U.S.
One of the biggest challenges many students face, is the expense that comes along with studying abroad. With travel costs rising and study abroad programs increasing their program rates, it's only natural for many students to shy away from studying abroad for financial reasons.
But you don't have to short change yourself the chance of a lifetime to study in a foreign country.
You can stick to a reasonable budget by following these tips:
Wait to Study Abroad
Most students study abroad during their junior year of college, but it's not the only time you can take advantage of this amazing opportunity. By delaying your study abroad trip by a semester or two, you get more time to save some money before your big trip. Recently more and more students have been waiting to study abroad during their senior year - some are even waiting until they enroll in graduate school before they study abroad. In fact, during the 2010-2011 academic year, there was a 13.5% increase in seniors and graduate students in study abroad programs.
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Take Advantage of Shorter Study Abroad Programs
The most expensive study abroad programs are the ones where students live abroad for a full academic year. To cut down on the cost of studying abroad, consider a shorter program such as a summer study abroad program. These cost less because they don't include as many courses, and they'll save you money on living expenses.
Consider Alternate Places to Study Abroad
The first places people think of when considering studying abroad are often the UK, France and Italy. But there are so many other places you can study that are far less expensive. Some of the best study abroad programs can be found in China, India, Costa Rica, Israel and South Korea for a fraction of the cost of the more popular programs. Not only is the cost of living significantly lower in these countries than it is in Western Europe, but the program fees themselves can sometimes be less costly.
Since 2008, China has offered more and more programs, and has seen more than 1,400 students take advantage of them. Costa Rica has seen an increase of over 1,100 students, and India almost 2,000 students. So are you start to explore study abroad programs, don't be afraid to explore programs that are a little more exotic than say, Paris or London. You will not only save money, but you will also get a once in a life time cultural experience!
For statistical information on the tips provided here, please see The New Face of Study Abroad infographic.
Learn more about saving money while studying abroad: