The University of San Francisco: Center for Global Education

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Budget and Research Costs

Research Costs

Research costs and sources of funding by referring to your program’s website or contacting the program coordinator directly, meeting with a USF financial advisor to obtain your University aid award letter and private loan options, contacting study abroad alumni to obtain an estimate of living abroad costs, a study abroad advisor for outside scholarships, or your parents for other means of financial support. Know your resources and seek advice. Prepare and plan in advance.

Be aware that program catalogs and brochures may not list the most-up-to-date fees and that fees are always subject to change without notice.

Programs vary considerably in cost and features included in the program fee. Take into consideration your goals and what you hope to gain from your study abroad experience. Pay attention to your sources of income and when they are available along with policies regarding financial disbursements.

Be Prepared to Pay Up-Front Costs

You may have to pay a portion of study abroad program expenses, such as an application fee, airfare, and a deposit, up to several months before your program starts and before the release of financial aid or scholarships. Plan ahead and be prepared to pay these expenses. If you are using financial aid, you cannot defer these payments until financial aid is released. The following are some examples with approximate amounts you may owe:

  • Application fee: $25 - $100
  • Confirmation deposit: $250 -$500
  • Housing deposit: $300 - $500
  • Airfare: $500 - $2,000
  • Passport & visa fees: $50+

Create Your Budget

View and print the Study Abroad Budget Planning Worksheet  to guide you in the budget planning process. Use it to determine University aid, other sources of funding, and program costs, such as the program fee, airfare, books, housing, meals, and other incidentals. It will give you a good idea of total expenses and help you compare costs between programs. Note that some expenses may need to be paid out of pocket prior to departure and the release of financial aid or scholarships.

Determine how much you feel comfortable spending and how much are you able to earn or borrow. If cost is a major factor, explore less expensive countries or cities, different program types, or shorter programs. Begin this process early to have more time to save money. Choose the program that best fits your academic, career and personal goals, while keeping a realistic budget in mind.