As soon as you decide to study away, begin planning for how to make the experience affordable (freshman year is not too early to start!). Your financial plan should cover two types of costs:
- “Set” costs, like flights, lodging and ground transportation. These are normally predetermined by the program/destination.
- “Soft” costs, like travel prep (luggage, outlet adapters, comfortable walking shoes) and expenses like non-group meals and snacks, excursions, shopping and entertainment that you can moderate or control to some extent. We recommend students budget for a $500 to $1,000 cushion to cover these soft costs.
The costs of studying away from Kent State will vary widely, depending on length and destination. In most cases, studying abroad (internationally) will cost more and require more planning than studying in domestic locations like Washington, D.C., or Columbus. The cost of studying abroad for short-term trips (i.e., less than a semester) generally ranges from $3,500 to $5,000 (including airfare, lodging and tuition costs). Semester-long study abroad costs are affected by many variables: For example, if you are a commuter student living at home, lodging will be a new cost. If you are living on campus, lodging may not cost more (and in some cases may cost less).
If you receive financial aid, you may be able to apply it to airfare, lodging and other program fees. Scholarships, tuition waivers and GI Bill funds may also apply to study abroad opportunities. The best first step: Schedule a Financial Aid advising appointment through KSU Advising. When scheduling, please select the group Education Abroad – Office of Global Education and then select Financial Aid. Available appointments for the next two weeks will be shown. If you do not see an available date/time that works for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, Banner ID, date and time you’d like to meet, and what you’d like to discuss. For all other advising, please visit the One Stop for Student Services on the main floor of the University Library.
There are many study abroad scholarships, including several from CCI, and the number, types and requirements of scholarships change (and grow) regularly. Spend an hour or two looking at these opportunities and apply as quickly as possible for the most promising ones (some scholarship have early deadlines).
Be aware that financial aid and scholarship disbursements will be deposited into your Bursar’s account before the start of your study-away program, but the timing of deposits will vary based on the type of aid.
Saving and Raising Money
The easiest way to save money is to start. Start early and start by examining how you spend money now. Experts say that saving even $5 a day ($35 a week) in your freshman year can build into a $5,000 nest egg by junior year. Can you drink “designer” coffee less often? Eat out less often? Walk more and spend less on gas? Small savings make a real difference.
Some students have had success with Go Fund Me sites; others have asked family and friends to sponsor them or make donations to their study away funds rather than buy birthday gifts. Some students have asked employers to help fund their travel; others have gone back to their high schools, churches, and local chambers of commerce to seek funding and scholarship. Ask family members if they have frequent flyer miles they can share with you. Be creative, consistent and persistent. It’s worth it!