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Financial Information for Study Abroad

Cost is a major factor when deciding to study abroad.  However, financial aid may assist qualifying students to make studying abroad a possibility.  Students receiving a federal Pell Grant will be able to take these funds abroad for a Fall, Spring, or Summer term.  

Developing a Budget

In addition to researching program options and finding the right academic fit for your time abroad, it is important to plan ahead financially for your study abroad program.  Use the Cost Sheet provided on your program's brochure page to estimate the total cost of your program.  Once you have a better idea of how much your study abroad experience will cost you, you can best prepare for your program financially.

St. Mary's University Scholarships

St. Mary's University offers two scholarships to students who meet the eligibility criteria: our CIP Study Abroad Scholarship and the Jessica Garcia Memorial Scholarship.  These scholarships aim to help increase participation and cover expenses such as airfare, passport fees, tuition fees, housing costs, etc.  You can read more about both awards by clicking on their respective buttons below.  The applications to both scholarships will be found within the application for your study abroad program.  Please note that these are competitive scholarships and not all students will receive an award.  Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Academic Merit Scholarships

Students attending semester-long programs are able to use their academic merit scholarships and most other semester-based scholarships.  Because of this, often the main difference in cost between a semester abroad and a semester at St. Mary’s is the cost of airfare.  (And depending on the program you attend, your semester cost may actually decrease when taking into consideration the cost of living in a particular country!)

External Scholarships

The Center for International Programs works very closely with all students, mentoring them as they work through the application process.  We view applying for scholarships and grants as a form of academic and professional development, and as a form of resiliency-building for students who will later enter the workforce.

Students can take advantage of a number of financial resources, as all study abroad programs award academic credit.  Students can use Pell Grant funding on eligible programs during the Summer and Semester terms, as long as students maintain half- to full-time status.  Summer Pell Grants are awarded in amounts upward of $2,500.
All of these resources help minimize the number and amount of student loans that students may take out for a program, which is also a viable option.

Click on the "External Scholarships" button below to find a list of external scholarships to get you started.  It's important to keep in mind that most scholarship applications are due months in advance, and many are competitive.  Please note that this list is not exhaustive - many other opportunities also exist!  

External Scholarships

Important items to be aware of as you plan your experience: 

Aid Disbursement - financial aid funds typically do not disburse until just before the start of the term; you may not be able to access your funds until after your program's payment deadlines.

Federal Aid - students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible to utilize their federal aid toward their study abroad experience.

Loans - if a payment plan is not available through your provider, you will need to find another way to cover the payment prior to the deadline to avoid late fees and/or being dropped from your program.  One suggestion is to consider applying for a private or student loan.  Loans may also be helpful in covering extra costs not covered by financial aid.

Summer Financial Aid - if you are hoping to use your financial aid for a summer program, please check with your financial aid office to determine if you have used your full financial aid allocation during the regular school year; this may mean that there is no aid remaining to assist with summer tuition payments.  

Overall, there are many funding options available to help make study abroad more affordable, but it’s important to start early!