Guide to Funding Study & Internships Abroad

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There are many ways for you to make study abroad affordable, including scholarships, grants, and loans. In general, financial aid is based on need, merit, or sometimes both. Other requirements may be things like citizenship and enrollment in a certain number of credits. Talk with your study abroad or financial aid advisor to discuss what kinds of aid are available to you. Be sure to ask:

  • How and when should I apply for financial aid for study abroad? 
  • What kinds of aid are transferable to education abroad (federal, state, institutional)? 
  • How do the costs compare to studying at my home campus? 
  • Is aid available for intercession or summer session programs? 

In addition to looking for new funds, it is important to confirm whether any existing financial aid package you have is transferable.

Aid usually transfers if you are going on a study abroad program put on by your school.

If you are participating in another school’s program or are directly enrolling with a foreign university, your school will need to have a written agreement with the other institution in order for your federal aid to transfer.

Once you receive any funds, be sure to find out if there are any restrictions on it. For example, some awards can only be used towards academic expenses like tuition and textbooks.

While you’re arranging financial aid for study abroad, be sure to find out what you need to do to keep receiving your current aid and to ensure that you will have aid once you return to your home campus.

Some major sources of financial aid for study abroad include the federal government, your state government, and your university.

Federal Aid

Because federal financial aid belongs to you and not your institution, it is usually transferable. As long as you are earning credits towards your degree, federal aid can typically be applied to education abroad. However, some programs may not be eligible for federal aid, such as internships and volunteer abroad programs, because many do not award academic credits.

If the cost of attendance of your study abroad program costs more than staying at your home institution, you may be eligible for additional federal aid.

Also, which year you choose to study abroad can influence how much federal funds you will have available to use. In some cases, students receive more awards later in their college career.

State Aid

State aid, provided by your state government, varies greatly. Some states only allow you to use state aid towards a study abroad program that is run by a college within the state. Other states will allow you to use state aid towards any study abroad program, as long as you are earning units towards your degree.

Institutional Aid

Institutional aid is provided by your university. It is up to your school to decide whether or not this kind of aid can be applied to study abroad, so be sure to check what their policy is.


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