Paying for Your Education Abroad Experience
Did you know that in some cases learning abroad can be less expensive than staying on campus?
Between financial aid and special scholarships, you don’t have to pay more to learn abroad. Many organizations understand the benefits of a global education. Not only will they look for it when recruiting you when you graduate, but many will help you pay for it too. There are a wealth of funding sources you can qualify for just by submitting a simple application before going abroad.
In most cases, you can apply some or all of your financial aid to your education abroad program.
To apply any of your financial aid to your education abroad program, you must earn academic credits or units on your program. If you’re currently using a Cal or PELL Grant, you may use it for your education abroad program. Talk to a financial aid advisor to learn more.
Make this wise investment in your future a reality with the right planning and management.
Take a look below to help you get started.
Costs & Financial Aid by Program
Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP)
Program costs vary depending on location and duration of program.
UC Riverside Students
There is a special financial aid exception for this program so that eligible financial aid is available to you even with only 8 units!
Timelines for education abroad are such that your financial aid package may not be finalized until late in the process, so it is important to stay on top of things. You should:
- Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible - click here for information about FAFSA changes that allow you to submit now.
- Complete your financial aid file as soon as possible.
- Understand that Financial Aid can include grants, scholarships, and loan(s).
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress as of the end of the spring quarter in order to be eligible for summer funding.
- Contact the Financial Aid Office directly if you have financial aid questions.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Your financial aid package may not be the same as for the regular academic year. While you may be eligible for financial aid, summer aid is likely to include a higher portion of student and/or parent loans.
- Any Pell Grant and/or federal student loan(s) received during the summer may reduce the amount of Pell Grant and/or federal student loan(s) available to you during the regular academic year.
- Graduating seniors enrolled in less than a full academic year (three terms) will have their federal student loan eligibility prorated based on the actual number of units for which they will be enrolled during their one or two terms of attendance.
- Summer aid will be disbursed as usual. All awards are applied against your account balance and any excess financial aid is refunded through your UCR student account (students should be signed up for Direct Deposit to help collect the money).
- Financial aid refunds will not be released any earlier than 10 days prior to the start date of the program so students should make their own arrangements to pre-pay travel expenses.
Non-UC Riverside Students
If you are applying from another UC campus, you will need to request financial assistance from your home campus. You must adhere to the payment deadlines by paying UC Riverside directly. You may receive reimbursement from your home campus Financial Aid Office. If you are not a student in the University of California system, you are welcome to apply to the UCR Faculty Led Education Abroad program. You should check with the financial aid office on your home campus to ask if you are eligible for financial assistance for this academic program.
UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)
Program costs vary.
- You may use eligible federal, state, UCR grant, and scholarships.
- Financial aid also includes student and parental loans.
- You will continue to pay UC tuition and fees.
- After acceptance, your UCR financial aid will be re-packaged according to the cost of your program.
- If you don’t currently receive UC financial aid, you may qualify for student or parental loans while on a UCEAP.
Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP)
Going abroad on an other UC or non-UC program allows you to enjoy exceptional value and perks:
- Once you’re accepted to an other UC or a non-UC program and your program budgets have been submitted, your financial aid will be re-packaged according to the cost of your program.
- You may use an extended payment plan with zero interest.
- You may be eligible for exclusive scholarships for UC students learning abroad.
- You’ll become a member in the elite network of UCR education abroad alumni.
Enjoy Comparable Costs to Staying at UCR
Depending on where you go and the program you select, you can save about 17 to 25 percent on tuition and expenses.
Eligibility will depend on whether your program is hosted through another UC campus or not.
- Other UC Programs
- You may use eligible federal aid, state aid, UCR grants, and scholarships.
- Financial aid also includes student and parental loans.
- For non-summer term courses, you must be enrolled in 12 units to receive financial aid.
- If your program is only 8 units, you must take the additional units at the campus that administers the Other UC Program.
- Financial Aid is only awarded for one campus during the term for which you are learning. For example, financial aid will be given for doing a UCR Summer Session or UCR Faculty Led Education Abroad Program OR an Other UC Program, but not both.
- Non-UC Programs
- You may use eligible federal aid, state aid, and scholarships.
- Financial aid also includes student and parental loans. Since you won’t be attending a UCR or UC program, UCR grants or scholarships won’t be available, but you can apply for other grants and scholarships.
- You may be able to receive aid from your Non-UC Program provider. But you may not receive aid through both UCR and your Non-UC Program provider at the same time.
- You must be enrolled at UCR, UCDC, UC Center Sacramento or UCEAP during the prior term to receive financial aid.
During the OAP Application Workshop, you will complete the necessary paperwork for UCR to award financial aid to you while you’re abroad.
Applying to many scholarships increases your chances of receiving funding. While each scholarship has its own level of competitiveness, all have the same goal of helping students to learn, intern or work abroad. We encourage you to read each website carefully for eligibility, application instructions, and deadlines. Note: Scholarship application deadlines for summer/fall/year-long programs tend to between January and March; scholarship deadlines for winter/spring programs tend to be between September and October. GOOD LUCK!
- Bridging Scholarships - Geared toward U.S. undergraduate students who study for one semester or an academic year in Japan, the US-Japan Bridging Foundation helps America’s young people to prepare for future global leadership roles. Awards up to $5,000 for the academic year.
- Boren Awards - Representing a variety of academic backgrounds, Boren Scholarships for undergraduates and Boren Fellowships for graduate students support programs in underrepresented areas that are critical to U.S. interests. These include Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They exclude Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
- CHASS “At Home in the World” Student Award Fund - The award is designed to provide undergraduate students in CHASS the opportunity for meaningful international learning experiences that will inform their area of academic emphasis. Awards are made annually to support international travel and related expenses for undergraduate CHASS majors for academic study relevant to the major and/or a service learning opportunity. Individual award amounts will be determined based upon the length and complexity of the planned international experience, but may not exceed $5,000. DUE EARLY APRIL.
- Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program - Offered by the U.S. government, the CLS Program offers intensive summer language institutes overseas in critical need foreign languages. Awarded with the expectation that they will apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers, CLS Program participants have studied Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.
- Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Scholarship - Supporting 50-60 U.S. and Canadian undergraduates each year, the DAAD Scholarship funds study, senior thesis research and internships in Germany from four to ten months.
- DiversityAbroad.com Scholarships- DiversityAbroad.com has partnered with several organizations to offer education abroad scholarships and grants. DiversityAbroad.com also hosts a directory of education abroad scholarship, grants, and fellowships.
- Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship - To increase access to education abroad by more students at minority serving institutions (MSIs), the Council on International Educational Exchange will cover 100 percent of program fees and travel costs for 10 students from 10 different MSIs each year to participate in a four-week summer education abroad program. To become a Frederick Douglass Global Fellow, students must be nominated and receive letters of recommendation from the president of their institutions. Due EARLY OCTOBER. For more information on the partnership between the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the Council on International Educational Exchange, please click here.
- Freeman Asia Scholarship - Supporting American undergraduates who learn overseas in East or Southeast Asia, the Freeman-ASIA (Freeman Awards for Study in Asia) helps to increase the number of Americans with first-hand exposure to—and understanding of—the people and cultures of Asia. If you plan to apply, please make an appointment with a UCR Education Abroad Advisor to discuss this scholarship opportunity at (951) 827-4113.
- Fulbright Scholarship - Formed in 1946, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Since its beginning, the Fulbright Program has helped nearly 300,000 participants to study, teach and conduct research abroad. If you have any further questions, please contact UCR’s Fulbright Advisor: Gladis Herrera-Berkowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org, (951) 827-1010.
- Fund for Education Abroad - For U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. (as of May 2015, applications from DACA students are welcome). Students must be currently enrolled as undergraduates at a college or university in the U.S. The education abroad program must be eligible for credit at the student’s educational institution and must include at least four (4) weeks (30 days) in country/countries. The deadline is typically mid-January.
- Gilman Scholarship - Targeting U.S. undergraduates receiving Federal Pell Grant funding, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program helps students of limited financial means to study in non-traditional study abroad destinations.
- Hostelling International-USA (HI-USA) "Explore The World" Travel Scholarships - "At HI USA, we think travel should be as much about making a difference in the world as it is about seeing it. That’s why we’ve created Explore the World Travel Scholarships. Recipients receive $2,000 to help finance their international trip that includes an educational or service component."
- Institute of International Education (IIE) Passport Study Abroad Funding. This resource features detailed descriptions of hundreds of education abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for U.S. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and professionals.
- IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grant is an annual grant hosted by the Institute of International Education. In the past, IIE has awarded grants to 100 students of $2,000 per student.
- International Affairs Education Abroad Summer Program Scholarship Fund is a merit-based scholarship opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students from the University of California, Riverside campus enrolled in a Faculty Led (FLEAP) Education Abroad Program. Individual scholarships up to $1,000 will be awarded to students enrolled in one of the 2019 Faculty Led Education Abroad Programs.
- Steven Mandeville-Gamble Scholarship - This scholarship is to support Anthropology students participating on the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP) and Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP). Please submit completed applications to Skye Hall 321.
- StudyAbroad.com - Choose from scholarships awarded based on merit, diversity factors, your destination, your program or the subject you will study.
- UCEAP Scholarships - UCEAP wants its participants to afford the tremendous opportunities of learning abroad. So it offers $700,000 each year in scholarships, which include:
- Duttenhaver Scholars Program awards $5,000 for year-long education abroad programs.
- Dan Wise Memorial Scholarship awards $5,000 for year-long education abroad programs in France.
- Jasmine Jahanshahi Scholarships awards $2,500 for semester and year-long education abroad programs.
- UCEAP $1.5 Million Promise Awards Initiative awards $1,000-$2,000 for summer, semester, and year-long education abroad programs.
- Undergraduate Research Awards gives $1000 in each of three disciplinary areas: the humanities, social sciences, and sciences and engineering.
- UCR Study Abroad Programs Scholarship - This scholarship is to support students participating on the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) and Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Note: Not applicable to FLEAP. Please submit complete application to Skye Hall 321.
- UC Riverside Foundation Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards - This index of on-campus scholarship funds is designed to make it easier for you to find the perfect scholarship to help you further your educational career. Start your search by visiting www.scholarships.ucr.edu and selecting the group that best describes you. You will then be taken to an index of the available scholarships. In addition, UCR maintains a list of regional and national scholarships that are sent to us from outside agencies. To view this list, please visit www.scholarshiplist.ucr.edu.
- Undergraduate Research Mini-Grants - UCR students whose education abroad program fits into a larger undergraduate research project can apply for an Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant for the summer quarter. Awards can be up to $1000.
The earlier you start, the easier it will be to fund your travel. The longer you wait, the fewer scholarships will be available, you may miss financial aid deadlines, and may have to pay more to rush document processing.
Another way to put money together is to save. Look for opportunities to put little bits of money aside. Give up two cups of coffee per week to put into your travel fund. Bring your lunch instead of buying it.
Use the STA Travel Program:
- Exclusively available to UC education abroad students who receive financial aid
- Book your airfare with a $300 nonrefundable deposit (full payment due 7 days before departure)
- This deal is not available online—you have to email email@example.com or call 800-732-7640
- Check out their website (www.statravel.com) and sign up to receive alerts about special rates!
- Try the crowd-funding site for education abroad: www.fundmytravel.com. Create a profile describing your goals and program. Send it around via email and social media. You can offer donors personalized postcards or speaking engagements when you return.
- Send persuasive letters out to networks of family, friends of parents, former teachers, community groups, etc. Explain the value of the experience and ask for donations of money or airline miles. Ask us for sample letters, if you are interested!
- Ask local service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.) if you could speak to the group to request funding. Explain the opportunity and what you hope to accomplish.
- Other students have sold brownies, looked for additional seasonal work opportunities, or signed up for participation in research studies.