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Finances

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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 scholarships, you do not 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 graduates, but many will help you pay for it too. There is 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 are 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. 

    Financial Aid

    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 do not currently receive UC financial aid, you may qualify for student or parental loans while on a UCEAP.
  • Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP)

    Going abroad on another UC or non-UC program allows you to enjoy exceptional value and perks:

    • Once you are accepted to another 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 be eligible for exclusive scholarships for UC students learning abroad.
    • You will become a member of the 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 on tuition and expenses.

    Financial Aid

    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 another 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 will not be participating in a UCR or UC program, UCR grants or scholarships will not 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 are abroad.

Plan Ahead

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 uceap@statravel.com or call 800-732-7640
  • Check out their website (www.statravel.com) and sign up to receive alerts about special rates!

Fundraising

  • 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.

Other Helpful Resources

  • AllAbroad.us - A full-scale resource for anyone interested in studying abroad, this site lists scholarships in three categories: “General Study Abroad” for all students, “Diversity in Study Abroad” for underrepresented students and “Nontraditional Countries” for those who study in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators - A resource for undergraduate students, this website lists funding sources that include federal aid, state aid and scholarships. It also provides a sample budget worksheet and hidden costs to consider.
  • USA Study Abroad  A resource by the U.S. Department of State.