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Budget Planning for Study Abroad

Studying abroad is an investment in your future. Like any other type of investment, it requires planning, careful management, creativity, perseverance, and commitment. The personal, academic, and professional rewards will last a lifetime.  

As a starting point, be clear about what you typically pay for a semester on-campus.  The Albion College 2019-20 per semester costs for tuition, fees, room and board is $30,235 before scholarships are applied.  Start with that number and add your specific additional travel expenses, entertainment, books, supplies, etc.  

STEP ONE:  Review the costs of your chosen study abroad program.  
Plan for these primary costs:  Albion College tuition, $1500 Albion Off-Campus Administrative fee, airfare, program’s housing cost, meals, passport and/or visa, immunizations, spending money.  Look at your chosen study abroad program's page in Brits Abroad for a "budget sheet" that estimates the program's unique costs.  Consider what additional costs you will have based on your lifestyle (international travel, eating out, attending events, etc).   
 
Several factors influence a study abroad program cost, including:  program location (local cost of living, airfare to the site, location-specific scholarships), program type (added excursions, bells and whistles, program-specific scholarships), housing type (home stay is often cheapest, then apartments, then dorms with meal plans), international and on-site transportation.  In some cases, a semester abroad may be less expensive than a semester on-campus.

For questions on study abroad program cost estimates, the program budget sheets, and using the Off-Campus Cost Estimate Worksheet, contact the Center for International Education at cie@albion.edu.
 
STEP TWO:  Calculate your Albion College financial aid and scholarships that can be used for study abroad.   
Most types of financial aid may be used for a full time approved study abroad program.  75% of the Albion College Academic-Based Scholarship semester value can be used for study abroad.   100% of the semester value of other aid can be used, including Albion College Need-Based Grants, Michigan Competitive Scholarships and Tuition Grants, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Grants (SEOG), Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loans and Alternative Loans.  Albion College scholarships and grants may be used for up to two semesters of Off-Campus Study.
 
To apply your aid, you must have an up-to-date FAFSA for the period you wish to study abroad.  Summer programs are included in the previous academic year. While the amount of your loans can be increased due to the additional costs involved in studying abroad, do not assume you will be awarded 100% of the money needed to cover the costs of your program. Always seek additional sources of funding. 
 
International Student Grants and the Federal Work Study Program are not available to students on Off-Campus Study Programs.   Albion College Tuition Remission, TE/CIC Tuition Exchange and GLCA Tuition Exchange are not available for Off-Campus Study. However, students who normally receive Tuition Remission/Exchange may apply for other need-based financial aid for the semester or year that they will be off-campus.
 
Use the Off-Campus Cost Estimate Worksheet to estimate how much of your financial aid will be applied to your study abroad semester.  To discuss your specific scholarships and how they apply to study abroad, contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@albion.edu.   

STEP THREE:  Apply for additional Study Abroad Scholarships and raise funds.  
Albion College provides study abroad grants and fellowships for students participating in approved study abroad programs.  Look online, or contact the Center for International Education for more information about the Off-Campus Program grant, Landrum Fellowship, and Tunnicliff Fellowship.   Contact the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service for information on the Behring Scholarship.
 
Many study abroad programs (CIEE, IES, SIT, Barcelona SAE, ISA, etc) offer additional study abroad scholarships for Albion College students participating in their programs.  These may cover travel, personal expenses, or other study abroad costs. Program scholarships are either awarded directly to students, or submitted to Albion College to apply to the student's Albion account.  Find information about program scholarships on the program’s web page.
 
External study abroad scholarships are also available, including the Gilman Scholarship, Boren Fellowship, IIE scholarships, etc.  Contact the Center for International Education with questions at cie@albion.edu.
 
Fundraising opportunities include choosing to work longer hours or getting a part-time job for additional funds towards study abroad. Postpone the purchase of that "perfect" car and use the funds for your program.  Don't plan with the idea that you will find work while abroad.