Funding Your Experience
You can afford to study away!
A common misconception students (and families) have about study away is that it is too expensive. However, study away can be more affordable than you think! With planning and the right resources, you can make your dream a reality.
There are several factors to consider when selecting a program that is right for your budget.
When considering locations, keep the cost of living in mind. Programs in global cities, such as London or Paris, will cost more than programs in cities such as Cape Town, South Africa; Santiago, Chile; or Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Expatisan has a cost-of-living calculator that will give you a comparative snapshot of costs.
Our Cal Lutheran semester-long programs help mitigate costs by offering an international experience at the same price point as a semester on campus. However, we understand that living in another country for a semester may not be financially feasible for all students. If this is the case, we encourage you to look into faculty-led, summer or virtual opportunities, which generally range from one to eight weeks and charge a lower cost. Please note, however, that you cannot use financial aid, except for loans, for faculty-led and summer programs, which could make your overall cost higher. You can apply for scholarships for programs of any length, if you are receiving academic credit.
When thinking about your budget, start by considering how you spend money now and what might change while you're abroad. For example, perhaps you buy gas for your commute to school. While you're abroad, you won't need gas, but you may need to buy a subway pass to get around.
Budgets will vary widely depending on your individual spending habits. Strategies such as cooking at home will help you manage your spending, but you'll also want to be realistic. A major part of experiencing a new culture is trying the local food, seeing the sites, and immersing yourself in it!
We suggest reading "Half the Luggage, Double the Money." This is a great resource to begin thinking through some of the realities of living abroad. Once you're ready, you can use this budget template, created to help you get an accurate snapshot of what your study away will cost.
How the program payment process works