How to Compare Costs

Comparing Costs

When researching programs, use this excel study abroad budget sample form to make sure you include all potential costs for your program.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

A student, who is participating in a UofL approved program abroad, may use federal student financial aid to help defray the expenses. Please remember that summer terms are the last terms in the academic year. This means that financial aid for summer will be packaged according to students’ remaining eligibility for the current academic year.

Study Abroad

Students enrolled in a program of study abroad approved for credit by the University of Louisville may be considered enrolled at the University of Louisville for the purpose of receiving Federal Student Aid such as Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, SEOG, TEACH, Work-Study, Direct Loans, and PLUS loans.

The Study Abroad Office works closely with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure that you receive the financial aid you are qualified for while attending your study abroad program.

Students wishing to enroll in a Study Abroad Program must visit the Study Abroad Office and meet with the Office of Financial Aid to determine the process and availability of Federal, State, and Institutional aid.

The Office of Financial Aid will update the student’s cost of attendance for the term abroad and will determine when a student’s aid can be disbursed.  If a student is planning on receiving any federal Title IV (Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, SEOG, TEACH, Work-Study, Direct Loans, and PLUS loans) during their term abroad, they will need to complete a study abroad financial aid agreement available when you meet with the financial aid office.

Leaving a program before its completion:

Federal regulations require that UofL use a Return of Title IV Funds calculation in cases where a student receiving Title IV financial aid (Pell, SEOG, and Direct Loans) discontinues study abroad during a given semester. If you discontinue study (drop, resign or withdraw from all courses in the semester) and have previously been awarded these funds, the university must determine if these funds are required to be returned to the appropriate financial aid programs.

Additionally, if a student who began attendance in a program abroad and has not officially withdrawn fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course taken over an entire term, UofL must assume the student has unofficially withdrawn for Title IV aid purposes, unless the student provides acceptable documentation from the instructor or department confirming that the student completed the term.

The university is required to complete the calculation within 30 days of discontinuance of study. 

How to Study Abroad on a Budget

If costs are an issue for studying abroad, consider these tips to save:

  • Avoid large cities.
    As with any major city, the cost of living will be more expensive. Consider studying in a smaller town, and instead visit the major cities during weekends. For example, if your dream is to go to Paris, you can choose to study in a smaller city in France, but then visit Paris during holiday breaks or weekends. Remember, transportation in many other countries is much more cost effective than in the US.
  • Consider a home-stay.
    Depending on your program, living with a local family may be more cost effective than living in an apartment or university housing. Home-stay families are carefully screened by program providers, and these companies do their best at matching students with families.
  • Consider doing an exchange.
    For exchanges, you pay the cost of tuition at UofL but you study at another university. Exchanges are recommended for students who are more independent and would require less on-site support.
  • Consider a country where the dollar is stronger.
    For countries such as the Czech Republic or Thailand, the cost of living including food and housing is relatively low and the dollar will take you further.You might even save by living in one of these countries than living in the US.
  • Plan early.
    Planning early allows you to budget more effectively and save up for your program.
  • Apply for scholarships! Apply apply apply!
    More often than not, many students do not take advantage of available scholarship opportunities. Keep in mind that you can't win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. Also, if you think a scholarship isn't worth the time you need to put in for applying, think about how 1 hour of invested time for $500 (for example) is not too shabby a wage!
  • For other ways to think about saving, look under the "Other Tips" section on our study abroad scholarship list.