Study Abroad 101

Study abroad is a fantastic opportunity that I, personally, feel that every college student should take advantage of. I may be a bit biased. When I was an undergrad here at UR, I studied abroad in Bath on the Advanced Studies in England program. Not only did I get to read tons of Virginia Woolf and go to her house, and read loads of Irish literature and go on a class trip to Dublin, but I also student-taught in a British school and gave tours of historic Bath Abbey. Check out this incredible view.

I got to see this view almost every day as a tower tour guide at Bath Abbey. So I’m all for study abroad. Now, let me tell you how to study abroad and make it feasible financially.

UR-Sponsored Program or Non-UR Program?

If you select a Rochester-sponsored study abroad program, you have the benefit of retaining all of your financial aid! That is, with the exception of Federal Work Study, because you won’t be workin’ that work study job from another continent. So, to clarify: you can still receive any UR grants and scholarships, as well as federal loans, while you are abroad.

If you choose a non-UR program, your aid will not transfer as cleanly. You must fill out a Consortium/Contractual agreement prior to your departure in order to receive any of your federal aid, like a Pell Grant or Direct Loans. You will not receive any institutional funding, meaning you will not be eligible for UR scholarships or grants while you are abroad.

How do my charges work?

When you study abroad on a UR-sponsored program, you will retain your UR enrollment. This means you’ll pay Rochester tuition and room charges. You will not be charged for a meal plan while you are abroad.

When you study abroad on a non-UR program, you will be charged a study abroad fee of $1,394. You will also be billed directly for the program cost by the college or university that sponsors your program. Read more about program costs.


There are lots of scholarship opportunities available to study abroad students! If you are receiving a Pell Grant, check out the Gilman Scholarship. Gilman accepts applications twice per year, so you should plan to apply the semester before your program begins! If you will be on an IES Program, I would also recommend reviewing their scholarship options. We also list scholarship search engines on our site to help you get started. Remember, if you need any scholarship forms filled out by financial aid, your counselor will be happy to help!


Budgeting is hugely important to study abroad. You may not have had to manage your money this closely before, and you’ve probably never been so far from home for so long. Do some research on your program in advance—will they provide a food or living stipend? What is the cost of living like in the country in which you’ll be studying? If you have a local bank, make sure you set up a bank account that you will be able to access while you are abroad.

You’ll also want to carefully construct a budget for while you are abroad. In England, our program gave us a weekly food stipend, which was very helpful! I also budgeted a set amount for total spending while I was there, and stuck to it super closely. Mostly because I wrote everything down in a little black budget book. The last thing you want is to run out of money while you’re 3,000+ miles from home!

Have fun!

To maximize your fun, you’ll want to make sure you meet with your financial aid counselor before you go! That way you can ensure that all these financial concerns are squared away before you get on that plane! Contact us! Some of our other staff members studied abroad, too! Chad studied in Geneva, Switzerland as an undergrad as well as the Netherlands and China as part of his doctoral program. Liz studied in Nepal in undergrad and China in graduate school. Hysha also studied in Switzerland and China during her MBA program. What a well-traveled bunch!

Most importantly, have a great time! Try new things, explore, and experience the world! It’s sure to be an amazing and enriching educational experience.

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