Studying abroad is an investment in your future. As with any other investment, it entails careful planning and research. This information was developed to assist you with the financial considerations associated with your study abroad program. Make your study abroad program work toward your long-term goals and it will be worth the investment!
When researching funding options, it’s important to remember to:
Calculate all of your current on-campus or off- campus costs. To determine your annual budget, add up your rent, meals, tuition and fees, travel expenses (don't forget the trips you make during breaks!), entertainment, books, supplies, etc. The Student Accounts Office has determined that the average in-state SUNY Cortland student spends approximately $19,117 per year on tuition and fees, room and board, and an additional $3,517 on transportation, books, and personal expenses. Use this as a baseline for comparison of costs abroad, but keep in mind the cost of living at the study abroad location could be more or less than what you’re presently spending. Do not make plans with the idea that you will find work while abroad.
Check the program website for program expenses. Items included in the program fee are listed on each program’s information sheet. They generally include the following:
This is the cost of instruction overseas and any inclusions. Each budget itemizes exactly what is included in the program fee. Some program fees may include housing, linens, meals, and/or excursions depending on the program. HTH Study Abroad Illness and Accident Health Insurance and Med-Ex Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance is included in your program fee.
All SUNY Cortland study abroad programs grant academic credit, therefore you will be billed for applicable tuition and any related fees (college, technology, and transcript).
These are realistic estimated costs associated with the program. They generally include expenditures that are not included in the program fee such as flight, spending money, meals, entertainment, and/or travel while abroad. Although these are not billed, students should plan to have these funds available.
If program costs are unclear, please contact the Office of International Programs for assistance.
Determine your needs and interests. Compare the features and costs of various programs to find the best match. Various factors that influence the total cost of participating in a study abroad program include:
Once you know the costs, set a budget and stick to it. If you are getting outside support, itemize your list and determine what you can pay for and where you will need help.
Set priorities. Try to put aside $$ from your paycheck and deposit funds into a separate study abroad account (pay yourself for studying abroad first). Choose to work longer hours or get a part-time job for additional funds towards study abroad. Postpone the purchase of that big ticket item you were considering and use funds for your study abroad program instead.
If you currently receive financial aid, you should make an appointment to meet with your financial aid advisor and bring a copy of the study abroad program cost budget with you. You must have an up-to-date FAFSA on file for the period you wish to study abroad. To access aid for summer programs you will need to submit a Summer Aid Application to the Financial Aid Office.
If you do not qualify for financial aid or wish to increase your aid, a listing of alternative loans and additional funding is available from the Financial Aid Office Private Loans/Additional Funding web page.
For more information on how to use financial aid to help fund study abroad, please visit the Financial Aid Office's Study Abroad Page.
It’s important to discuss with a financial aid adviser how your use of financial aid funds for studying abroad may (or may not) affect your financial aid needed to pay for subsequent semesters! You don’t want to come home from studying abroad and find out you don’t have enough aid available to pay for the next semester.
SUNY Cortland awards thousands of dollars in Study Abroad Scholarships each year. These scholarship opportunities are available to SUNY Cortland students only. Scholarships are based on academic performance or academic performance and financial need. Scholarship opportunities can be viewed on the SUNY Cortland Scholarship Module within the Horizons on-line study abroad management system.
Exchange Awards can be another opportunity for an affordable experience abroad. SUNY Cortland has partner agreements with several universities abroad. When these universities send students to study at SUNY Cortland for a semester, we are able to send a Cortland student to the partner university for a semester without incurring the overseas tuition. Depending on the partner university, this can result in significant savings for a Cortland student. Exchange awards vary from semester to semester. Please consult with a study abroad advisor to see if an exchange award is available for a particular program.
Be sure to submit all necessary scholarship application documents by published deadlines! Late scholarship and exchange award applications will not be considered.
Other Scholarship Opportunities for SUNY Cortland Students:
SUNY Cortland Continuing/Graduate Student Scholarships
Although not specifically targeted toward study abroad, these scholarships are available to all SUNY Cortland continuing and/or graduate students and can help off-set additional costs associated with a study abroad program. Students are encouraged to apply to any/all scholarships for which they meet the criteria set forth. Students that already receive non-study abroad Cortland scholarships will still be eligible to apply for study abroad scholarships. A study abroad scholarship award will not impact other non-study abroad scholarships. Note: Deadlines for these scholarships may differ from study abroad scholarship deadlines above.
Fundraising will help to make your trip more affordable. If you select a program that helps achieve your long-term goals, it will be easier to solicit funds from external sources. Keep in mind that local, regional and national groups, as well as individuals, are all possible contributors. They include:
Direct, informal appeals often work best. Be specific on how you intend to spend the funds (airfare, program fee, tuition, personal travel, special projects, etc.). Include a photo of yourself with your request so that the receiver will establish a personal connection with you.
Make donating as easy as possible (cash or check) or set up a personal fundraising website like GoFundMe or Indigogo. You will be more likely to get an actual donation rather than a promise to donate, and don’t be afraid to follow up if you haven’t received a response. Enthusiasm, creativity, and perseverance on your part - and not fearing rejection in some instances - will likely take you a long way. Remember every little bit helps!
In exchange for your financial support, you should pledge to "give something back," such as regular updates while you are abroad.
Confidence and perseverance! Keep careful records of who supported you and the amount. Be sure to express your appreciation for their support. Your energy and enthusiasm for an international experience will be contagious! Good luck!