Program Costs

Program Fee

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. SUNY International Health Insurance, including Medical Evacuation and Repatriation is included in your program fee. Participants always pay the program fee to the campus administering your program.

SUNY Tuition and Fees

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). 

Non-billed Expenses

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 International Programs Office for assistance.

Determine Your Needs

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:

  • Location
  • Number of credits
  • Cost of living abroad
  • Timing (high tourist season vs. low tourist season)
  • Length of program
  • Transportation costs; overseas flight and local transportation
  • Type of program

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 toward study abroad. Postpone the purchase of that big ticket item you were considering and use funds for your study abroad program instead.

Fund Raising

Ideas for Creative Fundraising

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:

  • Family members
  • Heritage groups that have interests in specific countries (e.g. Japan-America Society)
  • Civic groups (Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs)
  • Agencies and foundations
  • Travel agencies
  • High school alumni associations
  • Professional and business clubs
  • Media (newspapers, radio and TV)
  • Sororities and fraternities (local and national chapters)
  • Vocational rehabilitation agencies (for students with disabilities)
  • Charitable, ethnic, religious and campus organizations

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, FundMyTravel, 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. 

Fundraising ideas that have worked

  • Waive holiday and birthday gifts and request financial gifts or loans instead.
  • Set up a personal fundraising website like GoFundMe, FundMyTravel, or Indigogo  
  • Write a creative letter to all your relatives, asking for financial support in exchange for monthly letters while abroad and a presentation and dinner upon return.
  • Ask friends to join you in raising money by painting, cleaning or washing cars.
  • Organize an event (Let your imagination go wild! There are hundreds of great ideas available by a quick internet search).
  • Find out if your parents' employers have a scholarship program for their children or find out if your employer will sponsor you or might be willing to make a cash advance to be paid back through payroll deduction. No harm in asking!
  • Combine fundraising opportunities: sell T-shirts at a fundraising dance marathon.
  • Organize a can drive and/or collect cans during events (be sure to identify yourself and your purpose).
  • Ask family members to donate frequent flyer miles.
  • Save all your spare change in a jar – small amounts can really add up!

Keys to Successful Fundraising

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! 

Policy Reminders