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Financing Your Education Abroad

When you plan your education abroad experience, it is important for you to consider financial aspects of your program from the beginning. Make sure you understand how much your program is going to cost you, what it includes, what other expenses you should anticipate, and ways to fund your time abroad.


Depending on the type of program you select your payment plan may vary. In general, four payment plans exist:

Affiliated Study Abroad Program

You pay charges to the program provider. Most program providers require all charges be paid in advance, but payment plans can be established to work around financial aid issues.

Faculty-Led Program

You pay tuition to UNC. In some cases that will include the program fee. Other times the program costs will be paid directly to the program provider.  

International Student Exchange Program

You will receive an invoice from the UNC study abroad coordinator and pay fees directly to ISEP. Some ISEP programs only include tuition and room and meal expenses will be paid in the country.

National Exchange Program 

You pay normal tuition and fees to UNC while paying for room and board to the host institution.


Depending on the program, different fees and costs apply for study abroad programs. In general the following costs are applicable:

Program Fees

Fees for UNC affiliated programs usually cover the costs of:

  • Housing
  • Tuition
  • Meals
  • Books
  • Local transportation
  • Excursions
  • Orientation

Fees for UNC Exchange Programs usually cover:

  • Administrative Fees 
  • Pre-departure Mailings
  • Orientation

Administration Fee

All students who study abroad must pay a administrative fee that directly supports the study abroad operations within CIE.

  • Semester Programs: $330 
  • ISEP Programs: $200 
  • Faculty-Led/Non-credit and International Student Teaching: $150  

This charge is billed to the student's UNC account for the terms they are abroad.

Additional Costs

There are several other costs that should be taken into consideration when studying abroad, including:

  • International and Onsite Transportation
  • Passports, visas
  • Immunizations/Health Insurance
  • Personal Travel 
  • Housing deposits
  • Cost of Living
  • Currency Exchange Rate

Financial Aid Abroad

Students with federal financial aid will be able to utilize their award package for the education abroad, credit-bearing program. If you have have completed and submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you will be considered for federal financial assistance. In order to be eligible for financial aid abroad you must be enrolled full-time (a minimum of 12 UNC credit hours). 

To receive financial Aid Abroad students must adhere to all deadlines, policies and procedures of the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) . In addition to the following steps: 


Budget Form 

Complete the Study Abroad Budget Form (after acceptance to program) and give it to Justin Davis in OFA to approve eligibility.


Enrollment Verification Form

Complete the Enrollment Verification Form for each semester you are abroad and send it to the Study Abroad Director. The on-site international coordinator will also need to sign this form.


Verify Full-time Enrollment

Have the Study Abroad Director verify full-time enrollment and notify the Registrar's Office and OFA.

Be sure to check with major specific requirements

Aid Disbursement

Your aid will be disbursed to your bank account on file with UNC within a few days of receipt of all completed forms. This means you will need to bring enough money to get by until courses begin. 

Study Abroad scholarships

Many scholarships are available through foundations, non-profits, governments, private donors, and UNC affiliated program providers. We strongly encourage you to apply to one or many of them. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list of all the opportunities available so be sure to do your own research.