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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.

VA Benefits

If you plan to participate in a study abroad or a faculty led program through UNC and are currently receiving GI Bill benefits, please contact the school certifying official in the Registrar's Office.


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

International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)

Exchange: You will be billed through your Ursa at your current tuition and fees rate, as well as set housing and meal plans.

Direct: You will pay fees directly to ISEP. Some Direct programs only include tuition, with housing and meal expenses to be paid in the country. Other Direct programs include tuition and housing, with meals being paid out of pocket while in the host country.

Please take note of what is (and is not) included in your program fee. Ask your Education Abroad Advisor and/or ISEP contact if you have questions. ISEP Exchange participants pay for housing, meals, and tuition based on UNC cost of living. They receive the equivalent in services while at their host institution and do not receive a dollar-for-dollar equivalent to their fees paid. 

Affiliated Education Abroad Program

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

Payment plans typically require completing a form and/or notifying the provider. You must initiate this process, if you want to set up a payment plan.

Faculty-Led Programs

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.



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 an Administrative Fee that directly supports the study abroad operations within CIE.

2019-2020 Academic Year:

  • Affiliate Provider, UNC Direct, ISEP Direct, internship, student teaching and FLSA Programs: $350 
  • UNC Exchange and ISEP Exchange Programs: $250  

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 Education 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 Education Abroad Director. The on-site international coordinator will also need to sign this form.


Verify Full-time Enrollment

Have the Education 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. 

Education 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.