Talk with someone in your school’s study abroad office. They may have advice about how to transfer your financial aid to a study abroad program. Your study abroad office might also be able to point you to other sources of study abroad funding.
Determine when you can best afford to study abroad. Even though summer programs tend to have a lower overall price than semester programs, studying abroad for a semester may be more economically viable if you are carrying over financial aid from your school. On the other hand, a rigorous summer program may allow you to graduate early, saving the costs of an additional semester.
Understand what is and what is not included in the program’s cost. Housing, airfare, supplemental excursions, textbooks, and visa expenses can all add quite a bit to a program’s bottom line. When you’re evaluating options, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. A program that includes a lot of extras may look expensive but might actually be the most affordable option once out-of-pocket costs have been factored in to the fees of other programs.
Be creative with filling in the funding gaps. If you live off campus, see if you can sublet your apartment while you are gone. Try to squeeze in an extra job during breaks. Ask for luggage for your birthday or an upcoming holiday. Take a close look at your current budget to see if there are extraneous expenses you can cut down on. For every latte you forgo now, imagine yourself trekking along the Great Wall of China, seeing the works of Italian Renaissance masters, or listening to live samba music in Brazil.