Costs And Financial Aid
How much will it cost?
Study abroad is affordable! FSU offers a wide range of programs that are comparable in cost to living on campus for a semester. Some locations might have higher costs. But in general, we strive to recommend programs overseas where the price of tuition and housing will be similar to the price of tuition and housing at Framingham State. Take a look at our Program Choices page for some of our most affordable study abroad program recommendations.
Direct enrollment in foreign universities can be cheaper than attending through an American third-party provider; but the third-party providers may offer financial assistance (awards typically range from $500 to $2500) through merit- or need-based scholarships. Those providers may also include necessary things like insurance coverage and meals.
When you chose to come to Framingham State for college, we know that the affordability of FSU was likely a major factor in your decision. Indeed, a semester here in Framingham is significantly less expensive than a semester in bigger cities like Boston, New York, or Los Angeles. When thinking of where to study in another country, remember that the famous major cities around the world are usually much more expensive places to spend a semester. Consider some of the less-famous, but still very rewarding, destinations that are available. In the FSU Office of International Programs, we'll be able to talk through your interests and identify a location that best aligns with your goals.
Things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you know the current fees and current exchange rate in determining a true cost.
- Read your program materials closely to find out whether costs such as airfare, meals, and vacation housing are included.
- How many of your daily meals are covered in your meal plan?
- Will you have additional food and housing expenses during breaks?
- Are organized excursions included in your fee, or are they an additional cost?
- Does the program estimate personal costs that are not covered by the fees?
Travel during breaks, eating out, and other entertainment are often mentioned as adding a lot to the overall cost, but planning a budget can mean that your costs are reasonable.
How to pay for Study Abroad:
In most instances, you are responsible for paying program bills directly to your study abroad program or host university. You usually will not pay anything directly to Framingham State during your semester abroad. There are a limited number of exceptions to this rule, namely for students who study abroad through FSU's university exchange agreements (University of East Anglia in England, Universidad de Las Américas in Ecuador, Lingnan University in Hong Kong, or our New England/Canada exchanges in Québec or Nova Scotia) wherein the tuition is billed through FSU. If you are going abroad with any program other than these specific exchange agreements, you will pay the program directly (not FSU) so make sure that you understand your program's specific billing procedure.
Many programs and universities will require that you send a deposit of several hundred dollars (or more) to secure your place. This deposit is typically non-refundable and is used to secure housing for you. The deposits are essentially your first payment towards your study abroad fees, and will be credited toward your bill. Due dates for both deposits and fees may differ significantly from those to which you are accustomed at FSU.
Some institutions require full payment before you can register for classes, and confirmation of payment is often necessary for a student visa application.
If you are enrolling directly in a foreign university, you may need to make arrangements to pay the bill in the currency of that country. The school should provide you with information on how to make a payment (i.e. international wire transfer) and your bank in the U.S. should also be able to explain how the payment processing works. Note that many foreign universities bill for tuition and accommodation on separate invoices.
How to afford study abroad:
Financial aid resources are available to students who study abroad, including school loans and grants, private organization funds, scholarships, and more. As noted above, study abroad is affordable and most FSU students go to programs or institutions overseas where the cost of tuition and housing is similar to those same costs here in Framingham.
Early and advanced planning is the best way to begin your search for financial assistance. As soon as you can, meet with an advisor in the FSU Office of International Programs to begin planning. Even if your planned studies abroad won't be happening until several months into the future, some study abroad scholarship programs have much earlier deadlines.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is it possible to receive financial aid for study abroad?
Yes! Most or all of the financial aid package you receive to be a student here in Framingham will also be available to use for study abroad. Even if you have never received financial aid in the past, you can still consider applying for it during the academic year when you plan to study abroad. You may be eligible for federal loans, grants, and additional forms of assistance. If you are a commuter student who is not usually invoiced for on-campus housing, the cost of housing will be factored into your cost of attendance during the semester when you study abroad (so your eligibility for certain types of financial aid might also increase).
How do I apply for financial aid?
In order to apply for financial assistance, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This application generates a report which is sent to the FSU Financial Aid Office and is used to determine your eligibility for government grants and student loans. If you decide to accept any of the federal aid for which you are eligible, the U.S. government will send those funds to the FSU Financial Aid Office which, in turn, will release those funds to you so that you can pay your tuition and fees for study abroad.
When should I apply for financial aid?
It is a good idea to apply as early as you can. By applying early, the FSU Financial Aid Office will be able to process and review your application and complete all paperwork in a timely manner.
What are the special procedures to follow in order to receive financial assistance for study abroad?
After meeting first with an advisor in the FSU Office of International Programs, you will later need to meet with an advisor in the FSU Financial Aid Office who will guide you through the process of using your financial aid to cover study abroad costs. There will be certain forms that you will need to fill out in order for FSU you apply your government-issued financial aid towards the cost of your international studies. This typically needs to be completed several weeks before you leave the U.S. for your studies abroad (the earlier, the better).
What happens to my Federal Work-Study award if I study abroad?
Federal Work-Study funds are only able to be disbursed to you for hours you work in part-time jobs on your home campus (Framingham State) in the United States. These funds cannot be paid to you for any kind of international experience. If you are working in an on-campus job and receive Federal Work-Study money as part of your financial aid package, this money may be replaced by another form of assistance, such as a loan or a grant, during your specific semester abroad. You won't lose your Work-Study as long as you are eligible for it. Those funds will be available to you again for on-campus employment at FSU when you return after studying abroad.
Will my scholarships that are not affiliated with Framingham State transfer over?
Students find that most of the time these scholarships (private scholarships, private loans, etc.) will transfer. To be sure about the transferability of an outside scholarship, you should check with the organization that funds your scholarship. Your scholarship provider may need to receive documentation (such as an acceptance letter) from your chosen study abroad program or institution in order to release their scholarship funds during the semester when you study abroad.
How much of my study abroad costs will financial aid cover?
This depends on a few factors such as the cost of your program, your individual financial need, and the length of time (semester or year) you plan to study abroad. In determining how much assistance you are eligible to receive, both direct costs (tuition, housing) and indirect costs (airfare, books, personal spending, etc.) will all be taken into consideration. As noted earlier, the FSU Office of International Programs strives to recommend study abroad opportunities where the cost of things like tuition and housing are similar to those same costs here in Framingham.
Will I be able to work abroad?
In most instances, local government regulations make it unlikely that United States citizens will be able to legally earn money while studying abroad. There are some exceptions to this. In the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, for example, students who are studying abroad for a full academic year (two semesters) can be issued a work permit. If you hold dual-citizenship through your parents or other family, it may also be possible that your second citizenship might entitle you to work in the country where you are studying abroad. Besides these unique cases, however, most FSU students find that they are not able to officially hold a paid job in their study abroad host country.
If you are engaged in some type of freelance or remote work based in the U.S., it may be possible to continue that job while you are away. But keep in mind that studying abroad isn't just about finishing courses. You will also want to have time to explore, meet new people, and engage in new experiences. Your academic workload and desire to see something of your host country probably make it inadvisable to take on more than a very few hours employment each week.
Where can I find financial assistance outside Framingham State University?
In addition to receiving financial aid through Framingham, many study abroad students also receive assistance from resources outside of FSU. This may include private scholarship organizations, funding from your local church or community center, and Rotary and American Legion Clubs, among others.
The following are a few examples of external study abroad scholarships which you might apply for to support your planned studies abroad. As noted earlier, sometimes these scholarships have deadlines that are many months in advance of your study abroad program. This is why early planning is so important.
- Ashley Soulé Conroy Scholarship - merit-based awards of up to $4,000 to high-achieving students going abroad for a full semester
- Boren Awards - extensive merit-based scholarships (up to $12,500 per semester) for students who will study Critical Need Languages in non-traditional destinations
- BUTEX Scholarships - merit-based awards to study abroad in the UK
- Critical Language Scholarship - a competitive summer study abroad program that pays the full cost for students to study Critical Need Languages at various sites around the world
- DiversityAbroad Scholarship Database - search for scholarships by location or topic
- First Trip Scholarship - travel grants of up to $1,500 for college students who have never previously traveled abroad and who will study in a non-traditional destination
- Freeman-ASIA Scholarship - merit-based scholarships of up to $5,000 for students who plan to study abroad in an East Asian country
- Fund for Education Abroad - extensive scholarships (up to $10,000 per semester) for students with demonstrated financial need
- Gilman International Scholarship - grants of up to $8,000 per semester for high-achieving students who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients
- Gilman-McCain Scholarship - grants of up to $5,000 for students who are the children of active duty military service members
- HACU Scholaship Program - various grants for students from Latinx families
- Japan Bridging & Toshizo Watanabe Scholarships - need-based and merit-based awards of several thousand dollars for study abroad in Japan
- Learna Study Abroad Awards - merit-based grants of $2,000
- NIAF Scholarship Program - various grants for students with at least one family member who holds membership in the National Italian American Foundation
- Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants - travel grants of $1,000 to high-achieving students; you do not need to be an individual PKP member
- Scott's Cheap Flights Award - grant of $1,000 from a travel company that encourages study abroad
- Tortuga Backpack Study Abroad Grant - an award of $1,000 (and a travel backpack) from a company that encourages study abroad
- Program-Specific Scholarships - check with your study abroad institution or provider organization to see if they offer any internal awards for incoming study abroad students
- FSU International Programs Scholarships - FSU is proud to offer various need-based grants (ranging from $500 to $2,000 per semester) to support our students' international education; an application is available every semester through the FSU Office of International Programs