Financial Planning

One of the biggest concerns students have regarding study abroad is financing. Work through the following as you consider your options and which program is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions about Finances

How much will studying abroad cost?
Costs vary depending on program type and length. Students on exchange programs pay for UWM tuition, room and board while abroad, international airfare, and any incidental expenses. Students on non-exchange, study abroad programs will pay a program fee instead of UWM tuition and may also be charged for room and board while abroad. Each short-term study abroad program participant, on the other hand, pays an equal share of the total cost of the program.
How do I make payments?
As part of the initial application, students make one payment, the deposit, directly to the CIE Study Abroad Office. This payment can be made online via credit or debit card, or in person using personal check or money order. After being accepted to the program, the CIE Study Abroad Office posts the remaining fees to students’ UWM PAWS accounts. Students then work through the Cashier’s Office to make payments just as they normally would for their tuition and fees on campus. Please visit the Cashier’s Office website, or in person in Mitchell 285, for more information on payment methods.
Can I apply my normal financial aid and scholarships to study abroad?
Yes, most federal, state, and campus-based aid can be applied to the costs of studying on any UWM or UWM-partner study abroad program, much the same as if you were still on campus. Financial aid is available to help UWM students who need assistance covering the expenses of study abroad programs. Students must meet Financial Aid Office guidelines and deadlines. Aid for summer and UWinteriM study abroad programs is often limited. Our office works closely with Gayla Jenkins in the Financial Aid Office at UWM. Please contact Gayla (jenkinsg@uwm.edu) for questions related to your own financial aid situation.
Are there any additional scholarships and grants for study abroad?
Yes, there are several local, state, and national scholarship and grant opportunities available for students. Application deadlines vary, so be sure to pay close attention to when to apply.

For more information on scholarships and grants, visit the Need Money page.

 

For more general information please visit the full Frequently Asked Questions page.

Attend a Financing 101 Session

One of the best ways to learn more about cost and funding for study abroad is to attend a Financing Study Abroad 101 Info-session. Sessions are held regularly from September through October and January through March every year. They are co-led by the Center for International Education (CIE) Study Abroad Office Financial Specialist, Ali Swenson, and Gayla Jenkins who works as a Senior Administrative Program Specialist in the Financial Aid Office. They will show and discuss examples of study abroad budgets and explain the costs and ways which you can use your financial aid to study abroad, In addition they will also provide guidance on obtaining potential scholarships and funding from other resources. Information on dates, times and locations of these and many other sessions can be found on our Study Abroad events page.

Compare Budgets

Each study abroad program has its own unique budget. Each budget is created or updated for each term in order to offer the most accurate estimates possible. Budgets can be found by clicking the blue academic term (i.e.: Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer or UWinteriM) next to “Cost Information” highlighted in red at the top of each program’s page.

Before looking at your program’s budget, think about your typical expenses during a semester or year at UWM. This will provide you with a good baseline to use when you are looking at expenses in a study abroad program’s budget. The Financial Aid Office  Cost of Attendance website provides an estimate of the cost of attendance at UWM, which includes much of the same items your study abroad budget will.

You can use the estimated amounts as a guide, but also consider your individual spending habits. Be realistic. For example, any dietary restrictions or preferences may affect the amount you spend on food and should be taken into consideration.

There are a few distinct differences in study abroad budgets based on the type of program you participate in as described below.

Each study abroad budget will list billable items- items for which the CIE Study Abroad Office will bill you on your UWM PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) account- and non-billable items- Items for which you will not be billed, but that you will want to consider when you are thinking about the cost of studying abroad. While we will offer as much support as we can to assist you with planning and securing those non-billable items, we will not formally bill you for them as you will be responsible for paying for them directly (i.e.: your passport, transportation, food etc.).

Do keep in mind that your Cost of Attendance, as considered by the UWM Financial Aid Office when determining your award for the term that you are abroad, is comprised of the total cost of both billable and non-billable items. In every budget, the billable items will contain the standard fees, which include a non-refundable application fee, UWM administrative fees (see our Financial Fees & Policies page) and mandatory UWM international health insurance.

Exchange

If you are participating in an exchange program, you pay your regular UWM tuition, the same as you would if you were staying on campus, in addition to the standard fees listed above. The rest of your expenses will be listed in the non-billable section of the program’s budget page.

Study Abroad (Non-Exchange)

If you are participating in a study abroad, or non-exchange, program, you are not charged tuition. Instead you are charged a comprehensive program fee. This fee includes academic-related expenses and often also additional expenses such as housing, meals, and any additional administrative costs related to the operation of the program. Anything that is not included will be listed in the non-billable section of the program’s budget page. Program fees and inclusions will vary from program to program. Read information found on the program’s page very closely in addition to the cost information sheet. Consult with your Study Abroad Coordinator to determine what is and is not built into your program fee.

Faculty-led

If you are participating in a faculty-led study abroad program are charged a comprehensive program fee, the same as a non-faculty-led study abroad/non-exchange program. In this case, this fee typically includes all major expenses related to the operation of the program, such as faculty salary, student and faculty housing, local transportation, and entrance fees. International air travel, food, and housing costs may be included in some programs but not in others. Program fees and their inclusions will vary from program to program. Read information found on the program’s page very closely in addition to the cost information sheet. Consult with your Study Abroad Coordinator to determine what is and is not built into your program fee.

Additionally, faculty-led study abroad program budgets are based on a shared group cost and, as such, there will be minimum and maximum amounts displayed, as costs may fluctuate based on the number of participants in the program.

Non-UWM

If you are participating in a program that is not sponsored by UWM you will only pay UWM the standard fees listed above. You will be responsible for working directly with your program’s provider to determine fees, and you will then pay the provider directly. Click here for further information on the non-UWM program process.

For financial aid purposes, you will provide your own budget with your cost estimates broken down similarly to the budget breakdowns on each of the UWM-sponsored program pages. Consult with your coordinator, Ramona Washington as you work to put together your budget and work through your costs.

Important: If you participate in non-UWM study abroad program and do not work through the CIE Study Abroad Office, you:

  • will not be able to use financial aid to pay for host institution program fees.
  • will not remain enrolled at UWM while abroad.
  • Will not receive credit for you experience abroad until the CIE Study Abroad Office has processed your transcript after the program has ended. There will be an additional $250 fee for this service.
  • may not receive credit for your Non-UWM program if the program does not have proper accreditation.

Research Funding

There are many resources available to you to help them finance your program. They include, but are not limited to, financial aid, scholarships, and individual fundraising. You are encourage to explore any and all options. See the Need Money? page to get started.