Financial Planning

Study Abroad Basics: Finances

Financing Study Abroad 101 Sessions
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 once per month, and twice per week in September and February. They are co-led by the Center for International Education (CIE) Study Abroad Office Financial Specialist, Hunter Resler, 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 in 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’s  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.

Research Funding

There are many resources available to help students finance their program. They include but are not limited to, financial aid, scholarships, and individual fundraising. Students are encouraged to explore any and all options. See the Financial Aid and Scholarships page to get started.

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 faculty-led study abroad program participant, on the other hand, pays an equal share of the total cost of the program.
Is my $100 application fee refundable?
No, unless you are denied acceptance into the program or the program is canceled, you will not get the $100 back.
How do I make payments?
As part of the initial application, students make one payment, the application fee, directly to CIE. This payment can be made online via credit or debit card, or in person using a personal check or money order. After being accepted to the program, the CIE Study Abroad team posts the program 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 ( 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 Financial Aid and Scholarships page.

Where can I learn more about finances, and what grants and scholarships I can apply for?
When will I find out if I will receive the Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant?
You will be notified by email about 4-6 weeks after the deadline.


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