For more in-depth information on finances and fees, please consult our study abroad handbook.

Financial Aid

Financial aid CAN be used to study abroad!

Most federal, state and campus-based aid can be applied to the costs of studying on any study abroad program, much the same as if you were still on campus. Financial aid is available to help students who need assistance covering the expenses of study abroad programs.

  • All students are eligible to apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) application. For maximum consideration, it is recommended that you file your FAFSA application (or renewal for continuing applicants) to the Federal Processor by the priority application filing dates listed on the Financial Aid Office website.
  • You may use loans, grants and scholarships toward your study abroad costs. If you have never applied or received financial aid before, you are strongly encouraged to contact financial aid via
    • Financial aid, including loans, scholarships and grants, is distributed no sooner than ten days before any given term. Study abroad program fees may not align with aid disbursement. Please plan accordingly. 
  • CIE shares all study abroad program budgets with the Financial Aid Office in order to provide them with that Cost of Attendance, which allows them to include the billable (PAWS fees) estimates as well as the non-billable (additional expenses) estimates when determining your financial aid award.
    • Students participating in non-UWM-sponsored programs that wish to use their aid must meet with their study abroad coordinator to discuss an individualized budget for their chosen program. Often a “consortium agreement” with the sponsoring institution will be needed.
  • Tuition waivers may only be applied to UWM exchange programs.
    • For military education benefits information, please contact Jim Schmidt ( in the Financial Aid Office.

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) and the Student Financial Services Center. 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 sources. Information on dates, times and locations of these and many other sessions can be found on our CIE events page.

Costs of Programs

Students on exchange programs will be charged regular UWM tuition (without segregated fees) based on residency and graduate or undergraduate student status, in addition to the CIE study abroad administrative fees and international health insurance. All other costs are paid abroad.  

Students on all other types of study abroad programs (faculty-led, non-exchange/affiliate) will be charged a comprehensive fee in lieu of tuition, which may or may not include housing, airfare, excursions, some food, etc., in addition to study abroad administrative fees and international health insurance. The only exception to this is for students on summer study abroad who may have a combination of on-campus (tuition-based) classes and study abroad. 

Students attending non-UWM programs will pay the majority of fees directly to their affiliate/provider/host university. They are still required to pay associated administrative and international health insurance fees to UWM.  

Consult your program’s budget sheet online or contact a study abroad coordinator for more information on charges. 

Budget Considerations

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 either the term hyperlink (i.e.: Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer or UWinteriM) next to “Cost Information” or clicking the “Program Costs” tab in each program’s page.

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.

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 UWM administrative fees and mandatory UWM international health insurance.