Study abroad is an investment in one's future. As social, political, and economic worlds continue to become more globally interdependent, students who have experience with this interconnectedness have an advantage over those who do not.

Read more on how current Mason students are finding ways to finance their studies abroad in Mason Gazette's "Mason Students Encouraged to Study Abroad"or take it from this parent, who actually saved money by sending her daughter abroad:

My daughter’s 9 credits in her French Immersion class in Montreal were well worth the money spent. She not only experienced French every day, she met people from all over the globe, ate new foods and learned a little bit more about herself. As an out of state GMU student the class saved us about $4000. I would highly recommend that you look into this program.

-Penny Z.

Download Penny's detailed cost comparison [PDF].

Study Abroad Costs

The cost of studying abroad varies greatly depending on an individual program's type, length, and location. Many programs are financially comparable to studying on campus for a semester, therefore program selection is crucial especially if you are on a tight budget. When looking at programs, the Center for Global Education recommends you request a cost breakdown to help you understand how much you can expect to pay for your global experience.

The program fee for all programs administered by the Center for Global Education covers:

  • Tuition (all of our programs are for academic credit)
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • Mandatory Pre-departure orientation

Some, but not all, program fees include housing, one or two meals a day, and/or international airfare. In addition to the items listed above, students should also budget for passport and visa expenses, books, independent travel, and entertainment and personal expenses.

Will it be impossible for you to finance your study abroad experience? Of course not. Just remember that in most cases, financial aid, federal loans, scholarships, and grants can all be applied to your study abroad program costs. Plan ahead as early planning is imperative to success.

Financial Aid

Federal financial aid is always awarded through a student's home university. If you are a George Mason student intending to participate in a study abroad program not affiliated with Mason, you must still go to the Mason Financial Aid Office. If you attend another university and you are participating in a Mason study abroad program, you need to visit the Financial Aid Office at your home school.

Take a copy of the estimated cost-of-attendance or the cost break down of your study abroad program to your financial aid counselor. You and your counselor will review your financial aid package together with this additional information. After your meeting you will have an idea of what will be covered by aid and how much you will have to contribute.

More information about financial aid and loans may be found at the following websites:


CGE Global Perspectives Scholarships ($20,000 total)

Open to George Mason University students who participate in CGE Winter Break and Summer Programs, scholarship amounts range from  $250 to $1,000, depending on merit and financial need. Students who are awarded a Global Scholarship may volunteer to assist CGE in the promotion of study abroad upon their return.

Due Dates for Scholarship Applications

CGE Summer Break Programs

March 7, 2014

CGE Winter Break Programs

TBD for 2014

Late scholarship applications will not be considered. Download and print here.

To apply, submit the following items:

  1. One academic letter of reference

  2. A 500 word essay detailing how you hope to benefit from this study abroad experience

Your application must be submitted to the Center for Global Education, located in Johnson Center Room 235, with your complete program application materials, including your on-line application, registration and processing fee, and supplementary application materials.

Global Perspectives Scholarships are NOT available for semester/yearlong programs, Direct Exchange programs, or Non-Mason programs. You must be a George Mason University Student to be selected for a scholarship. Scholarships will NOT be disbursed to students who cancel their participation in the program or if a program is cancelled. Again, any Mason student is eligible for this scholarship.

CGE Monroe "Chip" Whitton Scholarships

To be considered for this scholarship, students must participate in a Summer Program in the UK or Ireland. Two (2) scholarships at $1,000 apiece will be awarded. Students applying for the London Internship Program are not eligible for this scholarship.

To apply submit the following items:

  1. One academic letter of reference
  2. A 500 word essay detailing how you hope to benefit from this study abroad experience

Your application must be submitted to the Center for Global Education, located in Johnson Center Room 235, with your complete program application materials, including your on-line application, registration and processing fee, and supplementary application materials.

Deadline: Scholarship applications are due with your complete program application by the deadline for the program to which you are applying.

Scholarships will NOT be disbursed to students who cancel their participation in the program or if a program is cancelled.

Center for Global Education Scholarship disbursement

In order to receive a scholarship administered by the Center for Global Education, scholarship recipients must be officially accepted into the program and pay the non-refundable deposit for the program by the deadline indicated in their acceptance letter. Late payment of the deposit disqualifies students from consideration for the scholarship. Scholarship awards are distributed after all program fees have been paid in full by the student. Scholarships will NOT be disbursed to students who cancel their participation in the program or if a program is cancelled.

Other Scholarships

We always encourage students to take responsibility for their own education by independently researching for scholarships online and consulting with their financial aid officer to see if aid applies to their particular study abroad program. Many institutions providing study abroad programs have scholarships available to students attending their programs. Please do the work that is involved with applying for a scholarship because it will pay off:

  • George Mason University Scholarships (updated frequently!)

  • Postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships for International Studies

  • NEW Phi Kappa Phi Society Study Abroad Scholarships: Open to any undergraduate student (you do NOT have to be a member) who attends an institution with an active Phi Kappy Phi chapter (GMU), has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.75 on a 4.0 scale, will be studying abroad between May 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, has applied and/or been accepted into a study abroad program (acceptance letter on official letterhead must be submitted as part of the application, and has not previously won a Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Scholarship. Note: If an official acceptance letter is not available at time of submission, the application may obtain a letter from his or her school verifying the submission of an application and the student's intent to travel abroad. Deadline: April 1, 2014, 11:59 pm CT. Winners announced by June 1, 2014.

  • Marshall Scholarships

  • LIVFund Scholarships Any individual or group who has plans to learn, intern, or volunteer abroad in Latin America for at least one [1] week is eligible to apply for funding. LIVFund Scholarships support people traveling abroad to study, intern, or volunteer in the following 21 countries: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. LIVFund Scholarships are awarded twice per month in the amount of $500.

  • MCL Study Abroad Merit Scholarships
    The GMU Department of Modern and Classical Languages (MCL) is pleased to offer financial assistance to Mason students who study abroad on semester, summer, winter, or yearlong programs. Students with a major or minor offered by the department are eligible to apply for the scholarships, which normally range from $150 to $250. Application deadlines are April 15 (for summer, fall, and yearlong programs), and November 15 (for winter and spring programs).

  • The Martha Paley Francescato Scholarship awards $500 to $1,000 to an undergraduate student applying for a study abroad program and pursuing a degree in Spanish. Applicants are required to submit an essay stating why they need additional funds for a study abroad and detailing commitment to the Spanish program. Contact Jen Barnard or the MCL Department at Mason for details.

  • The Oppenheimer Scholarship is available to rising juniors or seniors participating in a long-term study abroad program in Paris, France. Contact the MCL Department at Mason for details.

  • Freeman-ASIA Scholarships Freeman-Awards for Study in Asia provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. Applicants should have a minimum 2.8 GPA. The program's goal is to increase the number of Americans with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures. Awards of up to $3,000 for summer programs and $7,000 for academic year programs are available. See website for complete eligibility details, FAQs, and online application. Summer 2013 Application Deadline - February 15, 2013; Adviser Endorsement Deadline - February 22, 2013. Academic Year 2013-14 Application Deadline - April 4, 2013; Adviser Endorsement Deadline - April 11, 2013.

  • Scholarships for study abroad in JAPAN Bridging Scholarship recipients receive a stipend of $2,500 (for students on semester-long programs) or $4,000 (for students on academic year programs). Applications for study in Japan for Fall 2014 should be submitted to ATJ by April 8, 2014.

  • IIE Passport: Study Abroad Funding This directory features detailed descriptions of hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for US undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students, as well as professionals. The directory is organized by countries or field of study, as well as by scholarship name. Be sure to EXPLORE this site!

  • The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need, with the average award being $4,000. This scholarship provides awards for US undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

  • Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. students to add an important international and language component to their educations. They focus on geographic areas (Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East), languages, and fields of study that are critical to US national security, broadly defined, and underrepresented in study abroad.

The 2013 application deadlines

  • Boren Scholarships Deadline: February 13, 2013
  • Boren Fellowships Deadline: January 31, 2013
    Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students for study abroad. Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students for study and research.

    Contact GMU for more information and application guidance from a campus representative.
  • Language Flagship Fellowships offer a limited number of fellowships to qualified American students interested in receiving financial support to participate in one of the graduate Flagship Programs in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, or Persian.

  • The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) FEA scholarships were designed to meet the growing need for financial resources to enable more students to study abroad. Funding Amount: up to 10 scholarships at up to $10,000 each. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled as undergraduates in a US university who plan to study abroad for at least four weeks between September 2012 and August 2013. FEA will award funds for students planning to study abroad on academically rigorous programs with a preference for underrepresented students. The deadline for FEA scholarship applications has passed; scholarship winners will be announced in February.

  • Go Overseas! The Go Overseas Study Abroad Scholarship is open to all current or aspiring study abroad students. Scholarships are awarded each year at $1,000 each. The scholarship selection is based on the creativity and analytical thinking displayed through writing samples, photos, and/or video submissions.

  • Glimpse's Spring 2012 Correspondents Program The Glimpse Correspondents Program provides selected writers and photographers with a $600 stipend and one-on-one editorial training and support in building their portfolio of published work. Recipients must be studying abroad for ten weeks or more. There is a $25 application fee.

  • Fastweb.Com


  • Guide to Scholarships, Grants and Funding Sources in International Education and Other Disciplines