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.
Download Penny's detailed cost comparison [PDF].
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.
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:
- George Mason University Office of Student Financial Aid
- US Department of Education Financial Aid
- Apple Federal Credit Union also offers education loans. As a student or alumna/us of George Mason, you are eligible to join the credit union. When you join the credit union, membership is a lifetime benefit, and family members also become eligible for a variety of financial services, education loans being among them.
- Sallie Mae (Student Loan Company)