Paying for Study Abroad
We're here to help you and your family navigate a range of financial considerations as you prepare for your semester or year abroad.
On this page: Find answers to your questions about program costs, financial aid, scholarships, and more.
Tuition, Fees, and Expenses
When you're studying abroad for a semester or year, you continue to be supported academically and administratively by Cornell faculty, staff, and systems. Academic advising is available throughout your experience, and the course approval process allows credit you earn abroad to transfer to your Cornell degree. The Office of Global Learning and International Health, Safety, and Security team provide additional specialized support services to you during your time abroad.
What You Pay
Cornell Bursar Bill
- Standard Cornell tuition
- Program fees, if billed through program provider
- Fees may include deposits (excluding housing deposit), housing, activities, supplemental insurance, and other non-tuition costs.
Program Provider Bill
- Program fees, if not billed through Cornell
- Fees may include deposits, housing, activities, supplemental insurance, and other non-tuition costs.
Predeparture and On-Site Expenses
- Expenses vary by program and location. They may include but are not limited to round-trip airfare, passport and visa fees, immunizations, housing costs, meals, textbooks, independent travel, and daily living expenses.
- Students are responsible for paying all expenses on time and in full. Payments may be due either predeparture or over the course of the semester.
Your Program's Estimated Budget
The Office of Global Learning provides an estimated budget for each program. Find your program's budget on Experience Cornell or contact the program's advisor. The budget details which study abroad costs are billed through your Cornell Bursar account, billed through the program provider, or handled as expenses.
When do I pay my program fees?
Do I pay my program fee to the provider or to Cornell?
Many providers have comprehensive program fees that may include housing, excursions, orientation, and other non-tuition expenses. If your program bills Cornell for program fees, we will pay the partner, and the charges will be billed to your bursar account. If you have concerns, please speak with the Office of Global Learning's financial advisor.
Some providers bill students directly for housing and other program-related costs. In these cases, you are responsible for paying the partner directly.
How is my housing deposit handled?
After You Commit to a Program
We hope you'll decide to apply to study abroad! When you commit to a study abroad program, you agree to fulfill your financial obligations to Cornell and the program. If you withdraw or if your admission to the program is rescinded, you may be responsible for Cornell tuition and partner deposits, tuition, program fees, and withdrawal fees.
What happens if I withdraw from my program after I have committed?
Can I get a refund if I decide not to go?
Are refunds available if my program is canceled or goes remote?
Refer to the cancellation policy in your application dashboard. Refund policies vary by the program. If you have additional questions, talk to your Education Abroad advisor.
Your Financial Aid
Financial aid awards apply to all approved semester and yearlong programs. The Office of Global Learning or the college or school sponsoring your program will prepare an estimated student budget based on your approved program and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid on your behalf.
Financial Aid will use the cost estimates provided to repackage your aid for your time abroad to meet the required costs of attendance and participation. Financial aid awards are adjusted in line with the higher or lower costs of the program. Your family and student contribution will remain the same as on campus, regardless of the estimated cost of attendance.
Your federal work study is converted to a loan when you study abroad. You may choose to take this amount out as a loan or not. If you opt to decline the loan, alternative aid resources will not be available to replace that award.
Summer and Winter Sessions
Stand-alone study abroad programs over the summer and winter sessions offer international experiences that don't conflict with your other academic plans, but be aware that your financial aid package only covers semester and yearlong study abroad. Institutional grant aid is not available for summer and winter sessions.
Reach out to the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions about how to make the most of your financial aid package as you plan for study abroad.
Study Abroad Scholarships
There are many scholarships available to students pursuing an international experience. Each opportunity has its own eligibility criteria, so be sure to read the fine print for specific details before you apply.
Many national scholarships are prestigious and highly competitive. The University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center Scholarship Database offers a useful search tool with a comprehensive listing.
What are some popular national scholarships?
Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship provides awards for study abroad for U.S. citizens who are receiving a federal Pell grant at the time of application.
- Boren Scholarships are available for students studying less commonly taught languages and area/international studies.
- Fund for Education Abroad Scholarships are offered up to $5,000 per semester and are not limited to specific programs, destinations, or fields of study.
- Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship is awarded to a deserving LGBTQ student who aims to participate in an education abroad program.
- U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students.
To determine if your program offers scholarship funds, review the program’s website. You can also speak to an Education Abroad advisor for information and suggestions. Program-sponsored awards are reported to the Office of Financial Aid. All outside awards will be applied to student loans. If the amount exceeds your student loan allocation, Cornell aid will be reduced.
Visit Experience Cornell to learn about additional scholarship and fellowship opportunities.