Skip to main content


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.

Group of students above city

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.

students at Sydney Global Hub

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?

The Office of Global Learning follows the same billing schedule as if you were on campus. Fall semester charges will be billed to your Cornell bursar account in July and due in August. Spring charges will be billed in January and due in February. Your bursar bill must be paid by the due date, or you will lose your registration and be prohibited from participating in your study abroad program.

Do I pay my program fee to the provider or to Cornell?

It depends on your program! Find your program's budget on Experience Cornell or contact the program's advisor.

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?

Most program providers or universities require a deposit in advance. You will need to pay your housing deposit to your provider or university directly.

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?

If you withdraw after committing to participate in your study abroad program or if your admission to the program is rescinded, you may be responsible for Cornell tuition and any non-recoverable costs. You remain individually responsible for any financial obligation to a program provider, the Office of Global Learning, and Cornell University.

Can I get a refund if I decide not to go?

This depends on the timing of your decision and your program's specific deadlines. You should talk to your Education Abroad advisor about your chosen program's guidelines and be sure you understand them completely before committing or paying funds.

Are refunds available if my program is canceled or goes remote?

A program may be canceled or change to remote instruction at any time and for reasons beyond anyone's control. Being subject to financial loss is a risk that each student must consider.

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.

Zambia IAD interns 2022

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.

National Scholarships

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?

Program-Specific Scholarships

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.

Next Up: For Families