Financial Planning for Study Abroad

WMU student on an Alpine mountain.The financial aid budget for each study abroad program is located at the top of the online program brochure accessible in Broncos Abroad. To view the budget, see the "Budget sheets" tab and click on the semester during which the study abroad will take place.

Frequently asked questions about funding 

Program budget

The program budget includes:

  • Program fee (billable)—amount charged to the student's account for the Western Michigan University semester of study abroad enrollment. A description of what's included in the program fee is published in each program budget sheet.
  • Out-of-pocket costs (non-billable)—estimates of other costs directly related to participating in the academic program; some of these costs may vary according to individual preferences and needs. See additional expenditures below.

Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad; plan ahead! Some out-of-pocket costs occur prior to financial aid and scholarship distribution for the semester, such as passport and visa or residence permit fees, the study abroad commitment fee, airfare, immunizations, etc. See the program's budget sheet for details or contact Study Abroad if you have questions.

It is the students' responsibility to meet with a financial aid advisor in WMU's Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office to determine if they have sufficient personal funds or will be awarded sufficient financial aid to support their participation in the study abroad program selected. While some financial aid may apply to the study abroad experience, additional funds might be needed to cover costs that exceed tuition and program fees.

Additional expenditures

Program budgets do not include activities that are not part of the academic program, such as personal travel, entertainment, shopping, etc. Students should plan to bring additional funds for their own personal activities.

Budget and funding for programs offered by University-approved providers

Students planning to enroll in a program offered by a University-approved provider are required to:

  • Obtain the program cost estimate from the study abroad provider organization, program dates, and an estimate of round-trip travel to the destination.
  • Schedule a meeting with a study abroad specialist to create an official financial aid budget; this budget must be prepared prior to the student's meeting with a financial aid advisor.
  • Meet with a financial aid advisor to discuss available financial aid and other funding.

Frequently asked questions about funding

How much will it cost to study abroad?

Costs vary between study-abroad programs which makes it difficult to assign a typical price tag.  Many programs, however, can cost the same as WMU or less.  In most cases, any financial aid, grants, or scholarships you are already receiving can be applied to study-abroad costs. Additionally, there are many scholarship opportunities to help offset the costs of studying abroad. Each online program brochure includes a detailed budget sheet designed to give you a realistic idea of the costs associated with study abroad.You can find the budget sheet at the top of the online program brochure under "budget sheets" and click on the link for the corresponding term such as "Summer II".  

Does Financial Aid apply to study abroad?

Yes!  WMU Financial Aid, such as scholarships, grants, and loans offered by WESTERN can be applied to study-abroad programs. It is important to remember to schedule an appointment with the financial aid office in Faunce Student Services to see how your financial aid will be applied to your study abroad program.

Can I get scholarships to study abroad?

Of course! There are many scholarships available through WMU, the community, and national competitions. In 2012-13, students studying abroad through WMU received more than $400,000 in scholarships. There are over 20 scholarships offered by WMU awarded on the basis of merit, financial need, and/or content of study. For more information be sure to visit the WMU Study Abroad scholarships page. The key to receiving study-abroad scholarships is to start the process as early as possible and to work closely with WMU Study Abroad and department advisors.

*Special funding can be found for students of color, veterans, LGBTQ students, first generation college students and students with disabilities. Funding opportunities can also be found for designated majors, country-specific studies, class standings, and other eligibility requirements. Remember that funding opportunities are not only limited to study abroad-specific scholarships

Do I have to pay tuition at WMU in addition to the study abroad program fees?

In most cases—no. The program fee usually covers the cost for the academic credit you will receive from WMU. Exceptions are spring break programs and end-of-semester programs.

How does the MET or the Kalamazoo Promise apply to study abroad?

MET or Kalamazoo Promise funding can be applied to study abroad programs approved by the WMU Study Abroad. MET and Kalamazoo Promise funding questions should be directed to the WMU Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office or Accounts Receivable. Study abroad staff members do not have authority to make any funding determinations for MET or for the Kalamazoo Promise.

Where can I get more information?

Contact the Study Abroad office at (269) 387-5890 or study-abroad@wmich.edu.

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