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Understanding Costs

Study abroad is an investment in personal, academic, and professional growth and the Study Abroad Office is committed to helping NC State students identify and utilize available resources in the pursuit of international academic success. Students typically pay for their programs with a combination of financial aid, scholarships, and personal funds. Early planning is key to ensuring that students are able to benefit from all available resources.

Low-Cost Programs

Studying abroad does not have to break the bank. In fact, it could be cheaper than taking classes on campus. Check out our list of budget-friendly study abroad programs.

When narrowing down program options, look at fixed costs and estimated costs in the budget sheet of the program page. Some programs include housing, meals, cultural activities, and excursions in the fixed costs section. This means that they are included in what you pay for the program. Estimated costs are not included in program fees and may vary significantly. Some examples of estimated costs are airfare, passports, textbooks, personal expenses, and anything else not included in the fixed cost section.

Comparing to On-Campus Costs

Compare study abroad expenses to the cost of attending NC State and living in Raleigh:

Costs of Attendance- Undergraduate
Costs of Attendance- Graduate

Keep in mind that the on-site cost of living will also affect your expenses abroad. Research the cost of living in various program locations and consider non-traditional locations that may offer cheaper options for everyday purchases such as food.

In-state students should consider semester exchange programs which carry the same tuition costs as NC State tuition. Out-of-state students are encouraged to research direct enroll options, which may cost less than spending the semester here at NC State.

Utilizing Financial Resources

All students are encouraged to apply for NC State study abroad scholarships. Our office coordinates the distribution of significant funding to hundreds of study abroad students every year, but you will not be considered if you do not apply. A single application can allow students to be considered for more than 20 scholarships. If new awards are added in the middle of a cycle, students will be automatically considered for those scholarships if they have previously completed a scholarship application.

There are also a number of external scholarships available for NC State students. The Study Abroad Office maintains a list of these options, but this is by no means exhaustive. We highly recommend reaching out to the Fellowships Advising Office on campus if you are interested in applying for external funding. FAO will help students identify all applicable awards and even work with students in writing application essays.

Students are also encouraged to apply for financial aid through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Study abroad students can receive loans, grants, and additional scholarships toward the cost of any study abroad program as long as the courses fulfill degree requirements and the student is taking the equivalent of a full course load at NC State. View Financial Aid information to learn more.


Students are encouraged to download a copy of our budget calculator as they make plans to go abroad. This tool will also be useful while abroad to help stay on track with spending. Students interested in learning more about financial resources and budgeting are invited to attend the regular funding sessions which are organized jointly by the Study Abroad Office and Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.


Students will pay a single Admin Fee to study abroad prior to July 1, 2021. Effective July 1, 2021, students will pay a $75 Study Abroad Administrative Setup Fee (“Setup Fee”) prior to the deadline, and a separate Study Abroad Fee will be due upon commitment (within two weeks of acceptance).

Read more about these fees and how they fund the services provided by the Study Abroad Office.