Costs and Funding

Studying abroad is an experience that everyone can have! Just as we are committed to helping you find a great academic fit for your program abroad, we are here to help you find a great financial fit too.

  • If you are an in-state student, there are many study abroad programs that are similar in cost to a fall or spring semester here at UNC Chapel Hill – and some programs that are even less expensive.
  • If you are an out-of-state student, the majority of our study abroad programs are less expensive than a semester at UNC Chapel Hill.
  • Summer study abroad programs are more expensive than summer sessions at UNC Chapel Hill, regardless of whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student.

To learn more about our least expensive program options, check out our lists below.

Our Least Expensive Program Options

The great news is that in most cases, your regular financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans) can be applied to your study abroad expenses! For more expensive programs, additional loans may be available through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA). There are also numerous Study Abroad Office Scholarships available to help cover higher costs. Check out these amazing scholarship opportunities.

It can also be helpful to ask yourself the following questions when considering more expensive programs 

  1. If I’m not selected for a Study Abroad Office Scholarship, how will I plan to cover extra expenses? 
  2. Am I willing to borrow additional loans to help cover higher programs costs? 
  3. Do I have other resources that can help cover costs (earnings from a job, money in savings, family or friends’ financial support)? 

If you will be participating in a less expensive program, your financial aid may be reduced to match reduced costs per federal and student aid regulations. OSSA will always reduce loans first, to preserve as much grant and scholarship funding as possible. 

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) can provide an estimated financial aid package to help you prepare financially for your programWe encourage you to reach out before the application deadline! 

Email with the following:

  • your name
  • PID number
  • the term you are planning to study abroad
  • a link to your study abroad program’s budget sheet

The OSSA study abroad team will respond within a few days, on average.  

Compare the study abroad program total (located at the bottom of the program budget sheet) to the cost of a semester here at UNC Chapel HillTypically, the cost of attendance (COA) for a fall or spring semester at UNC for in-state students totals around $13,000typically, the COA for out-of-state students totals around $27,000.   

For summer, typically the COA for a single session (with 6 credit hours) for in-state students totals $4,000; typically, the COA for out-of-state students totals $8,000 

Your updated financial aid package for study abroad will be available to view in your Connect Carolina Student Center late in the term prior to your study abroad term.  

Your financial aid (scholarships, grants, or loans) will post to your UNC student account right around when UNC classes begin for the study abroad term (regardless of your study abroad program start date). All funding is first applied to your Cashier Billed Expenses and anything leftover, called a credit balance, is generated as a refund to you to use for out-of-pocket estimates. The Study Abroad Office budget sheets shohow to locate these expenses.  

Please note that some out-of-pocket expenses will be incurred before this time, such as passport/visa fees or airfare. If you receive a refund, you can use some of this to reimburse yourself for those early out-of-pocket expenses.  

Be sure to set up electronic refunds with the Cashier’s Office to receive your refund directly to your personal bank account, especially since you may already be abroad at the time your refund is generated. 

Non-UNC students are not eligible for financial aid from UNC. You can work with your home university’s study abroad and financial aid offices to research financial aid and scholarship options. 

Funding Study Abroad

Learn how to fund your study abroad dreams and find the program and financial fit that’s best for you.

Is study abroad affordable?

How does financial aid work with study abroad?

How do I know if I can afford a program?

How do I understand a budget sheet?

Are there scholarships available?

When will my financial aid package be updated for study abroad?

When will my financial aid disburse?

How do I know if I can anticipate a refund?

Still have questions? We’re here to help.

We’re happy to help you find a great financial fit for your study abroad program! Please email with any questions. You can also view the resources below for more details: