Undergraduate Student Study Abroad Costs

Student Study Abroad Costs – For Site

Planning to study abroad is an exciting and sometimes stressful process. One of the most important factors that need to be considered, and thus planned for, is the cost of studying abroad. 

Many students and their families may not fully understand the costs that such an endeavor. This can lead to painful decisions later on, sometimes forcing students to abandon their studies halfway through and head home without a degree, as they cannot afford the full academic cost of attendance.  

Tuition for Universities in the U.S. and other countries generally are expensive and living costs typically will be much higher than what the student might expect in their country of origin. 

Students typically may cover their costs in one of the four following ways: 

  • Personal, Family, and/or Sponsor Funds
  • Student Loan Options (also known as education loan options)
  • Income from a potential job once the student is in the US
  • Scholarships (this is much rarer to receive and typically will only occur once the student has been in the US for some time)

It is also very important that the student and their family have a plan for how the costs will be covered for the entirety of their studies. Keep in mind that undergraduate programs typically require at least 4 years of study. We have, unfortunately, seen many students not complete their studies due to the inability to pay tuition in the later years of their academic studies. 

We at Nomad Credit know the importance of funding your studies and that is why we treat it as a key component in all phases of preparing students for studying abroad. 

Study Abroad Cost Breakdown

Study Abroad Preparation

The costs to study abroad don’t begin with the first fees paid to the university. The costs begin before that, at the start of preparing for their studies.
Each of the following may have costs associated with them:

  • Test Preparation: This might include the SAT, TOEFL, and/or IELTS depending on the student’s country and program of study.
  • Academic Counseling: With Nomad Credit, this is completely free! However, most other counselors will charge a fee for their services. 
  • University Application Fees: Many universities require an application fee that can often be up to $100 each. (Ask us about application fee waivers of which we have many!)
  • Loan Option Fees: If the student is to avail of a loan option to help fund their studies, depending on the lender, it may require fees. 
  • Fly Costs: Plane ticket, transportation to the university, initial move in start-up costs
  • Miscellaneous Costs: There may be other costs involved with preparing to go live and study in another country for a year or more. 

While in School

First Year on Campus: 

The first year on campus typically has a total cost of attendance of $30,000 to $60,000 for undergraduate students depending on the university and location. Do note that the above is for U.S. universities, universities in other countries typically would expect to have a lower cost of attendance. 

This range can vary significantly depending on where the student might attend school! That is why it is very important to understand what the student and family’s budget for studying abroad is before applying to schools as well as the expected costs of attendance of the schools that they are considering, so that they apply to schools within their budget. 

The good news is that some students may be able to gain employment at school to help with some of their costs. This could be in the form of a part-time job, or an internship. Do note that some universities have restrictions on undergraduate students holding a job on their first year of campus. 

Total Estimated Costs: Undergrad$30,000 to $60,000

Time of Payment: Typically the tuition of each semester/term is paid near the start of that semester/term. Some universities will allow payment in multiple installments, so it may not all need to be paid up-front. At the very least, expect to need funds for half of the year’s costs available near the start of the first semester, and the additional half available near the start of the second semester. 

The Second Year on Campus: 

The tuition and university fees typically will be the same. However, there are several factors that could lead to lower expenses overall. 

The chance of gaining employment or an assistantship in the second year may be much higher to help with costs. Further, scholarships may start to become available the longer that a student is attending school, particularly if they are maintaining high marks in their classes. Lastly, most students may be able to now live off-campus which can potentially lower living expenses significantly. 

Total Estimated Costs: Undergraduate$30,000 to $60,000. In an ideal scenario, students can expect to be able to cover their non-tuition expenses without needing additional sources of funding from their family/sponsor funds and/or student loan options. Again, this figure likely will be lower if studying in a country other than the U.S.

Time of Payment: Typically the tuition of each semester/term is paid near the start of that semester/term. Some universities will allow payment in multiple installments, so it may not all need to be paid up-front. At the very least, expect to need funds for half of the year’s costs available near the start of the first semester, and the additional half available near the start of the second semester.

The Third and Fourth Year on Campus: 

By this time, undergraduate students often are  able to live off-campus and may have found at the least a part-time job. Further, they may have been able to gain a scholarship if they have maintained good academic standing. 

Total Estimated Costs: $30,000 to $60,000 depending on the university and location. However, with careful planning and student resourcefulness, this cost can be significantly lowered. In an ideal scenario, students can expect to be able to cover their non-tuition expenses without needing additional sources of funding from their family/sponsor funds and/or student loan options. Again, this figure likely will be lower if studying in a country other than the U.S.

Time of Payment: Typically the tuition of each semester/term is paid near the start of that semester/term. Some universities will allow payment in multiple installments, so it may not all need to be paid up-front. At the very least, expect to need funds for half of the year’s costs available near the start of the first semester, and the additional half available near the start of the second semester. 

Eligibility for Student Loan Options:

Student Loan Options are a way many students decide to help pay for their university tuition and related expenses. Nomad Credit is an expert in potential loan options available to international students and we believe that it is an extremely important step to understand what options students might be eligible for as they plan their studies abroad. Later in the process, students will speak directly to one of our expert loan option consultants if this is a route they would like to explore. They will be able to work with students to understand more specifically what they may be eligible for. 

However, here is a general breakdown of the type of loan options students might be eligible for based on their financial situation.

INR Loan Option

There are many Indian banks and NBFCs that will lend to eligible international students that typically require a cosigner (typically must be a parent) and collateral to avail of a loan option. Students will need to speak with our expert loan options consultants to fully understand what they might be eligible for, but the following can be considered a very loose guideline of potential requirements and loan option characteristics. 

Loan Option Size: Students who pass the cosigner and collateral requirements may be able to obtain a loan option amount up to the full cost of attendance. 

Cosigners typically need to be family members (often parents) and meet income requirements. 

Further, the value of the secured collateral property typically must be at least 80% of the loan option amount. 

Interest Rates: Expected interest rates typically can be anywhere from 8-15%.

Additional Fees: There are often processing fees of 1-2% of the loan option amount. Further, obtaining a loan option in India will require remittance fees in sending the money overseas. 

U.S. Cosigner Loan Option (if studying in the U.S.)

If you plan to study in the U.S., you may potentially be eligible for a U.S. cosigner loan option if you have an eligible creditworthy cosigner in the U.S. who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (i.e. holds a Green card). This option is often attractive to most students as generally, it offers lower interest rates than what you might expect for a no cosigner loan option or Indian loan option. 

Loan Option Size: With an eligible creditworthy cosigner, typically a loan option amount to cover the full cost of attendance is available. A loan option must be applied for each academic year of study and cannot cover the full academic period of study. 

Interest Rates: Students taking a U.S. cosigner loan option may be able to expect significantly lower interest rates than other student loan options potentially available to them. 

Additional Fees: Typically, there are no additional fees around U.S. cosigner loan options, another reason it can be more attractive than other options.