Money Matters

Costs and Budgets

The Costs of Study Abroad

Bottom line: What should a semester abroad cost in total? Our best guess is between $25,000 and $37,500. In comparison, a semester in Atlanta is projected to cost around $30,000. Why can't we give an exact figure? Well, we do know one part of the cost for certain -- tuition. Every Emory student who goes abroad pays Emory tuition, which is currently around $23,000 for one semester. On top of that, each student pays individually for a visa, food, housing, transport, travel, books, and miscellaneous items. Costs per program vary by (1) cost of living, (2) exchange rate, and (3) budget/lifestyle preferences. Students frequently spend more money while abroad because (1) the flight to school costs more and (2) they travel more during the semester than they would while in Atlanta. As an example, a frugal student could get by on as little as $25,000 in Mexico City, while a high roller in London, Sydney, or Switzerland might spend $37,500.

Before signing on to any program, students should have accurate figures, or at least solid estimates, of the following costs:


  • Are there student fees at the host institution (orientation, student activities, technology, etc)? What do they cover? (BBA International Programs does NOT have program fees; students pay Emory tuition and, unless waived, student health insurance)
  • Instructional materials: books, supplies, labs, computers


  • Passport fees
  • Traveler's insurance for lost or stolen personal items
  • Visa, if required
  • Medicine, inoculations, immunizations, etc. (often a sizable item when traveling to developing countries)
  • Medical exams prior to departure
  • International health insurance (T W Lord)
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC) (optional)
  • Luggage or backpack that is convenient to carry and fits as a carry-in for budget airlines
  • Appropriate clothing for the climate and for traveling comfortably


  • International airfare
  • In-country domestic transportation between point of international entry and program site
  • Commuting costs/daily travel expenses (public transport is widely used overseas, and long-term passes might be available)
  • Independent travel during breaks, weekends, etc.

Living Expenses

  • Room (from arrival to departure, not just for duration of formal program)
  • Housing or key deposits
  • Residence permits (check on the internet or program information for requirements)
  • Food (depending on location, this may vary from US $2-50/day)

Miscellaneous Expenses

  • Computer, internet, and mobile phone use and data fees (if applicable)
  • Other (laundry, cleaning, postage, incidental expenses)
  • In addition, you must take into account the costs of your son's or daughter's social life, of gifts and souvenirs, and of mail and other long-distance communications. Some such things will amount to less than what he or she now spends on campus, and some will cost more. Past participants or program representatives can help with these estimates.

Tips for Saving Money While Abroad

  • Internet phones (Skype, MSN, Yahoo, Google Voice are often free when calling computer-computer, and are very inexpensive when calling computer-landline/cell)
  • Set up local bank account in host country to avoid ATM usage fees (sometimes up to US $5/transaction)-- this also eliminates currency conversion fluctuations
  • Travel in groups if leaving host city to divide housing costs -- youth hostels offer inexpensive lodging and quality conditions

Source: Taken from What Parents Need to Know! Before, During, and After Education Abroad by Janet Hulstrand. To order a copy, visit

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Studying abroad can be affordable! Goizueta undergraduate students participating on a BBA exchange program can continue to use their financial aid and existing scholarships toward their semester abroad. In addition, numerous study abroad scholarships are available through various government and international organizations to help fund other study abroad-related costs such as your airfare, visa, passport, and international living expenses. It is never too early to start thinking about how to finance study abroad!

Students are encouraged to start researching their funding options early on as some scholarships require students to apply a semester or a year before departing overseas. Familiarizing oneself with the scholarship requirements and deadlines is an important step in preparing a successful application for scholarship consideration.

Things to consider before applying.

  • More scholarships are available for non-traditional locations, such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, etc.
  • There are more scholarships available for certain student groups, such as minorities, underrepresented majors, etc.
  • You can use the BBA Writing Center for help reviewing your scholarship application materials.

General Study Abroad Scholarships

Students going to Beijing can apply for Chinese governmental scholarships,

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

Financial aid is available for study abroad programs approved through the BBA International Programs office as well as CIPA at Emory University. Interested students seeking financial aid for their program should complete the FAFSA for the appropriate academic period. To assist in the timely receipt of your financial aid and to ensure full consideration for all aid for which you qualify, you must apply by the Priority Date. If you miss the priority date, complete the FAFSA no later than three months prior to your departure date.

The BBA International Programs office will provide, upon a student's request, the estimated cost for a particular study abroad program. Emory's Office of Financial Aid may will revise a student’s financial aid awards based on these costs. Additional grant funding may be available to offset work study awards; such eligibility is by request only, and is not an option for students who declined to fulfill a prior work study award. Study abroad students may also offered additional loans -- student, parent, or private — as eligibility permits. Visit the Emory Office of Financial Aid site for additional information.

  • Complete all requirements before departing for your program to ensure your financial aid releases on time.
  • Release of financial aid occurs around the first class day of the regularly scheduled Emory term or semester.
  • Pay deposits or airline tickets on your own; emergency cash loans are not available for students going abroad.
  • Ensure your OPUS contact information is accurate.
  • Work with your assigned Financial Aid Counselor to have any anticipated checks deposited in your designated bank account.