Wondering about AIFS study abroad cost? Don’t worry—we’ve got the deets. ☆ There are countless ways that you could have gotten here: Maybe you’ve been planning your international excursion since infancy, counting down to your days of freedom and exploration. Maybe it was just yesterday that you discovered you’ve completed all your required credit hours and your guidance counselor suggested a semester abroad. Maybe you’ve finally succeeded at convincing your parents how safe global travel is after years of back-and-forth. And maybe your parents finally told you that you need to seek some independence and learn about other cultures.
Whatever your journey, you’ve made it. You’re going to study abroad. You spent nights shuffling through pamphlets after evenings at study abroad panels; you’ve spent days in front of your computer screen, clicking through all the cities, countries, fields of study, and providers you could image (it can feel pretty intimidating to have the entire globe open to you, huh?). Now, you’ve finally landed on your decision: you’ve made the spectacular discovery that AIFS is the program for you. It’s got the support, the courses, and the destination of your dreams put together exactly as you always hoped for. There’s one more, kind of nerve wracking, looming question, though, hovering in the back of your mind – how much is my study abroad going to cost?
Breaking down the cost of your AIFS program
You’ve got several decisions ahead of you, but don’t sweat it—we’re here to lighten the burden and heighten the excitement. Where you go and what you do is ultimately up to you. However, there are a few factors to consider that might aid in narrowing down your options and help you make the big decision (there are a lot of places to see in the world, you know what we’re saying?).
Let’s start with the (semi-) obvious: getting abroad can be expensive. The motto of most study abroad providers is, we’ve got you covered once you’re abroad, but getting there is on you. Naturally, getting to some countries and cities is more expensive than others, so that might weigh into your decision. A major perk of the AIFS study abroad cost is opting into the optional, low-cost round trip flight program. Wow, do they make it easy on you!
This benefit not only eases your parents’ minds about getting there (and home) safely, but it might mitigate some of your costs. It’s still going to revolve around where you’re leaving and where you’re heading, but you can count on an around $2000 cost for door-to-door transfers.
Oh—let’s not forget the passport and visa fees, though! For first-time globetrotters, set aside about $145 (and two months of time) to get that passport processed. Depending on where you’re headed, visa fees can also come out to as much as $100 – $200, so make sure to look into specific prices and processing times ahead of time.
What does tuition cover? And where will I live?
Getting there is just the beginning of the factors to consider…and just the beginning of all the excitement to come. When looking at AIFS study abroad cost, a few major elements are tied into the “tuition.” Housing is one of them. You can breathe easy knowing you don’t have to scan sites to find your own place or discuss leases with a landlord who doesn’t speak your language.
Choices include homestays, residential halls, or individual living. Your program itself is included, too. We’re talking classes, teachers, and on-site AIFS staff that’ll help you navigate the cultural difference, keep you safe, and serve as your international program head. In general, semester-long programs average out to around $15,000, whereas options such as January-term bring the cost down to $5,000 for a month of interim study.
Let’s talk food.
If you’re like us, the prospect of authentic food that makes your palette water probably factored into choosing your destination. How much is munching abroad going to cost, though? This is one of those factors that gets that cliche, slightly-vague answer: it depends. Some cities in Asia have street markets with entire meals for under one dollar. Some cities in Scandinavia have snacks for 20 times that. So, like we said—it depends.
But we recommend doing some research and budgeting it out, because holding back from some of those gustatory senses is not going to be enjoyable. AIFS knows that those costs can add up quickly, so they’ve got your back with a few meal plan options, too. Dining with your host family, receiving restaurant vouchers, or checking out your school’s cafeteria are all possibilities depending on your program.
You’re not going to travel all the way around the world and hang out in just one location, right?! (Full disclosure, it’s normal if you do—and we’re pro full-on immersion). AIFS programs often involve a range of day trips and cultural activities, sometimes to museums right in town, and sometimes to ancient ruins a few hours away.
These are an excellent way to get acquainted with your new surroundings and spend time with others in your program, all while sitting back, relaxing, and letting someone else do the planning. Some of these excursions might be included with your program cost, and others might be up to $100. They’re worth it, so saving up a little couldn’t hurt!
How to cover your AIFS study abroad cost
When you start to piece together all of the expenses tied into being abroad (honestly, just living costs in general!), the number might feel a little suffocating. There are plenty of steps you can take to lessen the burden though, and we’re here to walk you through them!
AIFS study abroad scholarships and grants.
Way too many people forget to check out funding opportunities with the source itself. Whether you’re hoping for a scholarship to a particular location or a grant-match to a scholarship you’ve received from an outside source, AIFS study abroad scholarships and grants cover a range of possibilities. You might be eligible based on your destination, heritage, field of study, prior achievements, or general merit, for funds up to $5,000! Worth looking into, no?
This is the age of personal fundraising websites and we are happy to be here. Reaching out to family, friends, your friends’ families, and your family’s friends has never been more manageable than it is today. Tell your story, share your aspirations, and ask for a little somethin’ somethin’ towards making your international travel dreams come true!
Eh, we know. It’s not that glamorous and it’s hard work…but once you’re eating gelato besides the Trevi Fountain or taking surf lessons in Bali, you’re going to be grateful you tucked a dollar a day into that “Saving for…” jar. Even if you’ve already applied for AIFS study abroad scholarships or grants from other organizations, having some extra spending cash is only going to be a benefit.
Afford your study abroad fees with ease!
We know that some of the expenses of traveling and studying abroad can be daunting, but as with any endeavor, there’s some wiggle room to tailor-make your own budget. Plus, now that you’re familiar with some of the upfront costs, you can get going on applying for grants, start saving, and get the ball rolling on fundraising!
This article was written by Samantha Harper. Samantha’s quest to learn about her family heritage in Prague ignited the travel flame within her. A Wisconsin native and Pitt alumna, Samantha’s insatiable appetite for the world led her into an International Relations master’s program in Italy. Still not feeling like she’d seen enough, she finagled her way into spending a summer in Spain and teaching for a year in Thailand. She is (temporarily) settled in Washington, D.C.