Financing Study Abroad

Please explore the tabs below to learn more about the various ways to fund your study abroad experience!
As you prepare for your exciting experience abroad, the USD International Center is here to support you. We understand that finances are a big consideration when choosing to study abroad, so please check out some helpful financial resources and scholarship opportunities (for both short-term and semester programs) on the various tabs above.
Note on External Scholarships:
There are many external scholarships that students may apply for. Students are highly encouraged to research their scholarship options as soon as possible as some deadlines occur before the USD application period. If students are planning on traveling through a provider, check to see if they offer any scholarships - many do! 

It is ultimately your responsibility to research funding opportunities, but we are here to support you as you begin navigating how to finance your study abroad experience!

Payment Options & Deadlines

All program related expenses will be billed directly to the student’s account and full payments are due 10 days prior to the start of the program. Students may request a payment plan for semester study abroad programs by contacting their study abroad advisor. Payment plan requests are evaluated and approved on a case-by-case basis by USD Student Accounts—the International Center does NOT evaluate or approve students for payment plans. Student accounts will review the requesting students’ payment history and determinations will be made based on this information. Students on payment plans are responsible for making payments on the dates established by .  

Short-Term (Intersession/Summer) Programs

For all Intersession, SYE and Summer programs students are charged the following:

  • $250 non-refundable application fee
  • $700/unit for tuition ($2,100 total for a 3-unit course)

In addition, students will also be charged a program specific fee. Visit your program’s page for this exact amount. For refund questions, please take note of the .

Non-USD student applicants who have been accepted to a short-term study abroad program are also required to pay their account balance 10 days prior to the start of their program.  They can access their account directly through .

Semester Programs

For all Fall and Spring affiliated and exchange study abroad programs, students are charged the following:

  • $250 non-refundable application fee
  • Current on-campus tuition rate (for 12-18 units; students wishing to take more than 18 units are required to follow the on-campus guidelines for unit overload and are responsible for additional tuition costs)

In addition, students may also be charged a program specific fee. Visit your program’s page for this exact amount. For refund questions, view our .


For more information about scholarships, please visit the  web page.


The USD International Studies Abroad programs listed on this website are regarded as
extensions of the University's academic curriculum. Courses taken abroad are
articulated as USD courses and computed into a students’ grade point average.
All USD undergraduate students are eligible to participate in an affiliate, fee-paying
partner program or an exchange partner program for one semester. If interested in a
second semester abroad experience this would need to be done with at an exchange
partner university or at the USD Madrid Center.

Financial Aid is available to eligible students for one semester at an affiliate, fee-paying
partner program or an exchange program. However, it is important to note that financial aid packages may change depending on which program the student is attending. Students should meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss this prior to the start of the program. It's
also highly recommended that students review the Financial Aid reminders prior to
going abroad.

For more details on financial aid packages and studying abroad, please read the Guide
to Financial Aid Consumer Information available on Office of Financial Aid’s website.
Students wishing to study abroad for a second semester can only use their Financial
Aid if their program is considered an Exchange. International Studies Abroad Advisors
are readily available to assist students in finding programs that fit this requirement.

USD Financial Aid for Summer and Intersession programs is available only in the form of
loans. However, the International Center offers limited need-based scholarships for
these sessions. For more information, please visit our Scholarships website.
Students should be aware that financial aid applications are often due before the
application to the study abroad programs. Students should therefore plan carefully and
submit both applications early. The following are some of the upcoming deadlines:

Application  Deadline
Intersession Financial Aid Applications Available On: October 1st
Due By: November 1st
 Summer Financial Aid Applications Available On: February 1st
Due By: March 17st
FAFSA Deadline for UG Students Due Around: March 2nd

For more information, please consult the Office of Financial Aid Services in the One Stop Shop in University Center 126 or visit the MySanDiego Portal.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Refunds (E-Refund)

If a student receives financial aid or scholarships that are above and beyond the cost of tuition and the additional program fees associated with their particular study abroad program, it is necessary that a student completes the "E-Refund" process by logging into the "MySanDiego" portal. Please note that the student has this login information and will need to complete this process (if applicable) or share the login information with you. Below are instructions:

  1. Go to the  Portal and login
  2. Click on the "One Stop Services" tab
  3. In the "My Student Account" section, click "View My Account," which will take you to the CASHNet site.
  4. Follow the instructions in the "E-Refund" section

Important Forms

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

This is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. For this reason, personal student information may not be shared with friends, family, other offices at USD, or the host institution without legal permission from the student (applicable if student is 18 or older). Visit the USD Registrar  for more information.

Power of Attorney Form

The USD Study Abroad  is not required though is highly recommended for study abroad students. This form allows a specified agent to discuss the student's: record, financial aid, and account information. This power of attorney is for a limited time only and is valid for the duration of the student's travel abroad. Upon return, the policy becomes null and void. Once completed, this form must be notarized, thereby become legally binding.

Important Phone Numbers

To Ask
If the FAFSA has been processed (319) 337-5665
About your Cal Grant (888) 224-7268 FREE
About General Federal Aid Information (800) 730-8913 FREE
About Selective Service Status (847) 688-6888
About EDFUND Loans (888) 294-0105 FREE
About loans guaranteed through USA Group/Sallie Mae (888) 272-5543
About loans sold to ACS (800) 835-4611 FREE
About loans sold to Sallie Mae (888) 272-5543 FREE
Federal Loan Ombudsman (877) 557-2575 FREE
State Loan Ombudsman (916) 526-8024
To Request:
Duplicate Student Aid Report (319) 337-5665
To Add a School to Student Aid Report (319) 337-5665
Free Copy of Tax Information (800) 829-1040 FREE

Contact Information

All questions regarding financial aid as it relates to study abroad should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid via email at .

Please select which type of program you are exploring to view scholarship opportunities applicable to that program type.

                   short-term    semester


Scholarship Databases/Resources

If you’d like to research additional scholarship options, here are some helpful databases:

Essay Writing Tips

Oftentimes scholarship applications will require one or more essays. Here are some helpful tips and brainstorming ideas to help you conquer this aspect of the application process.

Writing Center

If students are required to write a personal statement and/or essay for their scholarship application, they may have this reviewed at USD’s Writing Center. Here, students will receive one-on-one assistance and receive advice in the following topics:

  • understanding a text
  • thinking critically
  • generating paper topics
  • developing and focusing ideas
  • organizing information
  • refining and expanding ideas
  • grammar and punctuation

For more information, please visit the Writing Center website.

Student Budget Calculator

Students may use this budget calculator worksheet to help them create a budget for the programs they are considering and compare the cost of spending a semester abroad.  

Alternative Fundraising Options

Some scholarships may not cover all of a student’s expenses while studying abroad. Click here for alternative fundraising ideas.

Crowdfunding Resources

Many study abroad students have been successful in crowdfunding their study abroad experience.  Here's some study abroad crowdfunding tips and resources to get started!


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