It is a myth that you need to be rich to have an education abroad experience. It could cost you the same or less as it does to remain in Durham if you do the following:

  • Understand the type of program — whether you will be paying UNH tuition or a program fee to a provider.
  • Use your financial aid — talk to a financial aid advisor.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Pay attention to the total cost of the program — what’s included and what’s not included.
  • Use the Study Abroad Budget Worksheet which will help you compare costs and create a realistic study abroad budget.
  • Research the cost of living in the host country and learn the local currency exchange rate.
  • Be flexible about destination.
  • Plan ahead.
  • See below for more detailed information as well as other hints and suggestions.

Plan ahead

Planning allows time to save money, apply for scholarships and do research on finding an affordable program.

Understand the different types of UNH study abroad programs 

On UNH Managed and UNH Exchange programs, you pay the same tuition you would pay if you were on campus. On UNH Approved programs, you don't pay UNH tuition; instead, you pay the program price to the provider. The EcoQuest-UNH program is an exception: as a UNH managed-partnership program all students are charged the same amount like UNH approved programs. Regardless of the type of program, UNH will charge Study Abroad Administration, International Insurance and Technology fees.

Use your financial aid

UNH allows federal, state and institutional aid — except work study — to transfer for all UNH Managed, UNH Exchange and UNH Approved programs abroad. You will be able to factor in airfare as an educational cost and consider the cost of living in your host country for your estimated expenses. The cost of studying abroad may be greater than attending UNH; if so, we will increase your cost of attendance which will allow for additional borrowing in either parent or student name. If the cost of your program is less than what you would experience at UNH, your financial aid may be reduced.

Students should call the Financial Aid office at 603-862-3600 to learn how this applies to their individual aid package and check the UNH Financial Aid website for more information. If you currently receive aid under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and are interested in studying abroad, please read this fact sheet and contact UNH Military & Veterans Services.  Take note that items in the fact sheet are subject to change due to COVID-19.

Apply for scholarships and grants

Please visit the Scholarships & Fellowships page for information about UNH and external funding for education abroad. There are some awards that could make a significant difference in additional costs for study abroad or an international experience (Internship, Volunteer, Research.)

Pay attention to the total cost of the program

The Study Abroad Budget Worksheet (see top of page) allows students to do a cost comparison and create a realistic study abroad budget. It is important to pay close attention to what is included in the program fees (food, housing, excursions, flight, etc.) and read the small print. What may seem expensive at first could be a good deal. Conversely, what may seem reasonable at first may add up when you factor in all the mandatory fees and costs that are not included in the base price.

Research the cost of living in country

Consider the costs of daily transactions and travel (food, local transportation, hotels); they can vary greatly among countries and even between regions within the same country. You may be able to decrease your daily cost of living, depending on program location, which would make study abroad more affordable. Go online or ask your program how much it costs to buy: bottled water, coffee, sandwich, local bus ticket, soap/toothpaste, band aids, toilet paper and other daily essentials.

Study the exchange rate  

The exchange rate determines how much local money is received when exchanging dollars. It is possible to receive more or less money for your dollar depending on the host country’s currency exchange rate.

Consider a different destination

Study abroad doesn’t have to take place in an expensive, metropolitan city. Consider living in a smaller city or cheaper region and visit the big city on the weekend. Or, look at the many high-quality programs in countries where the cost of living is much lower. If Spain costs too much, for example, look into Chile, Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic.

Look into non-credit experiential programs

Some students look at alternative experiences to study abroad that can be non-credit bearing during a summer,  spring or winter break. Talk to your Education Abroad Advisor if you need transfer credit to see if this is possible.  Some of these options may include interning, volunteering or doing research abroad. These can be cost-effective options when looking for a cultural immersion experience that will enhance career development and broaden the participant’s global perspective. Read more about intern, volunteer and research opportunities abroad.

Get airfare alerts

Bookmark sites such as and Look into the Airfare Deposit Program at STA Travel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for students on financial aid. Students can lock in cheaper airfare rates for a $300 non-refundable deposit and pay the balance one week before departure.