Cheapest Study Abroad Programs

Need to find an alternative study abroad program that costs less? These companies and school programs are inexpensive and offer an array of destinations.

The mere idea of studying abroad may have you freaking out about finances. Fox Business reports that a recent finding by the Institute of International Education has the cost for a single semester abroad priced at $17,785. However, some programs are actually pretty affordable. In fact, you may even save money by opting out of a semester’s worth of tuition at your home college. If you’ve got the travel bug but are on a small budget, consider one of the surprisingly cheap (but perfectly exotic!) options below.

Studying abroad doesn’t have to make you worry about your wallet.

Center for Study Abroad

CSA’s mission is to deliver high quality programs at low costs, offering affordable options from Singapore to Spain to South Korea. Don’t believe us that it’s actually cheap? Get this: a whole semester in Chile costs $3,795 for 13 to 15 class credits, plus an extra $700 per month for a room in a local family’s home where three meals are provided every day. This all adds up to less than $6,000 in total.

Cheap Study Abroad

Cheap Study Abroad prides themselves on empowering students to study in Asia for less than it would cost them to spend a semester at their school in the U.S. They offer programs in countries like Bali, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, and as their name suggests, they truly do operate on the cheap – a whole semester in Bali costs a mere $3,100, not including room and board (but housing options are cheap, ranging from $130 to $330 per month).

Sol Education

Study Abroad 101 recently named Mexico the cheapest destination for students, mostly because of the low cost of living. Sol Education’s Spanish language program in Oaxaca, Mexico, only costs $7,450 for the whole semester, including everything except for airfare, laundry, and day-to-day transportation.

Eastern Michigan University

If you’re looking to see multiple countries on the cheap, consider Eastern Michigan University’s Around the World summer program, available to both EMU and non-EMU students. This could be your ticket to travel the globe (think France, Turkey, Cambodia, China…) for only $11,995 plus in-state tuition ($3,600). The final “bang for your buck” sell? You’ll walk away with 12 credits, which is almost a whole semester’s worth.

University Studies Abroad Consortium

USAC has locations in 26 countries, but their program in Santiago, Chile, is particularly impressive financially: It costs a mere $5,280 for the entire semester, and that includes tuition and fees, housing placement, student health insurance and immigration visa assistance. The program focuses on cultural immersion through volunteer work, internships, seminars, and activities with locals. Sign us up!


AMIDEAST, a non-profit organization that aims to educate people about the Middle East and North Africa, offers a program in Morocco that focuses on both regional and language studies. The destination may be exotic, but the price isn’t: It only costs $4,650 per session including room and board.

CET Academic Programs

Washington D.C.-based CET offers affordable study abroad options in countries like Italy, Japan and the Czech Republic. Their eight-week summer program in Vietnam includes housing with local roommates and only costs $7,790, but it isn’t for the weak at heart; students do community service (often manual labor) in the rural Vietnamese countryside.

See? Studying abroad doesn’t have to make you worry about your wallet. (Just make sure to keep a firm grip on it in those foreign countries!)

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