By Published: Sept. 11, 2019

Colorful umbrellas cover a Paris street

Paris, France, 2019 | Photo by Jamey Spahn

Taking classes, living and traveling abroad—sounds expensive, right? It doesn’t have to be! It’s possible to have your dream adventure abroad and keep the costs affordable. Here are a few ways you can make it happen.

Affordable programs

CU Boulder Education Abroad has a huge portfolio of approved programs—nearly 400 in about 70 different countries. Plenty of these options are affordable, including our affordable programs’ list and exchange programs, which typically offer a more affordable and independent semester abroad.

Not all programs are in big, international cities like London, Paris or Sydney either, meaning cost of living on some programs can be significantly lower than Boulder. With so many programs available, there’s a program to fit every student’s financial needs.

Use financial aid

That’s right—financial aid applies to Education Abroad semester or full-year programs! Any loans, grants or scholarships you receive from the federal government, the state of Colorado or from CU will automatically apply to your Education Abroad fee the same as it would for your tuition. If you are a Pell Recipient, some programs even match Pell Grants.

Financial aid can be a huge help in reducing the costs of programs abroad, just as they are in Boulder. Explore CU Education Abroad’s Financial Aid page to learn more.

Apply for scholarships

There are many scholarship opportunities for study abroad students. The CU Education Abroad office offers the need-based Buffs Abroad Scholarship, and encourages all students going abroad on a CU program to apply. There are lots of other general eligibility scholarships, too, as well as scholarships available for certain majors, certain regions of study, underrepresented students and more.

Check out the Ed Abroad scholarships page to explore scholarships you may be eligible for.

Learn more

Want to learn about more programs in your budget? Our program search has the option to include your budget and search for programs that will work for you financially. The costs for your overall budget (estimates for everything) are on a scale of one to four dollar signs, so be sure to learn what each dollar sign means.

If you want to know more or you’re ready to get started, connect with Education Abroad! They are open for drop-in Global Advising from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in C4C S355, no appointments necessary. If you can’t make it in or have a quick question, you can also reach an advisor at, 303-492-7741 or live chat on their website.

Don’t miss the spring 2020 application deadlines through Oct. 1.