Finances and Scholarships

How will you fund your study abroad?

Study abroad has a reputation for being expensive, but it does not have to be. For most study abroad programs, students may use their financial aid and scholarships. There are additional Miami study abroad scholarships available and numerous national scholarships to support experiences abroad. Deadlines for some national scholarships can be 6-12 months prior to the departure date of your program. Be sure to plan ahead!

Make Cost-Effective Choices

Consider the strategies below if you are looking to study abroad on a budget. Many high-quality programs can cost the same as, and sometimes even less than, a semester at Miami.

Get off the beaten path

Look for programs in countries with a lower cost of living. Consider locations like Costa Rica, Peru, Thailand, or Ghana. Some scholarships prioritize students who choose to study abroad in non-traditional locations.

Choose a semester

It may seem counter-intuitive, but a semester program is often more cost-effective than a short-term programs. For example, you are probably already budgeting for one or more semesters on campus, but not necessarily for the winter and summer terms. You can also typically use more of your Miami scholarships and aid on semester programs. Lastly, more study abroad scholarships exist for semester programs than for their winter and summer counterparts.

Look for discounts

Many program providers offer automatic discounts to students just for attending a public university. Others have a match policy, by which they will automatically match your Pell or Gilman scholarships. Be on the lookout for these easy ways to reduce the program cost.

Maximize the credits you earn

Consider petitioning Miami to have your courses to count toward Liberal Education requirements. Many students will opt for a self-designed thematic sequence abroad. Think about how many requirements you can complete abroad to move you closer to graduation. Teach English abroad. While most study abroad programs prohibit you from working due to visa restrictions, some offer work-study positions that include opportunities for teaching English.

Be flexible

We cannot guarantee that every program will be affordable. Plan ahead and do your research to find the program that meets your needs.

Federal Financial Aid and Scholarships

Students must file a FAFSA to be eligible for federal financial aid and scholarships. Financial aid can typically be used for study abroad during the fall and spring semesters. Should a student choose to study abroad in the summer or winter terms, aid may or may not be available depending on the amounts used during fall and spring. If you have questions about your financial aid, contact the OneStop for Student Success Services.

Miami-Administered Scholarships and Aid

  • Global Initiatives Scholarships—Complete the Scholarship Questionnaire in your study abroad program application to be considered for Global Initiatives Scholarships. The majority of scholarships are awarded based on financial need (FAFSA). Only Faculty-Led, MUDEC, Exchange, and Global Preferred Programs are eligible for scholarship support. Scholarship reviews will take place according to the following schedule:
Term Review Notification
Fall/AY April 1 April 15
Winter July 1 July 15
Spring September 15 October 1
Summer December December 15

Miami University Waivers

If you are currently the recipient of a waiver, you can be use your waiver toward study abroad programs that charge Miami tuition. General fees and Program fees still apply and are the responsibility of the student. Such waivers include, but may not be limited to:

Global Preferred Programs

Students participating in Semester/Year-Long Global Preferred Transfer Credit programs can use their Miami scholarships towards the tuition charged by the program. Miami scholarships cannot be used for room, board, travel, books, or miscellaneous fees. The use of Miami scholarships on Global Preferred programs is limited to one semester unless the specific study abroad program only has a year-long option. Students must be enrolled full-time. Note: Miami scholarships cannot be applied to Approved programs, although federal financial aid can be used.

National Scholarships

National Scholarships are programs designed to increase participation in study abroad.  Many are funded by private organizations, the U.S. Department of State or Foreign Governments. The selection process is competitive, so we recommend meeting with our Scholarships Advisor, Karla Guinigundo, before applying.

Other External Resources

There are many funding sources available, but it often takes time to search for them. Browse through these website for additional resources.


Consider your social networks. Many people are excited to support students in their academic and professional development endeavors.  Think about how can use your social media and community networks to raise funds for your study abroad. When writing your profile, be sure to articulate what academic and professional benefits study abroad will bring you. Be sure to be convincing in why people should support you. The results may surprise you.