Program costs and budgeting

All study away students are registered as full-time UAF students while away and thus remain eligible for most financial aid and scholarships, as well as the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.

You must apply through the Study Away Program office to receive this benefit. If you apply to a program independently without filling out a UAF study away application by the final deadline, you will not be enrolled at UAF while away.

There are lots of great online resources that can help with your financial planning, such as this article on how to budget for study abroad.

All students are responsible for paying:

  • A one-time $50 non-refundable application fee at the time of application
  • A $500 study away fee to UAF for each semester abroad
  • The balance of their UAF account by the normal fee payment deadlines
  • For travel to the program destination, and passport/visa fees


National Student Exchange Home Pay and International Exchange students:

  • Pay to UAF each semester:
    • 15 undergraduate UAF credits or 9 graduate UAF credits at your normal rate
    • Network fee of 4% of tuition
    • $500 study away fee
  • Pay to host university or on own: all other fees/expenses, such as housing and meals
  • NSE Home Pay students also pay mandatory student fees to UAF ($885 a semester)
  • Students going abroad are also required to purchase international health insurance


National Student Exchange Host Pay and International Affiliate Program students:

  • Pay to UAF each semester: $500 study away fee
  • Pay all other tuition and fees to host university/program provider

It depends on program type, location and personal spending habits. It could cost the same, barely more or even less. But some programs do cost significantly more. The majority of programs fall within the (very wide) range of $10,000 to $20,000 a semester for all expenses.

Many students assume Home Pay will be cheaper, and much of the time it is, but not always. Host Pay students pay resident tuition at their host campus. To determine which option makes the most sense for you, compare your UAF tuition rate (minus your Nanook Pledge Scholarship, if applicable, which can only be used on Home Pay), to the resident tuition rate at the host campus.

Generally speaking, if you want to study in Europe or Japan, an exchange program will likely be a cheaper option than an affiliate program in the same area. Special scholarships are also available for students going on exchange to certain countries, like Norway.

However, affiliate programs in areas with lower costs of living may also ultimately cost the same as or less than an exchange in the more expensive areas of Europe. Studying in a nontraditional destination can also make you more competitive for scholarships. Check out programs in these countries for some affordable options:

  • Africa: Ghana, Kenya, South Africa
  • Asia: China, India, South Korea, Thailand
  • Europe: Croatia, Spain (particularly Alicante, Burgos, Granada, and Oviedo)
  • Latin America: Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay


Using your financial aid

Most types of financial aid can be used for most programs. You are only eligible to continue receiving financial aid and scholarships through UAF if you have applied through the UAF Study Away office, which ensures you are registered full-time at UAF for the semesters you are away.

What types of financial aid can you use to study away?

Funding types you can use to study away
Funding type National Student Exchange - Home Pay National Student Exchange - Host Pay International exchange programs International affiliate programs
UA Scholars        
Alaska Performance Scholarship        
UA Foundation scholarships        
Federal aid        
Pell grant        
Nanook Pledge*        
Employee/dependent tuition waiver        
Veterans' benefits
(depends on chapter)

*If enrolled in a Study Away program where you are not able to use Nanook Pledge, your Pledge will be put on hold, not canceled. All UAF Study Away programs count toward the continuous enrollment requirement.

Generally, students have also been able to utilize other funding they receive, such as tribal funding/scholarships.

If you need additional loan funding beyond your original financial aid award to cover study away expenses, you can submit a budget revision request to the Financial Aid Office.

If you are relying on UAF financial aid to cover some of your costs paid to a host institution or affiliate program provider:

Enroll in direct deposit through UAOnline to receive your aid faster. If the host/provider fee payment deadline is before the UAF financial aid release date, submit a budget forecast request to the Financial Aid Office. If you provide your budget forecast to the host institution or provider organization, they can usually allow you to defer payment of the amount you expect to receive from UAF. In some cases, you may also need this budget forecast as part of your financial documentation for your student visa application.


Study abroad scholarships

Many scholarships have application deadlines much earlier than the UAF Study Away Program application deadline, so it is important to plan ahead and apply early.

Check out these resources on how to apply for scholarships and write your application essays.

  • UAF College of Liberal Arts "Scholarship for International Education"  (Hollerbach Scholarship)
    This scholarship is up to $5,000 for a semester or year program for students with a major within the College of Liberal Arts, junior or senior standing, and a minimum 3.5 major GPA and 3.3 overall GPA. Apply by completing the UAF General Scholarship Application by Feb. 15.

  • UAF scholarship for Spanish-language study - Bianca Zuckerman Scholarship
    This scholarship offers up to $5,000 for students who wish to study in a Spanish-speaking environment. Check in with the Spanish faculty in the Foreign Languages Department for more information on this scholarship. Apply by completing the UAF General Scholarship Application by Feb. 15.
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
    This scholarship provides awards for undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study-abroad programs worldwide. You can apply up to a year ahead of time. There are two application rounds each year, from August through October and January through March. To maximize your chances, apply two semesters before your program, and, if you aren’t selected, apply again the semester before your program.

  • Boren Awards for international study
    This scholarship focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study that are critical to U.S. interests but are underrepresented among students studying abroad. For a more competitive Boren application, you must work with our office for an on-campus review and interview. The UAF deadline for this scholarship is Jan. 15, which is earlier than the deadline mentioned on the website because of the time it takes to put together a committee and review your application. Earlier applications (before winter break) are appreciated and would allow you more time to edit your scholarship application with the committee's suggested edits. You are welcome to apply after Jan. 15, but UAF will not review your application or submit a campus evaluation.

  • Fund for Education Abroad
    This organization gives up to $10,000 a year, $5,000 a semester, or a minimum of $1,000 for summer programs over four weeks in length. Priority is given to students underrepresented in study abroad programs or for programs to nontraditional destinations. The application period each year is from mid-November to mid-January for fall and mid-July to mid-September for spring.

  • Institute for International Education
    The website for the Institute for International Education contains links and information on a wide range of scholarships, including Fulbright Grants, Whitaker Awards, the National Security Education Program, and many others.

  • Diversity Abroad
    Stipends of $500 are available for those who successfully apply to become a Diversity Abroad overseas ambassador. Ambassadors are expected to blog about their experiences for the Diversity Abroad community with the aim of inspiring other members to travel.

  • Critical Language Scholarship Program
    Critical Language Scholarship Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to 10 weeks in the summer. Applications are due in November of each year for the following summer.
  • north2north Mobility Scholarships
    Norway and Finland have scholarships available to incoming north2north exchange students. Scholarships for Norway match the amount required as proof of funding to cover living expenses for the Norwegian student visa application. Most awards are for one semester only. If you apply for a north2north exchange to one of these countries by Feb. 15, the Study Away office will arrange for the scholarship application materials to be sent to you.

  • American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) fellowships and grants
    The ASF offers funds to outstanding American graduate students, scholars, professionals and artists for study and/or research in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden. Funding is available to candidates in all fields.

  • DAAD scholarships for Germany
    A scholarship database that offers support to students studying in Germany. Lists scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Heidelberg University Association scholarships
    Heidelberg Alumni U.S. (HAUS) offers scholarships for U.S. students studying at University of Heidelberg in Germany. A master's award is $5,000 for the semester, and an undergraduate award is $3,000 for the semester.
  • Freeman ASIA
    The Freeman-ASIA scholarships provide need-based funding to undergraduates to support studying abroad in East and Southeast Asia. Students can receive up to $3,000 for a summer program, up to $5,000 for a semester program or up to $7,000 for an academic-year program.

  • Bridging Scholars for Japan study
    Undergraduate students majoring in any field of study and attending any recognized exchange or independent program in Japan are eligible to apply. Awards are from $2,500 to $4,000.

  • Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship
    Provides financial assistance to undergraduates/graduate students for a semester or year-long study abroad program in Japan. The scholarship will support up to the full cost of attendance to the study-abroad program of the applicant’s choice.