Study Abroad Costs

Since cost can be a large factor for some students when studying abroad, it’s wise for students who have flexibility in destination to look at various study abroad programs. City cost of living, housing, meals, and transportation all will contribute to the overall cost of a program. Simply changing locations from a metropolis to a medium-sized city has the potential to make a significant impact on the overall cost of the program. See selecting a program for things to consider when choosing a program.

Selecting a Program

Program Costs 

All KU study abroad programs will have a program budget online that shows the estimated overall cost. The program budgets from previous terms are available online until the most current term’s costs are available and they will give you an idea of what the upcoming term might cost. Students will always have the current term’s program costs during the application phase. Individual program costs vary based on a variety of factors, such as program structure, credit hours, program length, excursions or other group activities, and location. Budgets for each KU program are available on the program page in the “Program Cost” accordion menu. Students who participate in a Student Initiated Program will create a program budget with their program coordinator.

Many students find that the cost of studying abroad is comparable, and sometimes more affordable, than attending classes on the Lawrence campus.

The “real cost” of study abroad is the total cost to study abroad from the program budget minus the KU cost of attendance-what it costs to study at KU for a semester or summer. You can read more about cost of attendance and determine your annual KU cost of attendance by viewing the estimated annual cost. Please note that some items such as housing are ranges, so be sure to use your actual costs.

Some students might see their financial aid awards adjusted during the term that they are abroad because the program budget becomes the cost of attendance for the term abroad and financial aid will be awarded based on that amount, not the KU cost of attendance.  

It’s also important to understand how any financial aid and scholarships will be applied to your study abroad program. Read more about using financial aid for study abroad programs.  


Summer Program Cost for Language, Literature, and Culture in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Budget Example
Program Cost ItemKU Student
KU Tuition$2,715.00
KU Required Fee *$560.00
KU Program Fee *$5,535.00
Billable through KU Enroll & Pay subtotal:$8,810.00
Passport Photos$15.00
Additional Meals$660.00
Books and Supplies$75.00
Ground Transportation (airport transfer)$75.00
Basic mobile phone$150.00
Travel Insurance$300.00
COVID testing$250.00


Program Budgets

Above is an example of a program budget.

The KU tuition, KU required fee, and KU program fee are billed through KU’s Enroll & Pay system.

The KU tuition is the Kansas Resident Tuition rate. Whenever students are paying KU tuition or exchange tuition, they will be billed at the in-state tuition rate. Be sure to check the notes at the bottom of the budget if the credit hour of the program is variable or if you are a graduate student to see an estimate of your cost. Depending on the type of program and enrollment, tuition could be billed as “KU tuition”, “On-site tuition & fees”, or “Exchange tuition & fees”.

KU Required fees include the Study Abroad administrative fee, evacuation and repatriation insurance.

The KU program fee will vary by program, but will include things such as accommodations, meals, cultural activities, transportation, and administrative fees. Read the notes on the program budget to see the inclusions.

Estimated Additional Student Expenses

Students will pay the estimated additional student expenses on their own. The cost will differ by student depending on personal spending habits and variable costs, such as personal expenses and airline tickets. Students who already have an item in this section (e.g. a passport, diving certification, etc.) will be able to deduct that amount from their personal overall cost.

For those students who will use financial aid to pay for their study abroad program, the program budget will be sent to Financial Aid & Scholarships and will be the cost of attendance for the term the student studies abroad and will determine financial aid eligibility.


Upon acceptance into a study abroad program, students will have some time to officially commit to the program by signing a financial contract. The financial contract will outline the program costs and the withdrawal fees, so students need to read it carefully.

Once the study abroad program fee and tuition are posted online bills are available in Enroll & Pay and the payment is due approximately three to four weeks later. Payments for Fall programs are due in mid-September, Spring programs (including Winter and Spring Breaks) are due in mid-February, and Summer programs are due in mid-June.

Students who prefer to make payments can enroll in a payment plan administered by Nelnet