Having the opportunity to travel and study abroad is one of the most worthwhile experiences a person can have in life. It can make futures and shape dreams.
But it can also be seriously expensive!
Don't be like Mr. Houli and pay too much for study abroad
Understanding the costs of study abroad
The cost of study abroad programs can vary wildly, depending on so many different factors. For instance, just comparing summer programs in Morocco, you can find programs for as much as $12,000 to as little as $500 per month. Now that’s a big difference! And understanding what goes into those costs can be really daunting.
To understand these costs, we need to look at the components of the program.
Possible components are: • Language courses • Content courses • Volunteer Placement • Experiential Learning • Housing • Meals • Trips • Materials • Registration fees • On-site support • Academic accreditation
The more of these boxes you tick, the more expensive the program can get. And you can save yourself a lot of money, if you choose the program that correctly suits your needs. For instance, we know that for more than 80% of North American University Students who study in the Middle East and North Africa, the Arabic language component is the most important part of their study abroad experience. If language courses are the most important to you, then you’ll definitely want to compare how many contact hours different programs are prepared to offer.
If cost is really an issue for you, then it’s important to consider whether you really want to choose a “Study Abroad Program” or book independent language courses at a reputable institution who specializes in Study Abroad. Reputable private study abroad providers offer most, if not all, of the services listed above (at Qalam wa Lawh Center we certainly do) at a cost significantly less expensive than most International Study Abroad providers like AMIDEAST, SIT, CIEE, IES etc… In many cases, if you organize your study on your own and deal directly with the host institution, you will get more language course hours, more trips, more flexibility, and more control over your learning goals.
For many students, however, cost is not the only issue. Getting academic credit is very important to students who wish to study abroad. In those cases, going with a program organized by your home institution or one of its partners may be the only way.
However, there are ways to get credit for independent study abroad. In upcoming blog posts, I will explain the best way to get credit for your independent study abroad language courses.
The opportunity to study abroad is something that should be available to everyone who has the desire to get outside their own box and see the world. There are ways to cut costs, find scholarships, get financial aid and get credit for independent study! It does take a little extra effort, but it is well worth the pay off.
Safe travels . . . and I hope to see you one day in Morocco.