Financial Planning

SCU Students who are nominated to participate in SCU Study Abroad may apply their financial aid to program costs. In addition, students are encouraged to apply for additional need and merit-based funding from our study abroad partners and outside scholarship organizations. 

We recommend that students begin evaluating costs and planning as soon as they start to explore programs in our Programs Database.  Fees vary by program and are set by the Board of Trustees each year. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid and scholarships are available for SCU-operated programs, exchanges, and affiliated quarter and semester programs. Study abroad students need to work directly with Financial Aid on available financial aid options including grants, scholarships, loans, etc. Once the aid package has been accepted by the student, that financial aid will be automatically used for the study abroad fees.

Study abroad students may also apply for other aid available outside of the University's official financial aid offerings.  


The best way to fund Study Abroad is via scholarships.  Several of SCU's approved program partners offer scholarships to students participating on their programs.  Check out our tips for how to write a stellar Scholarship Essay written with help of the Director of the HUB Writing Center!

Partner Scholarships

Arcadia University Carleton-Antioch University CET CIEE
Loyola Chicago OTS SFS SIT
Syracuse University      

Scholarship Databases IIE SEARCH Tool for Scholarships

National Study Abroad Scholarships

Benjamin A. Gilman International David L. Boren Freeman Asia  
Fund for Education Abroad      

Santa Clara Fund Scholarships are need-based scholarships provided by the University that have a service based component.  There is no separate Santa Clara Fund Scholarship application.  You simply select "Yes" in our regular Study Abroad Application that they want to be considered. If selected, you are asked to give back in several different ways.

Before Your Program During Your Program Back at SCU
Write (50) letters which go to do overall fundraising for Santa Clara University Write a Global Engagement Report for your program which will be shared with future prospective Santa Clara students Participation in the Bronco Abroad Ambassador Program for two quarters

Funding Opportunities

The Global Engagement Fund makes possible the Study Abroad Scholarship prioritizing recipients who will study abroad in Freiburg, Germany, other locations in Germany or German-speaking countries.  Scholarships are awarded for amounts between $400 and $6,000.  There is no separate application for this scholarship, all nominated SCU students who study in Germany or German speaking countries will be considered.  You can learn more on the Giving page.   


Accepting unused loans that you would normally decline are an additional way to fund your Study Abroad experience.

Tapping Your Network


Crowdfunding is a way to get family members and friends to help provide small contributions that can quickly add up to help fund your Study Abroad experience.  All sites charge a percentage fee of your fundraising.

GoFundMe Indiegogo Kickstarter

Letter Writing

Letter writing or email writing campaigns are similar to crowdfunding, but can make a great impact if you take the time to write individualized letters or emails to those in your network who can help you financially.  The letter should include the following:

  • The purpose of why you are asking for money
  • How Study Abroad will help you grow as an individual
  • Benefits of your particular program for your goals
  • What you will do in return for them
  • Thank you!

To all those who donate money towards your trip, be sure to also write a personalized thank you note!

Financing Study Abroad

The best way to finance Study Abroad is to plan early and plan ahead.  This is most effectively done through cutting costs, saving, and budgeting.

Cutting Costs

When comparing programs it is important to understand the total cost of each program.  Questions to ask when evaluating program cost:

  • What is the difference between the cost of a program and your regular cost at SCU?  A program may initially look more expensive, but may allow you to take up to 6 classes, whereas at SCU, most students only take 4 classes.  Additionally, semester programs are 5 - 6 weeks longer than a quarter at SCU.
  • How many classes could you take on one program versus another program?  Could this lead to an early graduation?
  • How does a flight for one program location compare fiscally to a flight to another location?  
  • What does a typical meal cost in one program location compared to another program location?
  • Which program is ultimately going to be the better long term investment?  Which program will benefit me when trying to achieve my academic and professional goals?

Major ways to cut costs:

  • Selecting a program with a lower cost or a program with more aid available
  • Utilizing friend & family frequent flyer miles for plane tickets


Money that is saved now can be later utilized on Study Abroad.  Some ways to save money before Study Abroad:

  • Give up a vice and put $___ into savings each week, instead of buying or spending ______ weekly
  • Get an extra job or work over winter/summer breaks


Setting a budget for Study Abroad will help you plan for what costs you need to cover.  It is important to continue to track this budget while abroad to keep spending under control.  Be sure to utilize our interactive budget tool created by a Bronco Abroad Ambassador

Marie McNamaraimage

Dviersity Perspective

Marie McNamara

“Planning is key.  There are a lot of opportunities to save money and there are many scholarships available.”

Olivia Chamblissimage

Diversity Perspective

Olivia Chambliss

“It is of the utmost importance that students carefully budget for food, entertainment, and transportation.  A realistic, honest budget is the best way to prevent future monetary emergencies."