Is finding a way to pay for study abroad holding you back from experiencing your own international adventure? Never fear -- you have more options than you realize!

For many students, financing a study abroad experience can feel overwhelming. But there are so many available options to help you fund your journey, and the experience you’ll gain will be invaluable. Studying abroad is an investment in your future, and we believe every student should have the opportunity. The CEA Student Accounts Team is here to help! Check out your financial options below, and then contact us and we’ll walk through them together.

Study Abroad Scholarships

You might be surprised by the number and variety of scholarships available for study abroad students. It’s well worth your time to apply because, unlike student loans, scholarships don’t have to be paid back! The range of scholarship categories is broad so there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for one or more opportunities:

  • CEA scholarships are awarded in Merit-based, Need-based and Diversity categories and range from $400 to $3,000.
  • You may also be eligible for scholarships through your parents’ employers, or from other academic and international organizations!

529 College Savings Plan

If your parents or grandparents set up a 529 Savings Plan for you, you may be able to use it to cover educational expenses related to study abroad. Because 529 Plans are state-sponsored college savings accounts, the rules determining plan use and fund withdrawal capabilities vary; be sure to consult with your 529 plan provider to get the low-down on how your specific plan works.

Using Financial Aid for Studying Abroad

There are many sources of financial aid available for study abroad:

  • Federal Student Aid (FSA) – Your home institution’s financial aid office can tell you whether CEA and study abroad programs are approved for the various forms of federal aid.
  • State Aid – The Department of Education in your state is a good place to start checking for eligibility for their many forms of financial aid.
  • Home Institution Aid – Many colleges and universities offer financial assistance from their own funds. Reach out to your school's financial aid office for details.
  • Private Loans – There are several private loan resources available to help you bridge the gap between the cost of your CEA program and the amount of funding obtained from other sources. 


Payment Plans

CEA’s Payment Plans let you make smaller, flexible, interest-free payments in installments to meet your needs, schedule, and budget. You can use a CEA payment plan to fund the entire amount, or in combination with financial aid and/or student loans.

Cold, Hard Cash

If you really want to simplify things, take the old-fashioned route and pay cash! You may not have it at-the-ready but with a little creativity and advanced planning you can fund your own study abroad experience. Have a garage or eBay sale, ask relatives for weekend work or get a part-time job. Set a goal and make it happen!

Remember: You Are Not Alone!

The number of options can be overwhelming, but any time and money you invest toward your study abroad experience will pay off personally and professionally for the rest of your life. And, remember, you are not alone! We're here to help you find ways to pay for study abroad.

Start planning early: Contact a member of your CEA Student Accounts Team today to talk through any of these options. We are here to help!

Angela Cota is the Student Accounts Manager at CEA Study Abroad, which helps students spend a semester, a summer, or an academic year studying abroad in 12 countries. Where will your learning take you?