6 Ways To Cut The Costs Of Your Study Abroad Program

“6 Ways To Cut The Costs Of Your Study Abroad Program”

by  Alexa Davis via “Forbes

When recent Cornell University graduate Evan McElwain, 21, interviewed for his current job at a major financial firm, the first topic of discussion wasn’t his expert knowledge of the markets or opinions on quantitative easing. Instead, he delved into stories about backpacking across mainland China and getting trapped in a flood en route to a music festival at the Great Wall.

“[If] every candidate a company is interviewing comes from the same school, took the same classes, got similar grades, had leadership roles in similar clubs ­‑- it really comes down to who the interviewer thinks is the most interesting,” McElwain said. “Traveling does wonders for making people more interesting.”

Study abroad programs are the stock and trade of most top tier four year colleges and for students who choose to enroll in them they can become an edge in the job search. However according to a report from the British Council, a U.K. non-profit that promotes overseas educational programs, the number of American students considering study abroad has slumped 12% from last year.

study abroad 1

Why? Study abroad program inflation. At an average cost of $31,270 per semester, these programs run about double what a semester at private colleges run. In fact, the cost of study abroad was cited as the single largest nonacademic deterrent among students. Abroad fees only get higher when you tack on living expenses like sightseeing, dining and travelling to nearby countries.

Amid rising interest rates on student loans and state spending cuts, it’s understandable why study abroad has taken the back seat to more pressing expenses. Although flying halfway across the world for a semester is definitely not a drop in the bucket, it can be an affordable investment with careful research and planning. Many US students are unfamiliar with the financial realities of foreign study, with only 23% aware of government-sponsored programs – up from 6% in 2013. In addition to these federal scholarships and grants, there are countless other ways to travel on a budget. We’ve outlined the best tips below so you don’t have to sacrifice your experience to save a buck. . . . .

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“How To… Get the Best Summer Airfares”

Have you bought your flight tickets yet? Some of these tricks might help! **DB

“How To… Get the Best Summer Airfares”

by Bill Fink via “Yahoo

How To... Get the Best Summer Airfares

The River Thames in London (Photo: Ville Miettinen/Flickr)

As kids finish with school and the summer travel season kicks off, last-minute travel planners are getting sticker shock scanning airfares to Europe. June round-trip flights from New York to London are running $1,600, with fares from Atlanta or San Francisco topping $2,000. It’s shaping up to be one of the busiest summer travel seasons in years, and many airlines are pricing accordingly.

But there are deals to be had, if you follow a few basic bargain-hunting tips—some of them logical, some a bit surprising.

Barbados

Summer vacation in Barbados? Don’t mind if we do. (Photo: Greg McMullin/Flickr)

Flexibility on Destination—and Departure Point

Airfares usually follow the basic rules of supply and demand. Europe is a super-popular summer destination, and so you usually get super-high fares.

Consider instead… Non-traditional summer vacation destinations like the Caribbean, ski towns, and the southern hemisphere (where it’s winter) can all offer compelling flight deals. And sometimes there’s an increase in the supply of airlines to a city—as is currently the case in Seattle, where Delta is expanding to make it their West Coast hub and engaging in a fare war with existing carriers, making it a rare destination deal this summer.

Surprising deals can also be found by changing your departure city. George Hobica of Airfarewatchdog.com cites Boston-Spain summer fares that are over $800 cheaper those departing from New York City. “For that, you could almost hire a limo to Boston and still save money!” he jokes, semi-seriously. So when planning those trips, think beyond JFK vs. LaGuardia or SFO vs. Oakland, and expand your search regionally. Continue reading