Once you've identified the program that suits your academic and personal goals, you should begin planning and budgeting for how you will pay for the program.
If you participate in a Westminster exchange program with one of
Westminster's partner schools, you will pay Westminster tuition. If you
participate in an ISEP-Exchange program, you will pay Westminster
tuition, room, and board. Most Westminster institutional aid can be
used on exchange programs.
As a participant on a study abroad program administered by a third-party (including ISEP-Direct), you will not be charged Westminster tuition. Instead, you will be charged a program fee based on the actual costs of the program. Some programs may cost more or less than a semester at Westminster College.
Factors that influence the total cost of a study abroad program include:
- Cost of living in the host country
- Exchange rates
- Tuition at the host university
- Transportation costs
- Excursions and other services provided by the host institution
In most cases, it is not possible to work while you are abroad because most countries have laws restricting work by foreign nationals. You can check with the host country's embassy or check with a study abroad advisor to find out if work might be possible.
There are three main resources for funding your study abroad program.
- Most students will use personal and family resources to help pay for study abroad. It is rare for students to find funding to cover the entire cost of a study abroad program.
Federal financial aid can be used for approved study abroad programs and Westminster scholarships can be used for ISEP and institutional exchange programs in addition to federal aid.
- Obtain the Westminster Study Abroad Application from the study abroad office and acquire all approval signatures.
- Decide which types of aid you are interested in applying for and fill out the appropriate applications (FAFSA, Parent PLUS Loan, alternative loans).
- Bring in contact information (name and email address) for the person at your study abroad program who will be responsible for signing the Financial Aid Contractual/Consortium Agreement. Westminster will send a Financial Aid Agreement to your study abroad provider for signatures and request documentation of program costs.
- Sign and return the student section of Westminster’s Financial Aid Contractual/Consortium Agreement.
- The financial aid office will send you an award notice detailing the types of financial aid you will qualify to receive while studying abroad. Sign and return the notice to the financial aid office. Be aware that Westminster can only certify financial aid funding up to your cost of attendance during the academic year you are studying abroad.
- Submit a signed and dated written statement giving Westminster permission to release your funding to your study abroad provider, including your student ID or SSN. A similar signed and dated written statement that includes your student ID or SSN should be submitted by your parent if they have
applied for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan for your tuition expenses. See the examples below.
- Student example: I, (student's name), give Westminster permission to disburse my financial aid for the Spring 2020 semester to (your study abroad provider) for the purpose of studying abroad.
- Parent example: I, (parent's name), give Westminster permission to disburse my Direct Parent PLUS Loan for the Spring 2020 semester to (student's study abroad provider) for the purpose of (student's name) (student ID or SSN) studying abroad.
- At the beginning of the semester, have your professors certify that you have started and attended at least one class session by filling out the verification of enrollment form. Then, return the form to Westminster's financial aid office. Your financial aid will be scheduled to disburse to the study abroad program a week after you begin attending classes abroad, provided the financial aid office receives the verification of enrollment form (federal aid funding will not be disbursed until verification of enrollment is received).
- At the end of the semester, have your professors certify your final academic activity in the course by filling out the certification of course completion form at the end of the semester. This form will be provided to you by the financial aid office and must be received within 20 days of the end of our semester or financial aid funds will be returned.
- After completion of your study abroad program, the financial aid office will check your final transcripts for grade completion. Please make sure that your program sends transcripts in a timely manner. Not registering for full-time enrollment and receiving passing grades while studying abroad may result in your financial aid being returned and the loss of aid for future semesters.
- Students can apply for national and/or private study abroad scholarships that are both merit and need-based.