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Finances and Scholarships

Financing Your Education Abroad

Participating in an SMU Abroad program does not have to be expensive! The key is to start early and plan ahead. Read through the 10 tips below in which you can make your time abroad affordable.

Ten Tips to Keep It Affordable


  2. Meet with your Financial Aid Counselor
    Make an appointment with your SMU Financial Aid Counselor to discuss if your financial aid package is transferable to program abroad. If you are a President's, Hunt or Global Learning Scholar, you will be able to use your award for an SMU Abroad program. Other financial aid may also be applicable.

  3. Explore Scholarships for International Study
    SMU has established several scholarship programs to support SMU students on SMU Abroad semester or academic year programs. Awards vary in number and amount. Students must be enrolled as full-time, undergraduate SMU students. See below for SMU ABROAD SEMESTER/ACADEMIC YEAR SCHOLARSHIPS.

    SMU-in-Copenhagen and SMU-in-Japan offer scholarships to qualified students who are interested in semester or academic year study. See below for "SMU-IN" PROGRAM-SPECIFIC SCHOLARSHIPS.

    There are nationally competitive awards that fund undergraduate study abroad opportunities. The SMU Fellowship and Awards Office in Perkins Administration Building is a good resource. See below for a list of NATIONALLY COMPETITIVE SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS.

    Some of the provider programs also offer scholarships for students studying on their programs. See below for SMU-AFFILIATED PROVIDER SCHOLARSHIPS.

    For more information about the basic facts of financial aid for study abroad, go to: 

  4. Consider Program Duration
    Total program fees for summer and winter programs are less expensive then semester programs. However, summer and winter programs are optional and not included in all financial aid packages.

    Semester and academic year programs provide more value per dollar spent since you earn twice to three times more credit for a semester program as a summer or winter program. The cost of some programs is the same as studying on the Dallas campus. Financial aid is applicable to SMU semester/academic year programs.

  5. Consider Program Location
    Program costs can vary widely by program location. For example, many large cities in Europe have high costs of living, while cities of comparable size in Latin America, Southeast Asia or Africa usually have much lower costs of living. If you consider a program in a non-traditional location-- you will usually save money! You may find that a program in a small town, regardless of the country, provides better value than a program in a large city.

  6. Compare Exchange Rates
    Compare the exchange rate of the dollar to other national currencies. You may find that your dollar stretches more in some countries than in others.

  7. Look for Student Discounts
    Students abroad often are eligible for discounted fares, entrances, goods and services. Sometimes this only requires a student ID card. Ask returned students what is out there. Did you know that many museums have one day or night per week when students get in free? See Useful Links for student travel information.

  8. Save Now; Spend Later
    How do you spend your money? Are there ways you could save? Are there things that you can do without?  Do you currently have a job? If not, would you consider getting one? Many students can save plenty just by working part-time and budgeting carefully.


  9. Budget your Funds Carefully
    After you have been on-site for a few days or weeks, look at your budget. If you are on limited funds, make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it!

  10. Get to Know your Neighborhood
    It is exciting to go abroad, meet new people, learn new ways. Travel can cost plenty. If you are trying to save money, consider limiting your travel to the vicinity in which you are studying rather than traveling grand distances or to lots of other countries.

    Many students reach the end of their program and ralize that, while they have traveled extensively, they have not explored the local area. You can save money by exploring your program location.

  11. Live Like a Native
    Observe how people in your host country or city live, where they eat, where they shop, etc. If you live like a local rather than as a tourist, you are likely to save money.


SMU Abroad Semester/Academic Year Scholarships

Below are three scholarships managed by SMU Abroad. The scholarships are intended for full-time degree-seeking SMU undergraduates accepted into SMU study abroad semester or academic year programs. Awards are based on financial need and scholarship excellence.

Applications are submitted online. Click on the Search Programs & Apply link and then Scholarship Programs (on the second row of links, to the right of Outgoing Programs).

Scholarships deadlines are in April  for Fall programs and in November for Spring programs. Please see the scholarship brochure for deadlines.

  • Education Abroad Scholarships
    Education Abroad Scholarships carry awards up to $2000 for semester programs. Scholarships vary annually in number and amount.

  • Marian Tower Study Abroad Scholarships
    The Marion Tower Study Abroad Scholarships were established by the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. Awards up to $2,000 are available. Selection of recipients is made jointly by the Tower Center and SMU Abroad.
  • Sun and Star Scholarships (SMU-in-Japan students only)
    The Sun and Star Japanese Studies Endowment Fund, offered through the Tower Center, offers the Walter F. Mondale Ambassador's Fellowship and the H. Neill McFarland Japanese-American Friendship Fellowship to SMU students studying in Japan. Awards up to $3,000 are available.

"SMU-in" Summer/Winter Program Scholarships

Applicants for the following awards must be enrolled at SMU as full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students and be accepted into a short-term faculty-led "SMU-in" program. For more information, Global Learning Scholars should contact their Financial Aid Counselor and others contact the program director.

  • Global Learning Scholars
  • Richter Fellowships (Honors students only)
  • Wiley and Mamontov Foundation Scholarships (SMU-in-Moscow students only)

SMU faculty program directors may have small awards for students on their programs.  Contact the director of your program for more information.  

"SMU-in" Program-Specific Scholarships

If you are an SMU-in-Copenhagen or SMU-in-Japan student, apply directly through the scholarship sponsor.

SMU-IN-COPENHAGEN: Danish Institute for Study Abroad Scholarships
Up to four DIS scholarships with awards up to $2,000 are available for students accepted into the SMU-in-Copenhagen program. The awards are the DIS Scholarship, the DIS Work Scholarship; the Knud Helm-Erichsen Scholarship and the Mary Dau Scholarship.

Application details are available at or from the DIS North American Office, phone 1-800-247-3477 or

SMU-IN-JAPAN: Association of Teachers of Japanese Bridging Scholarships
The Bridging Scholarships Project assists with travel and living expenses for U.S. students participating in study abroad programs in Japan. Undergraduate students majoring in any field are eligible to apply for these scholarships.

Application details are available at or

SMU-IN-JAPAN: Japan Students Services Organization Scholarships for Exchange Programs
JASSO Scholarships provide a monthly stipend, round-trip airfare and a "settling-in" allowance to students with demonstrated financial need who want to study in Japan for six months up to one year. Scholarships vary annually in number and amount.

Application details are available at

Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Awards

Students applying for nationally competitive scholarships submit their applications directly to the scholarship program. Deadlines for these scholarships can be found in the program materials. For more information, contact the SMU Fellowship and Awards Office through Kathleen Hugley Cook:

Scholarship Description and Website Information
American Jewish League for Israel Scholarship Open to U.S. students - to study in Israel and demonstrating financial need.
American Women's Club (AWC) Scholarship Foundation Open to U.S. women students - to study in Sweden.
ASTA Scholarship Foundation Open to U.S. students - to participate in a bachelors, masters, doctoral, community college, travel school program, and to travel professionals seeking to further their education.
Association of International Education, Japan Association of International Education, Japan (AIEJ) Scholarship Open to U.S. students - to study in Japan for up to one year.
Bridging Scholarship (Japan study) Open to U.S. students - to participate in study abroad programs in Japan.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program Open to all with focus on cultural exchange. It is designed to give participants understanding for everyday life, primarily for young adults in business, technical, vocational, and agricultural fields.
DAAD Scholarship Programs Open to U.S. students - to study in Germany.
IIE - Boren Scholarships Open to U.S. students - to study in world regions critical to the US including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East.
IIE - US Student Fulbright Open to graduating seniors -The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, sponsored by the US Department of State, operates in more than 140 countries worldwide and grants are available in all fields of study.
IIE - Gilman Scholarship Open to U.S. students - to supplement funding for students who are receiving the Pell Grant at a 2-4 year University.
IIE - Miscellaneous Awards
Japan Foundation Open to U.S. students - to fund research and study to promote intercultural understanding.
Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship Open to graduating Fine and Applied Arts seniors - to fund further study in Architecture, Art or Music with preference given to applicants under 25.
Malmberg Scholarship Program Open to U.S. students - to study in Sweden up to one year.
National Italian American Foundation Scholarship Open to U.S. students - to study Italian and/or Italian culture.
Nissho Iwai Foundation Scholarship Program Open to non-Japanese students registered in an undergraduate or postgraduate course at a Japanese university. Students specializing in the humanities and social sciences have priority.
For more information, contact Nissho Iwai Foundation, 2-4-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo-107; Tel: 03-3588-2115; Fax: 03-3588-4832
Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant Open to U.S. students with minimum GPA 3.5 - to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Fifty $1,000 grants are awarded each year.
Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship Open to U.S. students - to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries.
For information on types of scholarships,
The Sons of Norway Foundation Scholarship Various scholarships in Norwegian study.

SMU-Affiliated Provider Scholarships

All students participating on a provider program are encouraged to apply for additional aid. Providers list available scholarships on their websites. SMU is affiliated with the providers on the list below. Follow the provider guidelines for scholarship applications and submit all forms directly to the provider. Remember to respect the published deadline date.

Scholarship Description and Website Information
CET Scholarships Open to students accepted on CET Academic Programs.
CIEE John E. Bowman Travel Grant Open to students - to study in CIEE programs based in non-traditional CIEE locations.
CIEE Scholarships Open to students - to study in CIEE programs.
CIEE Jennifer Ritzmann Scholarship for Studies in Tropical Biology Open to students - to study in CIEE Monteverde, Costa Rica program, $1,000 towards program fees.
CIEE Robert B. Bailey Scholarship Open to minority students - to study in CIEE programs.
IES Scholarships Open to students from universities that are members of the IES consortium - to study in IES programs.
IFSA-Butler University Open to students applying for IFSA-Butler programs - general scholarship awards are $500 for summer programs, $1,500 for semester programs and $2,500 for full year programs.
SFS Scholarships Open to students on SFS programs who have demonstrated financial need.

Last modified 12/15/2014