Paying for Off-Campus Studies and Related Travel

Carleton’s generous financial aid policy and additional scholarship funding make OCS financially accessible to Carleton students, however, there are some policies and procedures that you should be aware of as you plan for this important part of your Carleton education. This section will guide you through the determining costs, applying for funding, and planning for additional expenses associated with traveling.

1. Determining Program Cost

Students participating in Carleton programs are billed for Carleton’s comprehensive fee which covers all program expenses EXCEPT airfare and, where required, visas and books and supplies. Students are also responsible for passports, costs associated with obtaining visas, and immunizations. An additional cost estimate is provided at the time of program acceptance so you can anticipate these expenses.

Students participating in Carleton Global Engagement programs pay the published program fee which is similar to Carleton’s comprehensive fee plus airfare and other additional costs.

Students choosing a non-Carleton program pay that program’s published fee, additional expenses, and a $500 administrative fee to Carleton. Program fees and an estimate of additional expenses are found on the program’s website.

2. Figuring out Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available for multiple Carleton and Carleton Global Engagement Programs, but only for ONE non-Carleton program. Students participating in a summer Carleton program are required to take a leave of absence the following academic year and there is NO financial aid from Carleton for non-Carleton summer programs.

Students participating in Carleton programs who receive financial aid do not need to take additional steps for their Carleton aid to be applied. 

Students participating in non-Carleton programs who receive financial aid MUST submit a budget worksheet and supporting documentation to Student Financial Aid along with their application for approval of the program. Aid awards are adjusted according to program cost.

Students participating in non-Carleton programs who do not receive financial aid are not required to submit a budget worksheet, but are encouraged to complete one for planning purposes.

3. Applying for Scholarships

Scholarships are available from Carleton, from program providers, national programs, and from private organizations. Applying for scholarships requires steps beyond what is required for financial aid transfer. Here are the general steps you will need to take:

  1. Determine what you are eligible for and what you want to apply for.
  2. Note the application deadlines, requirements, and processes and give yourself plenty of time to prepare your application, including time to gather financial information, perfect your essays, and make sure everything is properly completed.
  3. Submit your application on time.
  4. If awarded a scholarship from a non-Carleton source, inform Student Financial Aid.
  5. Write a thank you letter to the sponsor.

4. Paying for Travel and Personal Expenses

In addition to program fees and other expenses covered by financial aid or scholarships, you can expect to incur some personal expenses associated with travel. These will vary significantly, depending on what your program covers, your personal spending habits, how much additional travel you do, and the cost of living in your host country. Programs usually provide an estimate and you can do some research on what things cost locally before you go. Personal expenses are not generally covered by financial aid so you should plan to save up as much as you can beforehand and budget wisely.

5. Tips for Budget-Conscious Travelers

Travel costs vary widely according to personal habits and choices. For example, there are multiple price points for almost every airline ticket. International cell phone plans with no limitations can be very convenient, but also very costly. Sandwich shops on street corners are cheaper than Michelin Star restaurants. Many museums and cultural events are free while others are quite expensive. And some banks charge exorbitant ATM withdrawal fees while others charge none. 

Of course, one must consider safety and convenience when making purchasing decisions and the cheapest option is not always the best one. But, with some advance research and an open attitude, it’s possible to have enriching, educational experiences at all points along the expense spectrum. Research, observation, and seeking recommendations from locals are tried-and-true strategies for having a great time at a reasonable cost.