Costs & Tier Fees

At GW, a study abroad semester is comparably priced to an on-campus semester, including full-time tuition and a study abroad program fee, known as a tier fee, which replaces students' typical Room & Board or GWorld charges. Participants are billed GW charges for their study abroad program on their GW eBill, which is typically generated around the end of each semester. GW charges will be different from the fees indicated in program literature or program web sites. GW students will not be charged those program fees. For more information, review the Home School Tuition Policy.

The Cost of Studying Abroad

The overall cost of studying abroad through GW includes a student’s GW semester eBill (billable expenses) and personal costs (non-billable expenses). Students should prepare for each when planning to study abroad.

Study abroad participants are registered with a 15-credit placeholder for their semester abroad, which generates their semester bill. Tuition relates to the guarantee of 12-18 GW credits for the semester. It also assures the continued use of all scholarships and financial aid as well as GW services that can be accessed virtually, such as online library, internet/VPN, staff and faculty advising, etc. Enrolling in or receiving less than 12 credits abroad will therefore hinder this, and could result in loss of financial aid or scholarships due to not meeting eligibility requirements of full-time student status. International students should be aware that this may adversely impact their U.S. visa status. Taking more than 18 credits abroad will also hinder this and could result in additional fees.


Tuition does not include additional typical semester expenses such as Room & Board, GWorld charges, or GW's domestic Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Students are not responsible for these charges while abroad, instead this is replaced with a Study Abroad Tier Fee for a student’s specific program. 

Tuition is a billable expense that will appear on a student’s GW eBill.

A study abroad tier fee replaces normal Room & Board charges, or other additional academic fees. This fee is charged in addition to a student’s tuition and varies depending on a student’s chosen study abroad program. Tier fees are determined based on what amenities the program provides in terms of housing, meals, excursions, transportation, cultural activities, etc., as well as the cost of living in the host country and the overall cost of the program to GW. There is no comprehensive list of what each tier of program provides since there is so much variation from program to program. To understand what’s included in a student’s program, students are encouraged to check with their program provider.

The majority of programs include housing costs with the exception of programs in Tiers 1 and 2 (as well as select programs in Tier 3). Students within programs in these tiers are responsible for securing and paying for housing on their own, directly with their program provider or host university.

Program amenities that are considered optional are also not included within the tier fee. Students are responsible for costs associated with optional activities, premium services and features, as well as security or damage deposits. This could include upgraded housing options, optional excursions, among other possibilities. 

Tier fees are billable expenses that will appear on a student’s GW eBill.  Below are the current tier fee values. 

Study Abroad Tier Fees

Tier 1 Programs GW Fixed Rate Tuition + $850 program fee
Tier 2 Programs GW Fixed Rate Tuition + $1,850 program fee
Tier 3 Programs GW Fixed Rate Tuition + $5,735 program fee
Tier 4 Programs GW Fixed Rate Tuition + $6,260 program fee
Tier 5 Programs GW Fixed Rate Tuition + $6,785 program fee
Tier 6 Programs GW Fixed Rate Tuition + $7,310 program fee
Tier 7 Programs GW Fixed Rate Tuition + $8,150 program fee
Withdrawal Fee $575 (view our withdrawal policy for more details)

*Fees are subject to change. Last updated for the 2019-2020 Academic Year.

Personal, or non-billable expenses include costs associated with, but not limited to, the following items:

  • Program Deposit* (if applicable)
  • Airfare 
  • Required medical consultation or vaccinations
  • Visa documentation 
  • Passport, or passport renewal 
  • Optional program activities
  • Upgraded or premium program services/features
  • Meals (if applicable) 
  • Housing (if applicable) 
  • Personal travel and leisure 
  • Transportation 
  • Books & Supplies (if applicable) 
  • Personal spending 

Students and families should consider these costs when planning for study abroad. For budgeting assistance, review our Budgeting page. 

*In order to confirm participation in a program and secure a place, many students will need to submit a confirmation or commitment deposit to their program provider. Students are responsible for paying this deposit directly to their provider at the instructed time. However, once students are committed and registered for study abroad with GW, and GW receives the student’s semester invoice from the provider, program deposits will be credited back to the student on a student’s GW eBill/Student Account. Students will only be reimbursed for the deposit of the program they attend. Students are encouraged to delay submitting deposits until they are fully committed to one program. 

Paying for Study Abroad

The majority of the cost associated with studying abroad will be billable expenses on a student’s GW eBill. There are many ways to help finance study abroad to assist with these costs. OSA advisors are available to help students pursue these financing opportunities. 

Financial aid, including most GW awards, federal grants, merit scholarships, and loans, can be utilized during study abroad. The major exception to this rule is aid received through Federal Work Study.

If you receive other types of funding, including external scholarships or awards that require any on-campus activity, we urge you to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information regarding how these funds may apply to your study abroad costs.

For students receiving Veterans Affairs Benefits, please refer to the VA policies on Study Abroad.

If you are an international student who receives aid from a foreign entity, contact the International Services Office to determine how your aid status may be affected.

Students are encouraged to pursue scholarships and additional aid specifically designated for study abroad participants. Students can meet with their study abroad advisor to check their eligibility for GW and other scholarships available for study abroad. 

Study abroad scholarships, both from GW and externally, will be applied to student’s eBill* as a credit upon our office’s receipt of the scholarship award. 

*If funds are applied after you have already paid your bill in full, you can receive the funds as a refund or have them credited to the subsequent semester. Some external scholarships such as the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship through the U.S. State Department will be awarded to recipients in the form of a direct check and will not be applied to a student's account. 

The Monthly Payment Plan offered through the Student Accounts Office can be used to pay for study abroad, just as it pays for a semester on-campus.  You can enroll in the Monthly Payment Plan via the Student Accounts eBill.  More information about the Monthly Payment Plan and how to enroll can be found on the Student Accounts Office website. We encourage you to meet with an advisor in the Office for Study Abroad for help calculating costs of your study abroad experience.