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 GW 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.

GW Tuition

Study abroad participants are registered with a 15-credit placeholder for their semester abroad, which generates their semester GW eBill. 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 the online library, internet/VPN, staff and faculty advising, and career services resources. Continued GW registration and tuition payment allow for seamless matriculation and transition back to GW upon the completion of a student's program. 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 process and could result in additional fees.

Tuition does not include additional typical semester expenses such as GW Room & Board (meals), Student Association Fees, 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.

*Note: Summer exchange participants will not be charged GW summer tuition and will instead only be charged the Summer Exchange Tier Fee

Study Abroad Tier Fee

A study abroad tier fee replaces on-campus Room & Board (meals) charges, and/or other academic fees associated with on-campus courses and activities. Tier fees can include costs related to housing (including placement services, maintenance, and support), board (meals), pre-departure and on-arrival orientations, standard excursions (and related transportation and lodging), health insurance (GeoBlue and any provider required/included insurance), on-site health, safety and crisis management, any on-site staff support, in-country transportation, course-required site visits, fieldwork or research, cultural activities, access to on-campus student organizations and clubs (for exchange and direct enroll programs), and access to unique coursework such as pre-semester language courses. Inclusions vary - to understand what’s included in a student’s specific  program, students are encouraged to read their program brochures thoroughly and confirm with their program provider or host institution. 

Tier fees are charged in addition to a student’s tuition and vary depending on a student’s chosen study abroad program. Fees are determined based on the program type. Please see available program types below with a brief description of the tier fee of each, though again, please be aware that inclusions will naturally vary even amongst programs in the same program type:

GW Exchanges 

  • GW Exchange Program tier fee does not include housing. For these programs, students are responsible for finding, securing, and paying for their own housing through local housing services or their host institution. For any exchange program that currently includes housing, as described within the program brochure in GW Passport, housing costs will be charged to students separate of the tier fee. 

Direct Enroll Programs

  • Direct Enroll Program tier fee also does not include housing. For these programs, students are responsible for finding, securing, and paying for their own housing through local housing services or their host institution. This fee may also cover additional programming and events that may be available in this program type.

 GW Study Programs

  • In addition to some of the more standard tier fee inclusions, GW Study Programs tier fee also includes the support of our on-site Resident Directors who offer academic and cultural assistance, coordinate cultural activities and programming, plan events and excursions and more. All GW Study Programs also include housing, and also meals within the standard homestay option available on all programs. Though homestays are the only option with GW Madrid and GW Chile, GW Paris also offers apartment housing options which do forego the included meals without altering the tier fee. 

 GW Signature Programs

  • GW Signature Programs currently include the Global Bachelor's Program cohort semester. This tier fee includes room (but not board), specialized support from on-site local university staff and specialized programming and excursions among other standard program amenities.

Provider Programs

  • Provider Programs are further broken down into tiers based on programs that include Room-only and those that include both Room and Board (meals). It is important to note that some programs have a primary and secondary housing option included in the program, tier fees do not change based on the student's housing selection.  

Summer Exchange Programs

  • Students are only responsible for the tier fee and any supplemental fees for included room or room and board on Summer Exchange Programs. Students are not charged any additional tuition.

Optional program amenities that are considered opt-in/out are not included within the tier fee. Students are responsible for costs associated with optional activities, upgraded amenities, premium services and features, including integrated extensive out-of-country travel components, as well as security or damage deposits for housing. In most cases, these expenses would be billed directly by the program provider but could alternatively appear as a separate charge on a student's GW eBill. 

Tier fees are billable expenses that will appear on a student’s GW eBill for each semester that they study abroad.

Below are the current tier fee values. 

Study Abroad Tier Fees

GW Exchange Tier Fee $1,925
Direct Enroll Tier Fee $2,925
GW Study Program Tier Fee $6,775
GW Signature Programs Tier Fee $7,300
Provider Programs (Room-only) Tier Fee $7,875
Provider Programs (Room & Board) Tier Fee


Supplemental Programming Fee* $2,500 (DIS & IES)/ $1,700 (APA)
Summer Exchange Tier Fee & Supplemental Fees $3,200 (Supplemental fee for programs including Room: $500, or Room & Board: $750)
Withdrawal & Deferral Fee $575 (view our withdrawal policy for more details)

Fees are subject to change prior to a new semester. 

*This fee applies to programs that have a compulsory component of the program not covered in our tier fee, such as extensive international travel or premium amenities. This currently only applies to DIS Copenhagen & Stockholm, IES Abroad - Health Practice & Policy in London, and Academic Programs Abroad (APA) Paris as distinguished above.


Non-billable Expenses

Personal, or non-billable expenses refer to costs that will not appear on a student's GW eBill and can include costs associated with, but not limited to, the following items:

  • Program Deposit* (if applicable)
  • Airfare 
  • Required medical consultation or vaccinations
  • Visas or entry documentation/Residence Permits**
  • Passport, or passport renewal 
  • Optional program activities
  • Upgraded or premium program services/features
  • Meals (if applicable) 
  • Housing (if applicable) 
  • Personal travel and leisure 
  • Transportation (if applicable)
  • 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. 

**Not only do these documents typically have a fee to apply, but students and families should also be aware that these documents typically also require students to demonstrate financial means, usually in the form of bank statements that demonstrate a quantity of a pre-determined minimum amount per month (typically $1,000-$1,500 USD/month). If using documentation from parents/guardians, it is standard to also need proof of dependency. 


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

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.

For students receiving the Stephen J. Trachtenberg Scholarship, to appeal to request that study abroad tier fees be included in your SJT award, students must fill out Section 5 of this Cost of Attendance form. SJT Scholars must also complete the Study Abroad Financial Aid Form and return both to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. 

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.

Veterans Affairs Benefits can only be applied to study abroad semesters if the act of studying abroad is required for a student's degree. Currently, the undergraduate programs requiring study abroad include GW's Global Bachelor's ProgramBachelor of Arts in Arabic StudiesSEAS Clark Engineering Scholars Program. For students receiving Veterans Affairs Benefits, please refer to the VA policies on Study Abroad for more information.

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.

Study Abroad Scholarships

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. 

Payment Plan

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.