Op-ed: Studying abroad at NU is financially accessible

Mihiro Shimano, contributor

Northeastern heavily advertises study abroad programs and other global experiences to its students, especially first-years. Global experiences are one area Northeastern allocates many resources into promoting in an effort to distinguish itself from other universities. The university offers several study abroad programs including N.U.in, Global Quest, Dialogue of Civilizations, traditional study abroad, Global Mobility, embedded programs, international research and global co-ops.  

A misconception that reappears every year is that studying abroad can become too expensive. With flights, food, housing and the many other expenses that must be considered when moving to a new place, surely these costs are higher than if students lived on Northeastern’s Boston campus. However, through the Global Experience Office, or GEO, students find out that studying abroad can actually be cheaper than studying here in Boston. Thus, the many global opportunities NU promotes are both very accessible and realistic possibilities all Northeastern students can experience. 

Northeastern also aims to aid students as much as possible in financing their study abroad programs. Just last week, GEO held an “Affordability Night” with various tables set up for each global experience, with GEO faculty on-site to demonstrate the different resources students have available to help finance their study abroad. On GEO’s website, there’s a tab in each global experience labeled “Finances” where students can see the scholarships or grants provided by the school to help alleviate financial pressure. Students can even apply their financial aid to some global experiences.

Tuition for studying abroad, as recorded on Northeastern’s website, is the same price for students studying on campus. Likewise, many scholarships, financial aid packages and grants are transferred over to study abroad programs. For some select students, Northeastern supports global opportunities even more. The Dialogue of Civilization fee is waived for first-year students in the Honors Program. Honors students also have access to a $6,000 global bank account that can be used toward any global experience of their choice.

 Applying for scholarships is another way in which students can fund their study abroad. On the GEO website, there are several scholarships including the Aoun Scholars Program, Global Experience Grants and the Presidential Global Scholars Program. Most of these range from $1,000 to $6,000, which helps cover a significant portion of the program’s costs besides tuition, allowing students to be more financially stable during their time abroad. This can be allocated to flight fees, housing fees or even smaller fees such as food. 

Northeastern promotes global experiences; Many students enticed by the chance for exposure abroad are actually able to participate in these programs. In today’s globalized world, it is important to have global experience, especially for American students who may not otherwise experience living in a different country. These experiences can also allow for relationships to grow out of international networking that impacts students in their future careers and adult lives. 

Mihiro Shimano is a first-year political science and journalism major.