STEP 1: Understand the Cost of Participation

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Cost of Participation

Every program is different. The duration of the program, the program type, the program location, and the overall cost-of-living abroad will each have an impact on the program cost and your wallet. A study abroad program may cost more, less or about the same as studying at UC Santa Cruz. When comparing your program options, review the total cost of participation, which includes fixed and estimated costs for (but is not limited to):

  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Airfare
  • Travel visa
  • Passport
  • Incidentals
  • Books
  • Transportation
  • Domestic and International Health Insurance 
  • Campus Fees 

All UCSC Faculty-Led, UCSC Global Exchange, and UCEAP programs come with a total cost of participation budget available online for you to review.

Personal Costs

Most students while abroad want to make the most of their experience by traveling during free time, enjoying entertainment, and going shopping. These types of “personal costs” are not included in the official program cost (and thus, not considered in the packaging of Financial aid awards). You should make a plan for how you will cover these expenses in order to afford your experience. 

Cost By Program Type


UCSC Faculty-Led Summer Programs 

Faculty-Led programs offer UCSC courses taught by UCSC Faculty during Summer Session. You pay: 

  • Summer Session Tuition
  • Campus Fee
  • $200 non-refundable application fee
  • Study Abroad Program Cost (administrative fees, housing, excursions, international health insurance, etc.)
  • Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

Visit each program to review the Program-Budget Worksheet with a breakdown of costs.

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UCSC Global Exchange Programs 

UCSC Global Exchange programs are UCSC reciprocal exchange opportunities with institutions abroad. You pay: 

  • UCSC tuition and fees
  • $200 non-refundable application fee
  • Domestic and international health insurance
  • Living costs abroad 

Studying Abroad vs. UC Santa Cruz

Exchanges are for a semester or a year. Because Santa Cruz is by some estimates one of the most expensive small towns in the U.S., there are many locations you can study abroad where the cost-of-living is lower. The 2019-20 cost of attendance at UCSC for in-state residents is $37,416 per year / $12,472 a quarter if you live on-campus. Keeping in mind that all Global Exchange programs are semester-based, compare the cost of UCSC with our Global Exchanges.

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UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)

UCEAP offers hundreds of programs for a semester, quarter, summer, academic year, and calendar year. You pay:

  • Fees Paid to UCEAP
  • Out of Pocket Expenses
  • Domestic & international health insurance
  • $200 non-refundable application fee
  • Miscellaneous Campus Fees (2018-19)
  • Depending on your status, you may also be assessed other possible campus-based fees:

To see a breakdown of costs for any program, visit UCEAP and look for the Cost under the Program Details on each program page. Please note that for UCEAP, an estimated dollar amount for each UCEAP program is available at the time of application, but detailed budgets and final costs are not released until after application deadlines.

Compare UCEAP to UCSC 

Because Santa Cruz is by some estimates one of the most expensive small towns in the U.S., there are many locations you can study abroad where the cost-of-living is lower. The 2019-20 cost of attendance at UCSC for in-state residents is $37,416 per year / $12,472 a quarter if you live on-campus. Keeping in mind that most UCEAP programs are semester-based, compare the cost of UCSC with these sample UCEAP programs:

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Other UC Programs

Other UC Study Abroad Programs are developed and managed by other UC Study Abroad offices, and program budgets and costs vary widely. To learn more about the costs of these programs and how to apply, visit UC campus websites directly. 

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Non-UC Study Abroad Programs

Non-UC Study Abroad (NUCSA) programs are offered by third party organizations or institutes outside of the UC system, and program budgets and costs vary widely. These third-party providers generally do not charge non-resident tuition to students, so these program types can be more affordable for non-resident UCSC students or students who do not rely on financial aid. Financial aid from UCSC is not currently available for NUCSA. To learn more about the costs of these programs and how to apply, visit the NUCSA websites directly. 

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