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How to Fund Your Experience

Below is a compilation of resources to help you fund your study abroad experience. Click the link to hop to that topic, or scroll through to see all content. If you're looking for information on how to make payments, withdrawal policies, etc., see "Understanding Program Costs"

Financial Aid

Financial aid does travel! If you qualify for UW-Eau Claire financial aid*, it will apply to your UW-Eau Claire study abroad program. 

Your aid cannot be adjusted to reflect the actual cost of your study abroad program until you are registered at UW-Eau Claire for your term abroad. Students accepted to study abroad will receive an email from the CIE with further information.

*Note that non-resident tuition waivers do not apply to study abroad programs and UW-Eau Claire financial aid will not follow you on a non-UW-Eau Claire study abroad program.

How Your Aid Works With Study Abroad

  1. Complete the top half of this worksheet: Financial Aid Estimate for Study Abroad.pdf (Hint: you can find the info you need on the program brochure page!) 
  2. Go to Blugold Central and work with a front line advisor to view your current aid and learn options for when you go abroad. You do need to currently be receiving aid to obtain an estimate.

Applying for Financial Aid

You apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA, just as if you are going to be on-campus. See the Financial Aid Web site. The CIE notifies Financial Aid of all students going abroad in a particular term and Financial Aid automatically adjusts your financial aid budget. Financial aid is based on your actual costs in your host country, and aid packages include the cost of tuition, fees, room, board, personal expenses, books, local and round-trip international transportation. Additional personal travel you plan to do is not covered by financial aid; neither is the cost of dependents who may travel with you. 

If you have filed a FAFSA in the past and did not qualify for aid, we encourage you to do so again if your study abroad program costs more than being on campus.

If you receive aid, make sure you go into your MyBlugold CampS, click on "Self Service" then select "Student Center" and then "View Financial Aid" and accept your aid. If you don't accept your aid awards, your aid will not distribute to your account. 

Summer + Winterim Aid

  • Summer: You must file a separate application for summer financial aid. You will find it under the Finances section of your MyBlugold CampS student center. You must have a FAFSA on file and earn at least six credits during the summer for aid to apply.
  • Winterim: To be eligible for Winterim aid, you must have a FAFSA on file, be enrolled at least half time for the spring semester and complete the Winterim Financial Aid application found on your CampS account. The Winterim aid application usually isn't available until it gets closer to Winterim. When Winterim aid disperses, it will be applied to your Winterim bill. 
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Study Abroad Grants

Grants may be available for students with financial need to help with extra costs of study abroad. Grants do not require students to pay back the money. You must have a current FAFSA on file as grants are based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). There is no other application. These grants are awarded based on funds available and relative need. Priority will be given to students who are enrolled full-time for the semester preceding the student's study abroad.  Grants will be automatically awarded with other financial aid. You can only receive each grant once. Below are the eligibility requirements:
  • Blugold Commitment Study Abroad Grant
    • UW-Eau Claire undergraduate student
    • EFC of $12,000 or less
    • Accepted to an approved UW-Eau Claire study abroad program that costs more than attendance at UW-Eau Claire
    • Awards of up to $2,000/semester or academic year; up to $1,000/summer; up to $1,000 for Winterim (must be enrolled at least half-time for spring)
  • Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant
    • UW-Eau Claire undergraduate student
    • Wisconsin resident
    • EFC of $12,000 or less
    • Accepted to an approved UW-Eau Claire study abroad program that costs more than attendance at UW-Eau Claire
    • Awards of up to $2,000/semester or academic; up to $1,000/summer


Loans may be something you are considering taking to pay for your experience. Loans do require repayment after graduation or withdrawing from university. While this is an option, we recommend you research interest rates, repayment timelines, etc. To learn more about loan options, you should contact Blugold Central. The CIE cannot advise on loans.

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UWEC Scholarship Opportunities

If you were enrolled in a degree-seeking program at UW-Eau Claire at the time you applied to study abroad, you are eligible to apply for a number of study abroad scholarships from the UWEC Foundation.
  1. UWEC Foundation Scholarships: Administered by the Center for International Education
    • Any student, with an approved UWEC study abroad application, will receive an email when the scholarships open.
    • UWEC Foundation Study Abroad Scholarships List has a breakdown of each scholarship (amount, awards, eligibility) 
    • Additional details and how to apply are on the UWEC Gold for Blugolds Scholarship site.
    • These scholarships will open/be due on the following schedule:
      • Summer Programs: open January, due March 15
      • Fall/Academic Year Programs: open January, due April 15
      • Winterim Programs: open June, due August 15
      • Spring/Calendar Year Programs: open June, due August 15
  2. UWEC Foundation Scholarships: Administered by UWEC Colleges or Departments (not the CIE)
    • College of Business:  The following scholarships are specific to students with business majors; application details are on the Gold for Blugolds site. 
      • D. Patrick Stoffers Management Scholarship
      • D. Patrick Stoffers Marketing Scholarship
      • Heinrich-Dahleimer Accounting Scholarship
      • Jennifer Alexander Memorial (CoB)
      • James J. Waters Endowed Scholarship (Acct)
      • Jim and Sara Mellinger Information Systems Study Abroad Scholarship 
    • Geography Department: The UWEC Geography Department awards a $500/semester scholarship to all geography majors who study abroad! If you go abroad for the academic year, you will receive it each semester as long as you make satisfactory academic progress. Check with the department for details!
    • Additional study abroad scholarships may be offered through specific academic departments, such as Languages, Nursing, Organizational Communication, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Service Learning, and others. For more information please see the Gold for Blugolds Website. 
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USAC Program Scholarships

UWEC is an affiliate member with USAC (a study abroad provider). Because of this partnership, UWEC students, that participate on an approved USAC program, are eligible to apply for any USAC scholarship for which they qualify. There are two ways to obtain a USAC scholarship:
  1. Complete a UWEC Foundation Scholarship (listed above): USAC has given UWEC a pool of money to distribute to students on an approved USAC program. To be considered, you need to complete the UWEC foundation application (found above). The review committee will know you're a USAC student and take that into consideration when awarding. 
  2. Complete a scholarship application with USAC: once you are officially accepted by USAC, they will post scholarship information to your USAC Gateway account (their application system). Some scholarships will be applicable to everyone and some will have specific requirements. To learn more about their opportunities, see USAC's scholarship website.
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Nationwide Scholarships

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships
This scholarship is an opportunity for students who are:

  • U.S. citizens
  • Undergraduate students in good standing at UWEC
  • Currently receiving a federal Pell Grant
This scholarship is provided through the U.S. Department of Education and awards around 2,800 awards of up to $5,000. This scholarship is competitive but UWEC has had many students obtain it! To learn more about the scholarship, including deadlines, please see the Benjamin A. Gilman website. UWEC is not affiliated with this scholarship but we highlight it since it can make such an impact. 

Additional Scholarships
There are many study abroad scholarships out there! We've compiled a list of ones we've heard about or know students have applied in the past. Click here: Nationwide Scholarships, to see even more scholarships you should consider! 

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Budget Planning + Creative Savings Ideas

Students will want to develop a budget for expenses (e.g. personal travel, food, transportation, souvenirs) as well as a plan to pay their program costs and other expenses. Each student's budget will vary based on their travel goals and resources.

Budget Planning Worksheet
Never budgeted before - no worries! Print this Budget Planning Worksheet and fill it in. We encourage you to review it with a parent/guardian, especially if you are anticipating their financial support. 

Other ideas:
set a monthly goal & stick to it! (aka less take-out, more home cooked meals)
swap birthday/holiday gifts for cash OR ask for practical travel items for gifts (suitcases, neck pillow, etc.)
use your talents: teach music lessons, sell your artwork, offer to do photo sessions, create a webpage for someone, design graphics
set out a spare change jar
reduce the fancy lattes & invest in a thrifted coffee maker to make your own
organize a garage sale & ask people to donate their junk, which you sell & keep the money
look into selling clothes/shoes on Poshmark, ThredUp or similar sites
unfollow social media influencers telling you you MUST have all the latest & greatest fashion/make-up/electronics/shoes, etc - you don't need it, so remove the temptation! 
get a job or a side job (think babysitting, dog walking, lawn mowing, shoveling, etc.)
reach out to organizations - both on campus and off (i.e. heritage groups, Rotary clubs, Lions Clubs, media stations, sororities & fraternities, charitable/ethnic/religious organizations, etc.). Offer to give back (blog, presentation, etc.) when you return
Word of caution with crowd sourcing
While sites like GoFundMe are popular, be careful if you decide to set this up. It can be a great way to let family/friends pitch in but make sure you understand the fees that the site will take or require you to pay. Some sites require you to meet your goal before you gain access to the money. Some sites may charge you for depositing the money or charge the people making donations. Research before you go this route & only use credible sites. 

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Military/Veteran Student Info

UW-Eau Claire is proud of counting active military guardsmen and reservists as well as veterans among its student population. The CIE is also proud of having sent many active military and veteran students on our study abroad programs and would like to encourage even more to take advantage of the opportunity. In certain situations, veterans may be able to use their benefits to help fund their study abroad experience.

If you are planning to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits or your Wisconsin GI Bill benefits to assist in payment of your study abroad program, please meet with the Veterans Services Office before you apply to a program, in order to find one that fits the requirements of the VA and your study abroad goals. Miranda Cross-Schindler, Military and Veteran Services Manager can be contacted at 715-836-5212, or via e-mail at

In General: 
  • Post 9/11 GI tuition benefits will only cover study abroad expenses in limited situations, so it is crucial that you contact the Veterans Services Office prior to applying for a program.
  • Wisconsin GI tuition benefits will only apply to current UWEC exchange programs and faculty-led programs where UWEC tuition is paid. 
  • Summer or winterim programs may work better for active military students due to their military duties. It is easier to ask time off from military duties for a short-term program, but long-term programs are also possible if required for graduation. 
Of note:  The University Studies Abroad Consortium has a USAC Military Scholarship that is typically $1,000/semester or $750/summer. You must be accepted to UWEC, then to USAC, to apply.  Award acceptance rate is ~ 20%.
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