"Do-It-Yourself Study Abroad" ESL School Search and Application Site

5 Steps to Study Abroad Success

Step 1 Research

Study Abroad Expenses

Tips for Saving

Private vs. State-Run Schools
Regardless of where you study, language schools found on State-Run University or Community College Campuses are comparatively less expensive than private institutions. However, you should not choose a school based purely on tuition costs alone. Remember, it is not necessarily the case that a school with higher tuition costs provides a higher quality education, just as a school with lower tuition costs doesn’t necessarily mean a lower quality of education. What is most important in the overall selection process is choosing the program that best suits your personal needs.

Urban vs. Rural
Living expenses in urban areas are inevitably more expensive than rural areas. For the student with a tighter budget, living in rural areas is a more economical option. Yet, there are certain experiences that cannot be had while living in the countryside that are available in the metropolitan areas. It is definitely advantageous for those people who appreciate the fine-arts to select an urban area; many museums, performance halls, and theatres can only be found in metropolitan areas. In the city this type of person will definitely be able to make the most of their free time.

Differences in the Costs of Courses
At some language schools, course prices vary greatly based on the number of lessons per week, course contents, and the class environment. Courses with more lessons per week are more expensive than those with fewer. Courses where specific subjects are taught together with English tend to cost more than General English Courses. Private lessons cost more than classes with many students. The most expensive courses will run all day long everyday, however, some schools offer discounted courses to students who are willing to commit to studying for a longer term.

Differences in the Costs of Housing Accommodations
Living by oneself in a single apartment is usually the most expensive student-housing option offered by schools. However, for those students who wish to live in an apartment but cannot afford it by themselves, sharing the cost with roommates is a good way to greatly reduce living expenses.

In a similar fashion, a single room in a dormitory is more expensive than a shared room. Try sharing a room with a roommate, and in doing so take better control of your living expenses. Keep in mind that having a roommate can also provide you with an English conversation partner. The homestay option may be the overall cheapest housing option, as meals are usually included in the cost. Many students find that homestays are an ideal option as host families provide them with the best opportunity to learn about the country they are living in and share new experiences with one’s adopted family abroad.

Cost of Airfare
Traveling abroad during the summer can be very expensive as it is the peak season for travel and study abroad. A great way to cut down on the cost of airfare is to fly during a different season. Also, at such heavily trafficked airports as Heathrow in London (UK) or Los Angeles Airport in California (US), airlines frequently have promotional offers in order to compete with the many carriers that fly there. You should shop around online to find out what dates your particular travel route might be discounted. Another way to reduce the price of airfare is to avoid direct flights. It is usually cheaper to arrange a flight schedule with a transfer somewhere on the way to your final destination.

Avoid Excessive Agent Fees
It is definitely in your best interest, both financially and practically, to research a variety of ESL programs at first and choose the most appropriate course on your own. In so doing, you can avoid paying expensive fees (up to $5000) required to use placement agencies. Searching for and choosing an ESL program on your own can also help you avoid the possibility of being disappointed by not knowing all of the details about your school when you arrive.

Create Your Own Study Abroad Experience
Make the most out of your opportunity to study abroad by researching and planning it exactly the way you want to. As with making any important decision, it is best to have as much background information as possible. Students should make use of the wealth of information available on the internet as well as the information provided by study abroad agents. is an excellent resource to help you acquire this information and then efficiently send your application to the school of your choice. You will definitely feel a sense of accomplishment when you succeed in completing all of your study abroad preparations independently and create your own study abroad experience.