SF State Exchange Program Budgets

Same Tuition + Cheaper Cost of Living + Financial Aid = Study Abroad 

Students continue to pay tuition only to SF State. The cost difference is the cost of living, which is often cheaper than remaining at SF State. Costs of living in various countries and cities can vary drastically. Though primary costs of living (housing and meals) on SF State Abroad programs will likely be less than what students currently pay in San Francisco, it is important to factor in additional costs when you are making your budget for things such as flight, additional travel, visa and establishment costs.  Please do research on the average range for the student cost of living in the location of your intended program.

Financial Aid:

All financial aid, except work-study, can be used towards paying for your year abroad. If you receive financial aid, you will be eligible for cost of living adjustments to increase your financial aid award and advances on your aid for your travel and establishment costs. 

FAFSA remember: It is important to always file for FAFSA each year by the deadline, even if you did not receive aid the previous year as your circumstances may have changed. Fill out your FAFSA application based upon being at SF State even for the term(s) you will be abroad.

Consider Cost-Effective Programs in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ghana, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 Create an Estimate Budget Here: 





Tuition (SF State Tuition) **




Insurance (Mandatory) 




Housing (Varies by student)




Meals (Varies by student)




Round-Trip Airfare and Transportation (Varies by student)




Visa Fees (Varies by country and citizenship)




Other Expenses (Varies by student)




COVID Costs (Testing, quarantine expenses)

Varies Varies Varies

Travel and Entertainment (Varies by student)




*Not all programs are possible for the summer. Confirm duration on the SF State Abroad Program Database (Horizons)

**The tuition cost is based on undergraduate resident tuition and fees (non-resident students will pay the non-resident tuition cost). Graduate students will pay SF State graduate tuition. The information displayed above is for spring 2022. Tuition and campus fees are set by the Chancellor's Office and are subject to change. 

Budget Resources:

The purchase of comprehensive study abroad health and travel insurance is mandated by the CSU. Details can be found on the Risk Management's website

Students pay the same tuition and campus fees while abroad as they would on campus. For current tuition and fees, look at the SF State Bulletin

Graduate students pay $4,437.00 per semester and during the summer $2,308.00 for 6 or fewer units and $3,812.00 for more than 6 units. Graduate Students in the Masters of Public Administration (M.P.A.) will be charged an additional MPA Program Fee at a rate of $430 for students enrolled in 6.0 units or less or $850 for students enrolled in 6.1 or more units for the regular sessions.

On most programs, students have choices about where they live with different costs. Students should look at the housing option on their program page on the SF State Abroad Program Database and insert their preference into their budget above. 

How much you spend on food varies from student to student based upon personal choices of eating out versus cooking at home. Therefore, it is recommended to estimate how much you spend now on food and then look at the following cost comparison to estimate your food budget abroad. Click here to compare the cost of living abroad with San Francisco.

This includes your airfare there as well as local transportation costs. For airfare, google flights now to understand the range of what you might pay. A few good sites to check out: google flights, Skyscanner, Student Universe. To understand how much you might pay for local transportation, click here to compare the cost of living abroad with San Francisco as well as talk to study abroad alumni and international students. 

Visa costs can change from year to year. They also depend upon your citizenship. You cannot apply for the student visa yet, but you can google the cost of the student visa for your intended country. 

This includes personal items, such as shampoo, deodorant, etc. Click here to compare the cost of living abroad with San Francisco.

Some countries require a negative COVID test even if you are fully vaccinated to enter. You might also need to quarantine when you arrive at your own expense. Check the U.S. Department of State website for details about your countries COVID-19 specific information.

Budget Workshop:

For more help with creating a budget, view the online Budget Workshop