Study Abroad: An Affordable and Valuable Investment in Your Future!

July 13, 2021

Time and time again we have heard from students who indicate that they “could never afford to study abroad,” even as much as they would like to pursue such an opportunity. This is perhaps among the greatest misconceptions about studying abroad, and the pervasiveness of this belief has prevented countless students from even considering international educational experiences. 

The truth of the matter is that in many cases, API’s programs are actually far more affordable than the average cost of a semester at a U.S. university. This, coupled with the fact that API awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships each year AND most students can use their financial aid to help cover the cost of study abroad, makes it a financially viable option and a wise investment in the future for students.

Per educationdata.org, the average cost of attendance for a semester in 2021 is as follows:

  • Four-year, private institutions: $26,975 
  • Four-year public universities: 
    • In-state students: $12,932 
    • Out-of-state students $21,860

API offers a diverse range of programs at prices that fall far below these figures, and every single API program is less expensive than the average cost of attendance at a private university in the U.S.  

All API programs include tuition & fees at the host institution, as well as housing, medical & life insurance, excursions, cultural activities, and more. Programs in the following locations are available for $13,000 or less (sometimes far less!), and include most meals:

Argentina:
  • Buenos Aires
Chile:
  • Santiago
  • Valparaíso
  • Viña del Mar
Costa Rica
  • San Joaquín de Flores
  • San José
France:
  • Grenoble
Spain:
  • Barcelona
  • Bilbao
  • Granada 
  • Madrid
  • Salamanca
  • Seville

Beyond the programs listed above, API programs in China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, and Poland are available for $13,500 or less. API’s most affordable programs are summarized here

Will Studying Abroad Delay Graduation?

Another common objection to studying abroad is the perception that doing so will delay graduation, thereby requiring even more money to complete a degree. However, the data disagrees. In fact, according to research completed by the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the University of Texas at Austin, four-year graduation rates are actually higher among the population of students who study abroad compared to their peers who remained on campus (Inside Higher Ed, July 2012).

An Investment in Your Future

According to research conducted by the IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact (Farrugia and Sanger, 2017) involving interviews with more than 4,500 study abroad alumni: 

    • Study abroad has an overall positive impact on the development of a wide range of 21st-century job skills. 
    • The skills gained through study abroad have a long-term impact on career progression and promotion. 

“Those more advanced in their careers more consistently linked study abroad to career growth and reported being hired or promoted based on their international experiences. This finding held true across all majors and industries.”

How do I Demonstrate the Value of My API Experience?

Given the importance of clearly articulating one’s skills when applying for jobs or graduate school, for years API has offered micro-credentialing with the API Learning and Engagement Digital Badge Program at no additional cost to our students. Badge participants earn portable, electronic badges for use on résumés, e-portfolios, LinkedIn profiles, personal branding, and websites, etc.  By clicking on the electronic badge icons, employers will be linked to a detailed explanation of the learning goals behind each badge and the intentional activities the participant completed to earn it. By displaying the value of experiential learning in a way employers understand, you’ll differentiate your application from your peers — even those with similar experiences!

Why Should I Invest in an API Program? 

API’s own research among our alumni supports the findings that studying abroad with API had a direct impact on our students’ future academic and professional success:

  • API helped me to stand out from the crowd on my graduate school applications. Interviewers saw studying abroad as a symbol of maturity.”~Alyssa C., API Italy student
  • “Having international experiences such as studying abroad have set me aside in interview processes and allowed for new opportunities within my career. Drawing on both challenging and rewarding experiences from my time abroad allowed me to prove I was the best person for a position.” ~Lindsey B., API Scotland student
  • “The opportunity [to study abroad] with API was my best life decision …that has truly translated to my professional success.” ~Scott M., API Qatar student
  • “Absolutely loved my API experience. Since completing my time with API I have been offered every job and internship I’ve applied for.” ~Shea M., API Ireland student

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