Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Quick Take: GW’s study abroad program is too expensive

I’ve wanted to study abroad since middle school. Neither of my parents did when they were in college, which they said was one of their biggest regrets. GW is known for its international affairs studies, and international students make up about 10 percent of the student body. You’d think that studying abroad would be an accessible experience, right?

Well, not exactly. The process of trying to study abroad at GW is not the problem, it’s a streamlined experience. Rather, it’s the cost of studying abroad that is appalling. Students who study abroad need to pay the full amount of GW’s base tuition for the semester despite never attending the University. That’s absurd, especially when the price tag of tuition continues to increase

For the upcoming 2024-25 academic year, base tuition without financial aid is $67,420, or $33,710 per semester. Paying that much money without stepping foot in the District might as well be robbery. 

The OSA does offer scholarships, but they are highly competitive. While these scholarships do make studying abroad much more affordable for certain students and should not be discounted, they are only available for a select few. OSA doesn’t cover the cost of GW’s base tuition or students’ airfare or visas. So as necessary as those scholarships are, their help is merely a drop in the water that is the tsunami of affording to study abroad.

GW says it requires students pay the base tuition to guarantee they receive credits for the semester, assure access to scholarships, financial aid and University resources and allow for “seamless matriculation and transition back to GW.” But if a student decides to take a class at another institution over the summer, they do not pay that type of fee. If students do not have to pay GW tuition over the summer, they should not have to pay it on another continent.

I am applying to study abroad through CIEE, or The Council on International Educational Exchange, and IAU, The Institute of American Universities. Both of these provider programs directly pay the schools that you are studying at. Both programs cost around $20,000 without their offered scholarships. To do some basic math, all three fees stacked up are more expensive than what it would cost to be an on-campus GW student — meal plan and all. 

Studying abroad may seem to be more bang for your buck in terms of traveling around the world, but that’s not always the case at GW.

Jamie Greenberg, a junior majoring in criminal justice with a minor in political science, is an opinions writer.

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