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State and federal financial aid from your home institution can often be applied to the costs associated with studying or interning abroad. This includes Stafford Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, Pell Grants and more. Read below to learn how you may be able to apply your financial aid to your study or intern abroad program.
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is any aid that you can receive to study towards your degree at your home university.
This includes ALL Loans, Grants and Scholarships (Federal, State, Institutional and Private). Under Federal Law, all Federal Financial Aid that you qualify for (loans and grants) can be used to study abroad if the program you are attending has been approved for credit by your home institution. With State or Institutional Financial Aid, your home institution will decide if the aid can be used to study abroad.
Step 1 – Fill out your FAFSA Application
Step 2 – Meet with your University Financial Aid Office
After submitting your FAFSA application, prepare to meet with your home institution’s Financial Aid Office.
Before you set up an appointment, it’s best to calculate your proposed costs for your study abroad. CIS Abroad Program Fees may include Tuition Fees, Accommodation and there are additional items like Housing Deposits, Program Deposits, Excursion or Single Room Add-ons.
You should also consider other expenses besides your Program Fees like Flights, Food and Entertainment, Visa Applications and Textbooks.
You can find guidelines about these costs on our budgeting page.
Once you have a budget, meet with the Financial Aid office and ask the following questions:
Does your home institution allow institutional aid to be used for study abroad?
Does your home institution require a Verification of Enrollment (VOE) before Financial Aid is disbursed to you?
Does your home institution require a signed CIS Abroad? Consortium Agreement from Will the financial aid you are applying for cover the entire cost of your CIS Abroad program?
What documents does your home institution require to facilitate the process?
When will the Page 2 of CIS Abroad Financial Aid Forms be ready for submission to CIS Abroad’s Finance Support Team?
Don’t forget to bring a copy of the CIS Abroad Financial Aid Forms with you to the meeting!
Step 3 – Complete and submit your Financial Aid Forms to CIS Abroad Finance Support
The Financial Aid Officer at your home institution will complete Page 2 of the Financial Aid Forms. This form will list all of the different types of aid that you will be receiving, the Gross Amount, the Actual Amount (minus processing fees) and the Disbursement Dates. They may submit this directly to CIS Abroad or send this to you.
You’re responsible for filling out the rest of the pages. Please ensure that you use the TOTAL ACTUAL AID amount that is listed on Page 2 and the disbursement date to complete the requirements on Page 3. (If there is more than one disbursement date listed, please use the last calendar date).
Scan your completed Pages 2, 3, 4 and email these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important: Always follow up with your home institution if there are any delays in your Financial Aid paperwork process.
Step 4 – CIS Abroad confirms and updates your Balance
Once you’ve submitted your Financial Aid forms to CIS Abroad, we will check the forms and upload the paperwork to our system. If there are any discrepancies (no signature, incorrect totals/dates), we will be in touch with you. If everything is correct, the amount of financial aid you will be receiving will be separated from the total balance that you owe for Program Fees. If the Financial Aid you are receiving from your home institution does not cover the entire balance of your Program Fees, you will have to pay the remaining ‘Personal Balance’ by the Final Payment Deadline. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Important: Please ensure that you pay for all Program deposits/ Housing deposits before your final payment deadline. These deposits are used to secure your spot on a program or housing earlier than Payment deadlines and before you travel abroad.
Step 5 – Paying your Financial Aid Disbursement to CIS Abroad
Financial Aid is often disbursed from your home institution after the start of the semester – this means you might already be abroad. While you might be enjoying your time abroad, it’s important to keep track of whether the Financial Aid has been disbursed to you and make the necessary arrangements to pay for your program fees using your Financial Aid Disbursement. If your school needed a Verification of Enrollment, ensure that you reach out to your Program Co-Ordinator or the Finance Support team to get the right documentation in order to receive your disbursement.
You can submit payment to CIS Abroad at our Make a Payment page.
Important Financial Aid Definitions
A contract between two educational institutions that recognizes your registration at each location for financial aid purposes.
Verification of Enrollment (VOE)
Documentation to prove enrollment and attendance at an academic institution.
The date that funds become available to the student/parent taking out the Financial Aid Loan.
Pack an open mind with you! When traveling, you are faced with so much ‘new’ all at once that uncomfortable often becomes the new comfortable. No worries though – it keeps things exciting!
The great thing about being an intern in Barcelona is that I was able to work in a different country. CISabroad did an amazing job pairing me up for my internship. As a hospitality and tourism management major, we learn a lot about hotels and restaurants in the classroom but my internship was marketing for an award winning hostel chain. This gave me the chance to learn about the industry in a different way and it really opened my eyes to what is out there.
After traveling abroad, I want to push people to follow their aspirations and travel the world. There is truly nothing like getting out of your comfort zone.