Many students take advantage of
study abroad programs and have life-
changing adventures. Most of time,
cost is not brought up when students
describe their time abroad.
I was part of a group last winter
while abroad in Peru with Kirkwood
Community College in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa. This class was three credits
and everyone involved had to follow
guidelines and complete assignments
to achieve full credit.
Upon starting classes this fall as
a full time student at University of
Wisconsin-Stevens Point, I looked
into abroad experiences that would
be available. I was surprised at how
many more opportunities were
offered here compared to Kirkwood.
One big let down to all the choices
was that they all had added fees for out of state students. For short-term
experiences, out of state students pay
around $250 more than students that
are Wisconsin residents. Semesters
abroad usually cost around $1000
I had never thought that studying
abroad would be so expensive, but
after speaking with Mark Koepke,
associate director of international
programs, it made more sense.
“In recent years the UW System
gave universities the ability to set the
cost for study abroad programs for
out of state students,” Koepke said.
“Before it had to be the same cost as
out of state tuition on campus.”
I am glad that the costs finally
changed to be more affordable even
though some of the extra fees are still
“The justification of this all is that
the extra money out of state students
pay goes to help lower the cost of
Wisconsin residents,” Koepke said.
“It’s basically all about who pays
taxes in this state.”
All of the extra costs make more
sense to me now, but I’m still curious
as to how much more residents would
pay if everyone added a little more to
their bill and it was an even cost.
Since I am an out of state student,
this affects me more than Wisconsin
residents. I would like to think that
paying the extra money for the
semesters that are studied on campus
would be enough to cover that extra
money needed for studying abroad.
Since the extra cost is there,
making an even number for all
students would be ideal. I’ve noticed
in many of my classes there usually
are at most three students from out
of state. This makes me think that
there would not be that many people
from out of state on study abroad
programs. If there were only four out of 20
students on a short-term experience,
they each would pay $250 more
than the other students. If this was
distributed to all students, it would
cost everyone in the program $50
more than the normal cost.
The extra $50 may seem like quite
a bit of money to a college student.
When you are thinking in terms of
how much the whole program would
cost, $50 is a small fraction.
I am very pleased that the
International Programs Department
has tried to lower the costs and has
made it much more fair than it used
to be. Being an out of state student
just makes me want to see if the costs
could be more evenly distributed
because of the extra tuition costs for
on campus learning.