MacDonald: CSU students should study abroad

Alexandra MacDonald

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

If you’re going to go abroad, college is the time to do it. As students of higher learning, we should all expand our knowledge beyond our wide borders. The point of education is to learn how to think critically and be able to take something away from the experience. 


While CSU’s Office of International Programs offers more than 1,000 study abroad programs for students to participate in, some students shy away from the idea of studying in a different country for fear of unreasonable pricing. But at CSU, costs are more reasonable than students would expect. 

Anna Nixon overlooking Machu Picchu during her semester abroad last fall.

The strange thing is that it’s actually cheaper for a student to study abroad in certain programs offered by CSU’s Education Abroad program than to stay on campus and learn. For clarity, this does not include CSU’s Semester at Sea program. 

The cost of attendance for the 2019-20 year, according to the CSU Financial Aid website, for an undergraduate Colorado resident is estimated at $27,812 and $47,234 for a non-resident, both off-campus. On a semester basis, that’s currently at about $13,906 and $23,617 a semester, respectively. That isn’t even the horrifying part, researchers in the Delta Cost Project said University tuition and attendance rates are still a rising cost. 

With around a thousand CSU exchange programs, affiliated international programs and service programs, there is certainly something out there for anyone who hopes to get a glimpse at life outside of the U.S. 

For example, an exchange program for the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, offers a budget sheet outlining the estimated cost for the spring 2020 semester. The total, around $19,562, is just in between undergraduate in-state and out-of-state semester costs. 

If a student doesn’t wish to spend a full semester abroad, there are choices to go during breaks — summer, fall and spring. Although much shorter, they can provide the opportunity that a student may be looking for. 

Studying abroad is an option that we have to expose ourselves to differing opinions, and we shouldn’t let our finances get in the way of it.”

Another example of study abroad options is for the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic, where the anticipated cost for the spring 2020 semester is around $10,168. 

For those still in need of financial aid, Education Abroad offers that. They also have scholarship opportunities to ensure that students have the best chance at attending one of these accredited trips. 

Studying abroad is an option that we have to expose ourselves to differing opinions, and we shouldn’t let our finances get in the way of it. 

You don’t want to graduate after three to five years and look back wishing you had taken the opportunity. Studying abroad can be one of the best experiences you have and possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity. All the signs point to it, and it’s just a matter of taking the few steps to get you there.


Alexandra MacDonald can be reached at or on Twitter @alexandramacc.