Pretty much all study abroad programs do not include airfare in the program fees so you will be responsible for the flights yourself. Even if the tuition and housing at your host university is about the same as your home university’s fees, the airfare may put you back if you are on a tight budget. Here are some tips on how to book a cheaper flight:
Generally the earlier you book, the cheaper the flight will be. Check out a previous post of ours about finding the right time to book: Helpful Information of the Week: When to Buy Your Flight
Use a student discount!-
Not all students know about these types of ‘exclusive’ websites. Booking through websites that offer a student discount like StudentUniverse.com or STAtravel.com allow you to get airline tickets for less. If you compare prices by going directly onto an airline website or an airfare comparison website, these special prices are not listed.
To test it out, we compared prices by searching on three websites: Student Universe, STA Travel, and a popular airline’s main website. We searched for a flight going to Florence, Italy in August and returning in December, and we were shocked at what we found. With a student discount, we found out that a round-trip flight was about $1000 whereas on a popular airline’s website the total was looking to be over $1,600! And we might add that the flight ended up being with the same airline on all websites. So how much gelato do you think you could purchase with all that money you saved?
Watch out for baggage fees-
All airlines have different baggage fees depending on what type of seat you are purchasing or even where you will be flying. Make sure you read into the airline’s policies to be guaranteed the best deal!
Consider the US airport you will be flying out of-
In our search to find the best deal, we found out that flying out of a bigger airport sometimes makes the price go down. You can avoid a very short connection flight (and the increase in price) by having someone drop you off at the nearest airport hub.
All of these tips are important when considering how much your study abroad trip will cost in the end. Be sure to fill out a Budget Estimator from our website, and good luck on your search!