Skip to content

International Student and
Study Abroad Services

Text size Small | Medium | Large

Low-Cost Summer

Taking part in a summer program may or may not save you money. Although the program is shorter, much of the additional cost of study abroad comes from the airline ticket so studying abroad for a semester or a year gives you more of a return for the cost. If you were not already planning to take classes during the summer you also would be adding tuition costs that you would not otherwise have. Additionally, financial aid planning can be more complicated during the summer because you
may have already used your federal aid during the academic year, leaving you with a more limited set of alternative loan options. Talking with an advisor in Student Financial Services will give you a better understanding of your options and how the term you select will affect those options.

If you know that you want to study abroad during the summer, here are some suggested programs that can help make your experience affordable!

1. Exchange and Direct Summer Programs include some great options for studying abroad for the same cost as being at NDSU or paying a tuition cost that is similar to being on campus.

2. If none of those programs fit your interests, here are some other locations around the world with a low cost of living and low tuition costs that come together to make for a low overall program cost. Below are some of the lowest priced options available.
  • Note: Most of these program fees include tuition, housing, international health insurance, and meals, but be sure to take a look at the details of the program fee to verify if there are any meals or other expenses excluded from the program fee amount. NDSU tution is waived while participating on an affiliate provider program like the ones listed below, but you will be responsible for a small amount of NDSU fees for the semester (>$100). You will also have additional costs for your passport ($150), visa (varies by location), airline ticket, and spending money.
  • Note 2: If a program is non-credit, it would not be eligible for financial aid or loan assistance. In order to qualify for standard full-time summer financial aid, you would need to take 6 credits through any combination of on-campus, online, and study abroad classes.


  • Brazilian Language, History, and Culture at Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) (ISEP Direct) - $3,500-$4,500 for a summer mid-June to late July during summer 2014, 6 credits
    Study Portuguese in vibrant São Paulo while learning Brazilian song and dance, cooking, and jewelry-making. This five-week Brazilian Language, History, and Culture program includes several cultural activities, two literature classes, and a tour of Downtown São Paulo where students experience authentic cuisine in the traditional Mercado Municipal. Students can live in a homestay, student house, or hostel. 


  • Tsinghua University - China Summer Service Learning Program (ISEP Direct) - $900-1000 for a summer mid July-early August during summer 2014, non-credit
    U.S. participants will attend an orientation program at Tsinghua University in Beijing to meet their Chinese partners, learn about China"s poverty alleviation issues, and develop plans to implement their service projects. Projects commonly involve teaching English in local schools or computer training. Participants will then travel in teams to their sites in rural areas throughout China where they will reside for two weeks. Transportation will be organized and paid for by Tsinghua University. Each group will consist of approximately 2-3 international students, 5 Tsinghua students, and a faculty advisor. All Chinese participants speak English, and Chinese knowledge is not a requirement for U.S. student participation.
  • Teach Abroad in China through API Cultural Embrace (Affiliate) - $890 for a summer mid-July to mid-August intensive month (or 6-12 month contracts) during summer 2014, non-credit, paid
    China is changing at  lightning speed, and now, during this transitional stage of ancient history meets futuristic technology, is the perfect time to experience it. Cultural Embrace by API offers an exciting and affordable opportunity for native English speakers to live, work, and travel in this fascinating country. Teach and tutor English language skills to students and/or professionals in private academies, public elementary and secondary schools, universities, and businesses. You will teach an average of 20 hours per week, leaving you ample time to see the sites and explore the rich cultural backdrop of China’s expansive history.The stipend for a summer placement is ¥3000-12000 (~$475-$1875).

Costa Rica

  • Spanish Language, Costa Rican Culture, and Community Service at Universidad Nacional (ISEP Direct) - $3,500-$4,500 for a summer late May to early July during summer 2014, 6 credits
    Spend six weeks exploring the culture and language of beautiful Costa Rica, known for its rich rainforests and ecological awareness. Universidad Nacional (UNA) offers this cultural immersion language program for students at all levels. Students live with host families and participate in exciting day-long excursions as well cultural workshops that include Costa Rican cooking, and popular dance. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a week-long community service project, where they can do an array of volunteer activities, ranging from working on organic coffee plantations to organizing activities with the children of the community.
  • World Endeavors Volunteer Abroad: Costa Rica (Affiliate) - $1290 for 1 week plus $225 each additional week for a timeframe you set during summer 2014, non-credit
    Volunteer in Costa Rica in the areas of Childcare and Orphanage Assistance, Community Development, Eldercare, Environmental Conservation, Healthcare, Sustainable Agriculture, Teaching, Wildlife Conservation, or Women's Development. Volunteers stay with host families, where they share space, build relationships, practice language, and learn about traditional culture, food, home rituals, and customs.


  • Aarhus University Summer University (NDSU Exchange) - $1,700-$2,500 (based on ND resident tuition rate, variable NDSU tuition applies) for a summer during one or more summer terms (early July to late July and/or mid-July to mid-August) 2014, 3-6 credits
    AU Summer University consists of a portfolio of courses taught in English at Bachelor, Master, and PhD level within the fields of Humanities, Theology, Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Business and Educational Sciences. As all teaching at Aarhus University is research-based, courses have a strong academic foundation.


  • Business and Law in Biotechnology, and German Language Study at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (ISEP Direct) - $3,000-$4,000 for a summer mid-July to mid-August during summer 2014, 4-5 credits
    The program combines business, law and natural sciences lectures and seminars taught by internationally renowned scholars and practitioners. The program combines high-quality learning with a wide range of cultural and social activities. In addition to the academic courses, two on-site visits at international biotechnology companies and a three-day trip to Munich will add a more hands-on element to the content learned in class. Furthermore, students will attend German language courses on different levels in the afternoons. Recreational excursions during the weekends will show students some of the most beautiful places in Germany. Above all, studying abroad will help participants broaden their horizons by bringing them closer to foreign cultures, interact and share their diverse experiences and – most important – is fun!


  • Modern Hungary and Hungarian Language Study at University of Debrecen (ISEP Direct) - $3,500-$4,500 for a summer late-July to mid-August during summer 2014, 6 credits
    Spend four weeks in Hungary experiencing Hungarian culture and learning about this unique country through the University of Debrecen. Hear local folk singing, travel to historic places giving you a glimpse of the past of Central Europe, and meet students and other enthusiasts of Hungary and its culture coming from more than 40 countries of the world. This exciting program offers a general survey of the political and cultural history of Hungary in the 19th and 20th centuries with the possibility of learning Hungarian on any level of your choice from beginner to advanced.

South Korea

  • Konkuk University Internship and Cultural Experience Program - $1260 for a summer late-June to late July during summer 2014, non-credit, financial assistance included
    KU internship and cultural experience program (KU ICE) at Konkuk University is a five week long program intended to invite students from English-speaking countries such as US, Canada and England and to provide them with hands-on internship experience through teaching English to the university students during the summer vacation at Konkuk University, South Korea. The program is suitable for the students majoring in various fields including TESOL program and especially valuable to those having a general interest in South Korea. Students receive financial assistance of 1,000,000 Korean won (approx $800) upon arrival.
  • Konkuk University International Summer Program (NDSU Exchange) - $2700-2900 (based on ND resident tuition rate, variable NDSU tuition applies) for a summer early-July to early-August during summer 2014, 6 credits
    The International Summer Program (ISP) at Konkuk University is a one-month long summer program that provides a great opportunity for international students wishing to learn about and experience Korea and its culture.  This program is suitable for students majoring in various fields and especially valuable to those having a general interest in Korea and/or Asia. Students can now utilize their summer vacation to gain an understanding of this vibrant region that is considered a global economic powerhouse and a gateway to the world.


  • World Endeavors Volunteer Abroad: Thailand (Affiliate) - $1290 for 1 week plus $225 each additional week for a timeframe you set during summer 2014, non-credit
    As one of the largest, most populous, and most ecologically diverse nations in Southeast Asia, Thailand has long been a popular destination for tourists. Visitors are drawn to its friendly people, stunning scenery, and world-renowned cuisine. Beyond the Thailand that most tourists experience, however, there are many social and environmental challenges plaguing the country. World Endeavors volunteers in Thailand can make a meaningful contribution to Thai society through a community-focused volunteer project, all while experiencing immersion in authentic Thai culture.