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Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v15 p57-66 Fall-Win 2007-2008

Most colleges and universities offer study abroad programs, and an increasing number of students participate in such programs. The cost of offering and promoting study abroad programs is often misunderstood and incorrectly assessed. This paper provides an analysis of study abroad costs that will be of general interest, but will be especially useful to college and program administrators who have responsibility for budget, program size, and program management decisions. The purpose of this analysis is, first, to summarize briefly some standard study abroad practices, and indicate their revenue and cost implications. This is done in Part II. The second purpose, presented in Part III, is to discuss the opportunity cost of study abroad. The analysis presented therein will be familiar to economists, but will likely be novel to many college and study abroad administrators. It will demonstrate with a numerical example why the standard interpretation of study abroad costs is wrong, and provide an economic approach whereby costs can be correctly assessed. (Contains 1 note.)

Descriptors: Economics, Study Abroad, Costs, Administrators, Income, College Students, Program Administration, Evaluation Methods, Tuition, Fees

Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:

Author: Heitmann, George


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