Since the Office of Global Education required students studying abroad to pay the same tuition as those studying on-campus in 2005, students have raised concerns about the fee structure.
According to Tori Costa (COL ’18), a Spanish and Portuguese double-major studying at the Complutense University of Madrid, tuition at her university in Spain costs 1,000 euros — roughly $1,096 — a semester. In comparison, Georgetown’s tuition is $49,968 for the 2016-17 academic year.
Costa said she was upset when she realized the disparity between what she was paying and what the program actually costs.
“I was livid,” Costa said. “It makes it inaccessible for students who can’t afford to not work for a semester, along with the endless pressure to travel and to finance local activities.”
According to Director of Strategic Communications Rachel Pugh, this fee structure was implemented in order to allow students to choose their overseas programs based on academics as opposed to cost.
Pugh said the fees are used to cover a wide range of costs, including overhead expenses related to the time and resources devoted to study abroad as well as the support students continue to receive from the university throughout their time abroad.
“While students are abroad they continue to have access to many Georgetown services and support programs while abroad. For example, students continue to require significant amounts of advising, before, during and after on site experiences,” Pugh wrote in an email to The Hoya.
Jared Ison (SFS ’17), who studied abroad in Argentina last year, said he does not view the university’s policy as reasonable.
“There was not in my mind enough of a connection to the university during my time abroad to justify the cost relative to the prices paid by other students,” Ison said.
Cassidy Gasteiger (COL ’18), who is currently studying abroad at the University of Botswana, said even though financial aid continued to apply to her study abroad program, other students should not pay full Georgetown tuition for study abroad if the tuition abroad is cheaper.
Under the policy, financial aid awards and other grants remain in effect while students are abroad.
“I guess in principle, the financial load seems ridiculous in that tuition here is way less than at Georgetown, but I’m still expected to pay full Georgetown tuition,” Gasteiger said. “At the same time, I’m on financial aid anyway and all of that transferred effortlessly, as promised.”
Costa said study abroad should be accessible to all those at Georgetown because it is a valuable experience.
“Everyone at Georgetown should have the opportunity to study abroad if they are interested in it, because it is such a good experience,” Costa said.
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.