Even if you're having a great experience in your undergraduate program, you may get the strong urge to leave your institution for a semester or year and study abroad. However, for many students, their financial aid package may be of concern. The way that expenses are handled in such programs can vary greatly, so it's important to understand whether or not your financial aid package will carry over.
The answer to whether or not financial aid will apply to study abroad programs unfortunately isn't simple. However, in most cases, a college or university that's providing you with financial aid will provide you with the same amount to study abroad for a term. The specifics of how this work will vary depending on where you go to school. What's more, in many cases, the aid will only apply if you go to certain programs affiliated with your university and take a very limited range of coursework. Still, if you're given the opportunity to study in a new place and experience an entirely new culture, you're hardly in a position to complain.
It's important to consult with your school's financial aid department about the specifics of your program. Even for students receiving full financial aid, difficulties can arise when the cost of the study abroad program exceeds the cost of a normal semester on campus. For example, if the tuition cost of your college is $40,000 per semester and your desired study abroad program costs $50,000 per semester, in all likelihood you will be asked to provide the $10,000 difference in costs. Things can still add up even if your entire tuition cost is covered, though; the increased cost of living in many countries can make just going about your day much more expensive, which is a change that many financial aid packages will likely fail to account for.