Study Away

Students receiving financial aid from Williams College can take advantage of studying away overseas as well as within the United States. Financial aid eligibility can be applied to your study away program, provided your plans receive approval by the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS), via the Office of International Education and Study Away.

If you have a question about how to finance your study away experience, you are welcome to reach out to your advisor.

Applying for Aid

  • The Financial Aid application process is the same as if you would be on campus. The same documents are required and the same deadlines apply. (See Applying for Financial Aid.) In addition, you will need to submit the Study Away Budget Proposal and supporting documentation by the deadlines below or as soon as your plan is approved and the costs are finalized.

    Prepare your Study Away Budget Proposal with accurate cost projections (do not submit a tentative budget) and make sure that you account for all of your expenses (students often underestimate their budgets). Expenses include costs for which your program directly bills you (i.e., tuition, fees, on-campus housing, etc.) and costs for which you are not directly billed by your program (i.e., off-campus housing and food, commuter travel, required field trips, expenses associated with breaks and vacations, etc.).

    Thoroughly research your expenses by using various resources. Most program websites offer accurate cost projections or you may try contacting a representative from your study away program for help.

    If you have to make changes to your original budget, you can use this form to share these adjustments. It will be reviewed within 7-10 days upon its receipt by the Student Financial Services Office.

  • DEADLINES Full-Year or Fall Semester Spring Semester
    Study Away Budget Proposal Form June 1 December 1
    Supporting documentation June 1 December 1
  • When filling out applications to renew outside scholarships (National Merit, Elks, etc.), indicate that you will be studying at Williams during your study away term. Since Williams grants academic credit for study away programs, you are technically enrolled at Williams.

  • There are two different billing processes for students who are participating in a study away program, based on whether or not the student is a financial aid and/or student loan recipient. These processes apply to students who are participating in a study away program other than the Williams-Exeter Program at Oxford.

    If you are a financial aid and/or student loan recipient:
    • You should obtain from your program a copy of the invoice showing all charges and forward the invoice to Student Financial Services as soon as it is available.
    • Student Financial Services will process payment(s) to your program for an amount up to the available credit balance on your student account. Please keep in mind that federal funds are not disbursed until 10 days prior to the start of the semester at Williams.
    • If the amount payable to your program is more than the available credit balance on your student account, then you are responsible for paying the remaining balance directly to your program.
    • You should complete the Direct Deposit Authorization form in Williams Student Records before departure to your program so that Student Financial Services can issue refunds via direct deposit, as appropriate.

    If you are not a financial aid and/or student loan recipient:
    • You should obtain from your program a copy of the invoice showing all charges.
    • You are responsible for paying the invoice directly to your program.
    • There will be a charge on your student account for the Study Away Fee of $1,500.00 that is charged to all Williams students who participate in a study away program. This fee is charged once during the first term that you attend your program.
    • If you are enrolled in the college’s health insurance plan and do not waive coverage, there will also be a health insurance charge on your student account.
    • You should pay the charges detailed in your student account directly to Williams by the applicable due date.


Determination of aid eligibility

  • Your family contribution, including your student summer earnings expectation, remains the same as if you were attending Williams. A less expensive program of study does not affect the calculation of your expected family contribution.

  • The Office of Student Financial Services will use your study away budget, up to the cost of attending Williams, whichever is lower, to determine your need for Williams scholarship assistance.  You will not receive more grant from Williams if your study away program budget is higher than the cost of attending Williams.  If that is the case, it may be possible to offset a higher study away cost by increasing the student loan component of your package.

  • Your award is based on your study away budget less your family contribution. 

    A Study Away Fee of $1,500 is charged to all students who study away for a semester or a full year. Financial aid students receive a Study Away Fee Grant of $1,500 in their financial aid packages to cover this charge.

    The remainder of your financial need will be met with federal, state, and Williams grants.

  • Financial aid awards are normally completed in June if your financial aid application is completed by our published deadlines. Awards for spring are completed on a rolling basis as soon as we receive notification from the International Education and Study Away Office that you are approved to study away and your budget proposal is complete.

  • Oxford and Kyoto Programs:

    If you enroll in the Williams-Mystic, Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University or the Associated Kyoto Program, you will receive a bill directly from Williams and normal procedures for payment apply.

    Other study away programs:

    If you enroll in any other program, you will not receive a bill from Williams College. Your program will bill you directly and you are required to submit a copy of your study away program bill to the Office Student Financial Services in order to assure timely payment. You should keep the original bill, as you and your parents may also be required to pay a portion of the billed expenses.

    • Upon receipt of a copy of the bill from your study away program, the Office of Student Accounts will send a check directly to your program.
    • Payments are sent in mid-August for the fall portion of your Williams Grant.
    • Federal and state grants will be forwarded once they can be applied to your student account according to federal and state regulation.
    • If you are away for the entire academic year or for second semester, a check for your spring financial aid will be sent directly to your study away program in mid-December.
    • Any outside scholarship(s), student loan and parent loan proceeds must be received by the Office of Student Accounts before payment can be forwarded to your study away program. When these funds are received by Williams, the Office of Student Accounts will send payment to the study away program.
    • Any balance due to your study away program after all of your financial aid credit has been transferred is your responsibility.

    If you have a past-due balance on your Williams account, then your financial aid will satisfy this debt first and the remainder will be sent as payment to your study away program.

    In some cases, the total financial aid credits will exceed the billed charges of the program resulting in a credit balance on the student's Williams account. You may request a refund of your credit balance from the Office of Student Accounts.

    We encourage you to sign up to have any credit balance on your Williams account directly deposited into your bank account. Complete instructions are available here.

    If you have questions regarding past-due balances, credit balances, or direct deposit, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services at [email protected] or (413) 597-4181.


Some other miscellaneous details to think about

  • Many programs require a deposit. If this creates a hardship for you and your family, complete the online Request Deposit Payment or Aid Advance for Study Away Expenses Form. We can pay the deposit on your behalf as an advance on your study away aid. Payment is usually sent 7-14 days after the form is submitted. If a check must be mailed it may take several additional weeks to reach a program. We recommend you notify the program we have sent a check on your behalf.

  • We encourage you to sign up to have any credit balance on your Williams account directly deposited into your bank account. Complete instructions are available here.

  • Determine the amount of travel money you need and the best way of taking it if your study away program is overseas. Have a plan in place for receiving money overseas. Check with major banks in your home area to see if they have a branch overseas with ATM facilities. Add a parent name (signature) to your savings/checking account so that deposits and withdrawals can be made in your absence.

    Plan ahead regarding where and when you will exchange your U.S. dollars for foreign currency. Many exchange houses charge a commission and it is possible to lose money in the transaction.

    Keep track of the exchange rate before you depart and when you arrive. If the U.S. dollar value drops significantly, please notify the Office of Student Financial Services at once.

  • Your health insurance should provide you with coverage for costs associated with any medical care you require while studying abroad, such as physician office visits, emergency services, hospital inpatient and outpatient services, diagnostic testing services, and prescription drugs. In addition, you should consider purchasing a special policy that provides coverage for medical assistance and evacuation.

    • Become familiar with your policy so you know which medical services are covered and which are excluded.
    • Check to see if your policy has any territorial limits that will prevent it from covering services beyond the continental U.S. (The Williams College student health insurance plan has no territorial limits, so it will cover medical services received outside of the U.S.)
    • Be sure you have a current I.D. card from your insurance company.
    • Get some claim forms, if applicable, and understand the procedures you need to follow to submit bills for reimbursement to your insurance company. Most plans, including the College's, will require that you translate the bills and receipts into English and U.S. dollars before submitting them for reimbursement. If your coverage is through an HMO, you may need to follow specific procedures for getting approval in advance of receiving care. Contact your insurer for more information.

    Check to see if you will be covered under your parents' health insurance policy while you are out of the country. If you will be covered, determine how claims should be handled if you require hospitalization, a doctor's care or medication. If you will not be covered under your parents' policy, you can subscribe to the health insurance offered by Williams College. The College will not automatically enroll students on leave for this coverage, you have to complete the online enrollment process on the Gallagher Student Health website, available after May 1. If you already signed up for the Williams College student health insurance plan at the beginning of the school year, coverage will continue while you are studying away.

    In either case, thoroughly investigate your coverage as well as the insurance offered by your specific study away program. There may be additional benefits offered by the study away program's insurance that are not normally included in your parents' policy or the Williams health insurance plan. Be sure to check them out completely and ask questions if you do not understand your options. A program may request that you purchase 'evacuation' insurance in case an emergency departure is required (for health reasons or political unrest). If you have questions, please call the Williams College Health Center (413) 597-2206.

  • If you do not currently have a passport, apply for one immediately. The Office of International Education and Study Away also requests that you purchase the ISIC (International Student Identification) card available through the Registrar's Office. Contact the Office of International Education and Study Away for details.

    Make two copies of all important identification papers (passport, driver's license, Williams College ID card, Youth Hostel card, etc.). Carry the originals on your person. Leave one set of copies at home with your parents and place the other set in your room or luggage. If the originals are lost or stolen at least you will have copies available until new identification can be obtained.

    If your program requires a Letter of Financial Support in order to acquire your VISA, you may request one from Student Financial Services using this form.