How to Find Cheap Flights For Your Study Abroad Semester (2024)

The cost of flying is one of the highest (if not the highest) costs when it comes to traveling. But there are ways to find cheap flights, both from the US and while you’re abroad, especially if you’re a student or youth (under 26). If you know what tools to use and what to look for, you can find cheap flight for study abroad. Keep reading for those tools and tips.

Find cheap flights toyour study abroad destination

Your most expensive flight during your study abroad semester will definitely be the one to and from the US. But there are ways to get that cost down and to find cheap flights for your study abroad semester.

Get student discounts on flights

If you’ve never heard ofStudentUniverse, head to their site and bookmark it. StudentUniverseoffers discounted airfare to college students, and the discounts can be HUGE. They are especially useful if you need to fly into a city that doesn’t have an international airport and will therefore need to layover, as you can save hundreds of dollars when booking with a student site. STA Travel is a similar company, so check airfares on their site too.

The reason that STA and StudentUniverse are able to get student discounts with certain airlines is because the airlines are banking on the fact that you might become a long-term customer.

Don’t believe you’ll save money on your study abroad flight? I’ve personally saved so much myself by booking through StudentUniverse, but I tested it for you too. I searched for a roundtrip flight from NYC to Florence, Italy (which has a very small, regional airport, with flights that are usually very expensive). I chose the option of only one, non-overnight layover (direct is impossible) on the same dates. The cheapest option I found on Skyscannerwas $1,120, but on StudentUniverse it was only $784— a $336difference.

Timing is everything

Generally speaking, the earlier you can book your study abroad flight, the better the price will be. But fares do fluctuate, so as soon as you know what date you need to arrive to your study abroad destination, create a fare alert (sites likeStudentUniverseand Skyscanner let you do this). You’ll then receive emails when the cost of flights for your chosen datesincrease or decrease significantly, telling you to hold off, or to purchase your tickets.

At the end of the day, don’t wait too long to book your study abroad flight. Besides saving money, you’ll probably just be relieved to know that it’s booked, and you can now begin your study abroad countdown clock.

Watch those baggage fees

In the last couple of years, quite a few “discount” international airlines, like Norwegian and WowAir, have popped up with great deals to cities all around the world. This is great for budget travelers, but for study abroad students, you might not end up saving that much money in the end due to the baggage fees, which can be as much as $80 per bag per flight. These budget airlines always charge extra for checked bags, and if you’re bringing one or two pieces of large luggage, the price will increase significantly, especially when booking a roundtrip ticket.

So be sure to check the fine print to see what you’ll be charged extra for before you booking your international flight for your study abroad semester.

How to find cheap flights while studying abroad

When you’re studying abroad, you may decide to fly to other destinations for your weekend travel plans. If that sounds expensive, don’t worry– the rest of the world is much better than the US at having lots of budget airlines to choose from to get you from point A to point B. They aren’t perfect, in fact budget airlines can be incredibly frustrating, but you’ll save big money on your study abroad flights than if you were to book with a normal airline.

Which sites to use to find cheap flights while studying abroad

It’s best to check a few different flight comparison sites to see if you can find differences in flight prices before you book anything.

For study abroad students looking to travel within their study abroad continent, I recommend checking Skyscanner and Kayak. In many cases, they’ll bring up similar results, but sometimes they don’t. I once was about to book a flight from London to Los Angeles on Skyscanner for over $1,000, and then at the last minute I checked Kayak. I snagged a flight for $666 that wasn’t showing up on Skyscanner.

Watch out for the extras

As mentioned in the section above, just because a flight on one airline is $30 cheaper than another doesn’t mean it’s the one you should book. Keep an eye out for these infamous, often over-looked extras when trying for find cheap flights for study abroad :

• Transfers – Some budget airlines fly into airports that are up to two hours outside of the city center, so you’ll need to purchase a train or bus ticket to get anywhere close to where you’ll be staying. Plus, you’ll add a ton of travel time onto your trip.

Baggage – Budget airlines charge for checked bags, and sometimes even for carry-ons. Know what the baggage policy is before you end up having to pay more for your luggage than your actual flight.

• Boarding pass –print it at home, or have it on their app, or you may be charged extra for the airline to print it at the check-in desk.

• Food and drinks on the plane –budget airlines don’t even give you free water. Make sure you fill up your own water bottle before boarding the plane.

• Seat choice –if you and your friends book your tickets separately, you won’t be sat together, and the airline will charge you to choose your seat, even at the check-in desk.

Still not sure about flying budget airlines?Our guide to surviving budget airlines while studying abroadwill help.

More tips for findingcheap flights for study abroad

Is flying the best option?

When I studied abroad and was not as savvy as I am now, I didn’t question flying to just about every destination I visited on the weekends during my semester. Looking back, there were a few times where it would have been cheaper to take a sleeper bus or high-speed train. Keep in mind that when you fly somewhere, you have to be at the airport two hours early, which adds a lot to your travel time. So even ifyou found cheap flights, it may make more sense to bus it or train it, for various reasons.

Before you book any flights for your weekend travel, use Rome2Rio to see what other options you have for getting somewhere.

Sign up for mailing lists forcheap flights for study abroad

Be the first to know about flight sales and special deals from the budget airlines that operate out of your study abroad city by signing up to their email list. As soon as you see a good deal come through, book it quickly! You can also sign up for a service like Jack’s Flight Clubor Scott’s Cheap Flights to find deals for your international flight or ones when you’re studying abroad.

Being flexible will save you a lot

The number one rule for findingcheap flights for study abroad is being flexible. There are multiple ways to do this…


Being willing to be at the airport at 4am for a 6am flight means you’ll get the cheapest tickets of the day. Same thing for the last flight of the night too.


Being able to shift around your departure day, even if by just half a day, can mean a huge difference in price. Flights on Fridays and Sundays tend to be the most expensive, as everyone wants to get away on a weekend when they’re not working, so if you can depart on a Thursday instead, you’ll save.


Layovers on short flights can be super annoying, but if Skyscanner is telling you you’ll save a ton of money by doing one, it’s worth it.

I hope this helps you save lots of money on your study abroad flights so that you can spend it on other much cooler travel things. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips forfinding cheap flights for study abroad.

How to Find Cheap Flights For Your Study Abroad Semester (2024)


How to Find Cheap Flights For Your Study Abroad Semester? ›

A student flight ticket entitles students of any school, university or college to travel domestically as well as internationally from India. A student flight ticket booking offers special discounted airfares, letting them travel across the country and outside it round the year.

Do we get student discount on international flights? ›

A student flight ticket entitles students of any school, university or college to travel domestically as well as internationally from India. A student flight ticket booking offers special discounted airfares, letting them travel across the country and outside it round the year.

How do people afford to study abroad? ›

Applying for Scholarships

In addition to any study abroad scholarships they may earn, students may be able to apply their current financial aid packages toward study abroad programs. Study abroad scholarships are financial awards that help students cover such expenses as lodging, travel, tuition or books.

Why is StudentUniverse cheaper? ›

Why Is StudentUniverse So Cheap? You may be wondering how they acquire the discounts advertised and posted on their website. StudentUniverse works by directly contacting airlines to negotiate discounted flight offers for students and youth.

How to afford summer study abroad? ›

Here are my best tips for how to afford study abroad!
  1. Get a summer job. ...
  2. Get an internship. ...
  3. Get an on-campus job. ...
  4. Apply for scholarships. ...
  5. Cut back on luxuries. ...
  6. Use points and miles. ...
  7. Get an international debit card. ...
  8. Host a fundraiser.
Feb 28, 2023

Which airlines give international student discount? ›

Airlines Offering Student Discount, Check Special Airfares for Students
  • Delta Airline. Delta Airlines offers the best discounts on airfare to students going for education abroad. ...
  • Singapore Airline. ...
  • IndiGo Airline. ...
  • Vistara Airline. ...
  • Air India Airline.

How do you get big discounts on international flights? ›

Tips to Get Discount on Domestic and International Flights
  1. Make Early Booking. ...
  2. End Moment Ticket Booking. ...
  3. Research Enough. ...
  4. Know When to Book the Flight Finally. ...
  5. Be Flexible & Keep on Experimenting with Travel Dates. ...
  6. Go for the Cheapest Payment Method. ...
  7. Go for an Air Pass. ...
  8. Try to Avoid Flying on Long Weekends.

How much money do you need to study abroad for a semester? ›

A semester abroad through a third-party provider will cost between $15,000 and $22,000 depending on location. These programs usually include housing and sometimes meals. Study abroad can be cheaper if you enroll directly in a foreign university.

How much money should I save before studying abroad? ›

A good average study abroad budget should include around $150-200 for each weekend trip — not including your travel expenses and accommodations (and those are really the parts that will change the most by your distance traveled).

How to afford a semester at the sea? ›

If you are worried about cost, Semester at Sea has their own scholarships you can apply for and the pell grant match! Check with your home college as well to see if their scholarships can be applied towards the program. Semester at Sea is possible for students who come from a low income background!

Can I use StudentUniverse if I'm not a student? ›

StudentUniverse enables the instant booking and payment (full or 10% deposit) of travel accommodation through our website (/hotels) and those of our affiliate sites. Anyone can book accommodation with StudentUniverse Hotels; you do not have to be a student.

Why are tuesdays cheaper for flights? ›

Airlines don't restock on the same day every week like a grocery store, so you won't find deals by waiting until Tuesdays to book. However, you might find some modest savings if you're willing to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when there's less demand than usual.

What airline is known for being cheap? ›

JetBlue. JetBlue is well-known as an affordable airline for budget-conscious travelers. However, their commitment to offering high-quality amenities despite their low ticket prices makes them more than just one of the cheapest US airlines. They're also one of the very best.

Does fafsa cover study abroad summer? ›

You may receive federal student aid for a study-abroad program, if you meet the aid eligibility criteria. If you aren't already in the habit of filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form each year for college, be sure to learn about the federal student aid programs and the FAFSA process.

What is the most affordable country to study abroad? ›

Cheapest Countries to Study Abroad
  1. Germany. Germany is one of the cheapest European countries to study. ...
  2. Norway. Norway is another cheapest European country to study after Germany. ...
  3. France. ...
  4. Canada. ...
  5. India. ...
  6. Taiwan. ...
  7. Poland. ...
  8. UK.
Jul 13, 2023

Can college students get discounts on plane tickets? ›

Students are eligible for special prices on student international travel and domestic flights. Stretch that dollar and make the most of your travel budget by saving on your flight — check out our tips for cheap student flights!

What airlines give discounts to college students? ›

Here is the list of airlines that offers student discounts:
  • American Airlines. American Airlines have some of the flights that offer student discounts. ...
  • Southwest Airlines. Student discount fares are not provided by this Airline. ...
  • United Airlines. ...
  • Delta Air Lines. ...
  • Lufthansa.

Can an international student fly in the US? ›

Travel inside the U.S., including to Hawaii and Alaska, does not require special permission from ISS. This means you do not need request a travel signature on the I-20 or DS-2019, as those are required specifically for reentry into the U.S.

How much weight is allowed in international flight to USA for students? ›

Luggage Guidelines for Students Travelling to the US

Total linear dimensions of each check-in bag should not exceed 158 cm (62 inches). The total weight must not be more than 23 kg (50 pounds).


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