5 Affordable Online Colleges with Unique Study Abroad Destinations 2024

Affordable Online Colleges with Unique Study Abroad Destinations - featured image

Author: Rai Antonio / Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson, M.S.Ed. / Reading Level: Grade 8

Key Takeaways:

  • Study abroad programs can be a good source of cultural exposure, strengthening a student’s perspective of the world.
  • Purdue University Global offers study abroad programs in London, UK, and Geneva, Switzerland, providing diverse international experiences for students.
  • Arizona State University and University of Arizona offer a wide range of study abroad programs for students.

An online degree gives you the convenience in completing your coursework. Did you know that can also travel while attending an online college? If you like traveling, you should find online colleges that feature study abroad programs! You can travel abroad for your studies, internship, and other opportunities. You can also do all these without sinking your finances.

Featured Programs

Let’s explore some online colleges that offer unique study abroad programs.

Affordable Online Colleges with Unique Study Abroad Destinations - fact

5 Affordable Unique Study Abroad Destinations

Purdue University Global

West Lafayette, Indiana


Average Tuition: $6,785 (Net Price)

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Purdue Global is the online university arm of the Purdue University system. Students enrolled at Purdue Global can take part in study abroad opportunities through the Education Abroad program, which can be done either in-person or virtually. 

Purdue Global’s programs that have study abroad components currently include Business and Health Sciences, though destinations change by academic year. Upcoming travel abroad (both virtual and in-person) destinations include: 

  • London, UK 
  • Geneva, Switzerland


  • Nationally ranked public school
  • More diverse


  • Low graduation rate
  • Large class sizes

Arizona State University

Phoenix, Arizona


Average Tuition: $14,808 (Net Price)

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Arizona State University Online’s range of Study Abroad programs is expansive, with around 300 different programs that take students to over 65 countries. ASU’s study abroad programs also differ greatly in length. Depending on the program, students can spend as little as a week up to a semester abroad. 

Arizona State University’s range of overseas experiences also varies given the range of its offerings, and they typically take the following forms:

  • Global Intensive Experiences (taken during academic breaks)
  • Semester Programs
  • Global Virtual Internship (linked up with over 7,000 companies worldwide)
  • ASU’s Global Flex Program (6, 12, or 18 weeks in length)
  • Faculty-directed Programs (done over the summer) 


  • Higher graduation rate
  • More diverse
  • Nationally ranked global university


  • Larger class sizes

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona


Average Tuition: $17,075 (Net Price)

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, WASC Senior College and University Commission

The University of Arizona has a unique feature among US universities in that it operates a number of overseas campuses. Study abroad opportunities are thus offered to the University of Arizona’s traditional and online students.

Since they operate their own range of overseas locations, students enjoy the benefit of UA’s Main Campus tuition rates as well as all applicable financial aid offerings. A number of programs at UA also have Global Tracks, including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, and more. UA’s Overseas campuses are in the following locations:

  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • Costa Rica
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Cambodia
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Australia


  • Nationally ranked global university
  • More diverse


  • Larger class sizes

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania


Average Tuition: $19,551 (Net Price)

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Pennsylvania State University offers online programs through the PSU World Campus. Study abroad opportunities are available to students. PSU’s range of study abroad opportunities includes over 300 programs in over 50 countries for the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

PSU also has embedded programs that have shorter travel components done during breaks or at the end of the term. PSU’s study-abroad locations include the following:

  • Ecuador
  • Australia
  • China
  • Netherlands
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • South Africa
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand


  • Higher graduation rate
  • Smaller class sizes


  • Less diverse

University of Florida Online

Gainesville, Florida


Average Tuition: $10,791 (Net Price)

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

The state’s flagship institution, the University of Florida, offers study abroad opportunities. The program is open to on-campus and online students. UF partners with top-tier institutions worldwide to make this happen.

UF’s study abroad opportunities apply to numerous academic disciplines. In the program, students can conduct research, join internships, and study. 

The study abroad locations are:

  • UF in Utrecht (Netherlands)
  • UF in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • UF in Aachen (Germany)
  • Stockholm University (Sweden)
  • Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
  • Waseda University (Japan)


  • Top 10 public school
  • High graduation rate
  • More diverse


  • More competitive

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best places to study abroad?

According to recent data, European countries are the favored destination for American students studying abroad. A big factor is the language. Many European countries have a high percentage of English speakers. Europe’s Schengen system also eliminates border controls.

Many universities in Europe match top-tier American universities in terms of educational quality. The transport networks make traveling to the destinations easy! 

According to Open Doors, a project of the Institute of International Education, Italy tops this list. It’s not surprising because Italy is culturally rich. It also offers a superb higher education system. Some of the world’s oldest universities are also in Italy. The University of Bologna, the world’s oldest, was founded in 1088.

What college in the United States sends the most students abroad?

There are two ways to look at this data. If we go by the percentage of the total student population, the top spot in this US News & World Report ranking goes to Goucher College. It has 97% of its 2022 graduates having participated in study abroad programs. Goucher College is in Towson, Maryland.

If we go by sheer numbers, though, Brigham Young University takes the top spot, having sent 2,878 students abroad during the 2021/2022 academic year, according to the 2023 Open Doors report. UT Austin and NYU follow this.

What are the advantages of studying abroad?

Studying abroad is a very valuable opportunity for some and has a number of distinct advantages. For one, this is a very good source of cultural exposure that opens up a student’s perspective of the world. Studying abroad certainly adds value to many degrees. There’s a key difference between going abroad as a student versus as a tourist who has very limited experience of a destination country. Studying abroad also potentially builds students’ networks on a personal and professional level, and on a practical level, many potential employers look favorably on time spent on overseas study.

What are some key things to consider before studying abroad?

Studying abroad involves a good amount of pre-planning, goal setting, and research on the student’s part. This includes the culture and customs of a destination country and in terms of the destination university and all relevant laws and regulations surrounding the overseas study period.

Studying abroad also requires students to prepare their finances, in terms of securing sources of funding for the time spent abroad, scholarship requirements, personal budgets, phone and data plans, accommodation, and crucially, insurance. If you want to see some other affordable study abroad options check out this ranking of the most affordable study abroad options in Europe. Students also have to prepare various legal documents such as visas, and have plans in place in case of emergencies (contacts with the Embassy, keeping in touch with home, etc).

Lastly, students have to be mentally prepared for the overall experience and potential stress that living abroad can bring. This includes culture shock, the need to adjust to a foreign culture, and the overall feeling of homesickness.


  • Open Doors, Institute of International Education
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics
  • US News & World Report