How You Can Pay for Your Education Abroad

Ask anyone who has gone abroad to college—attending school far from home creates opportunities beyond the classroom. Explore a new city, connect with a different culture, and form lasting friendships, all while earning a degree.

Maybe you have considered a semester abroad, but why not enroll in a college or university outside the traditional options? You may find that this path opens doors you never expected.

Every quarter, the U.S. Department of Education publishes a list of international schools that participate in federal financial aid programs for students. Families with accounts in 529 college savings plans like my529 can use their money for qualified expenses without tax penalty at eligible institutions outside the United States. The applicant is responsible for determining a school’s eligibility, as it is subject to change.

Here are seven college destinations that may not be on your radar.

  1. IRELAND—Discover your Irish roots—or set down new ones—at universities in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, or Belfast.
  2. AUSTRALIA—Say g’day to an Australian university in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, or Brisbane, as well as many other institutions throughout the country. If you’ve ever wanted to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, traverse the outback, or visit Sydney’s famed opera house, you’re on the right continent.
  3. ISRAEL—If Israel is more your style, try The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, or the University of Haifa. Learn more about the political history of the region, the challenges it faces today, and how the ancient and modern intersect to create a vibrant, thriving culture. Study technology in Tel Aviv, diplomacy in Haifa, or ancient Near East studies in Jerusalem.
  4. CANADA—If you prefer to stay in North America, look to a wealth of Canadian university offerings spanning the country in every province from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. Practice your French in Montreal, take in Toronto’s metropolitan skyline, or enjoy proximity to world-class skiing near Vancouver.
  5. WESTERN EUROPE & ASIA—Put your high school language classes to work in Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Japan, or Thailand. Worried that your language skills won’t impress the locals, or not sure about trial by immersion? Think about England, Scotland, or Wales.
  6. SAND & SURF—Feeling beachy? Study medicine or veterinary medicine in the Caribbean at St. George’s University in Grenada. Other universities with nearby beaches include Saba, Dutch Antilles; Cape Town, South Africa; Greece; or the Dominican Republic.
  7. BUSINESS & STEM—Get a global perspective by studying business in Copenhagen, London, Barcelona, Berlin, or Amsterdam. If science and technology is your focus, Hong Kong might be just the right destination.

How will you pay for education in such exotic locales? Learn how a my529 account can help.

my529 is Utah’s official nonprofit educational savings plan. 529 funds can be spent on qualified higher education expenses like tuition, fees, required books, equipment, and certain room and board expenses. Beneficiaries can attend any eligible educational institution in the United States or abroad that accepts federal financial aid for students. You don’t need to be a Utah resident to open a my529 account or be the beneficiary of 529 funds.

Discover more at or by calling 800.418.2551.