The Opportunity Cost of Study Abroad Programs: An Economics-Based Analysis
Keywords:Study abroad, study abroad cost, opportunity costs, Economic based analysis
This article presents an analysis of the assumption that study abroad is an academic program, and, in that sense, no different from, for example, programs offered in literature or physics. The purpose of the analysis is, first, to summarize briefly some standard study abroad practices, and indicate their revenue and cost implications. This is done in Part II. The second purpose, presented in Part III, is to discuss the opportunity cost of study abroad. The analysis presented therein will be familiar to economists, but will likely be novel to many college and study abroad administrators. It will demonstrate with a numerical example why the standard interpretation of study abroad costs is wrong, and provide an economic approach whereby costs can be correctly assessed.
The assumption underlying the analysis is that study abroad is an academic
program, and, in that sense, no different from, for example, programs offered
in literature or physics.