One thing that I may not have mentioned before is that, it would seem to be highly economical to visit places other than the one your study abroad program is hosted in, if you are able to. For my particular program, the cost associated with travel across 5 time zones doesn’t come cheap. So, why not visit other places while you’re away from home? Visit the countries or other locations within your program region a few days or weeks before or after your program makes all the sense in the world.
I do understand that the although the cost of airfare or other long-distance transport is maximized the longer your stay in a country, other costs increase over time. Food, accommodations, and short-distance transit, which may have all been worked into your overall program costs, will now have to be fully paid out-of-pocket. But looking at the bright side, you may never have the opportunity to visit that part of the world again. Of course, I am not suggesting that you splurge your college fund by staying 6 months visiting 20 countries in the Far East. In reason, visiting nearby countries via a cheap means of travel can easily be justified. This is especially true in developed areas such a Europe, where public transportation is widely available and often, heavily subsidized.