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Although some program providers will include group air travel at an extra cost, most semester and year-long study abroad programs require that you book your own airline tickets.  This can be a daunting task, even to the most seasoned traveler.  Price, flight schedules, airline availability, connection times, required departure dates and frequent flier miles are all factors that can impact your ultimate purchasing decision.  We recommend searching at least three sites before booking.  If you have questions about purchasing a ticket or are nervous about buying a ticket online, call 605-274-5050 and make an appointment with a study abroad advisor.  We are happy to guide you through the process!

Please avoid waiting to book until a couple of weeks prior to your departure date in the hopes of securing a "deal" on airfare.  You can sometimes find last minute deals when you have flexibility with your departure date or destination, but for an international flight with a rigid departure date and destination, you are very likely to pay more the longer you wait to purchase a ticket (and significantly more if you wait until the last minute!)

Before you make your final reservation, make sure you know the requested arrival date and availability of housing at your destination.  Most program providers will give you a time frame in which to arrive (e.g. between 12 pm and 7 pm) so that they can meet arriving students at the airport.  As for returning home, consider whether you want to travel at the end of your program before making your reservations.  While you can change the return date on a round-trip ticket, there can be significant fees charged for this so planning in advance is helpful.

Here are a few travel websites that the International Programs Office recommends:

Student Universe
Student Universe provides students with discounted airfares to many destinations.

Mossimo is a search engine that allows you to compare multiple websites simultaneously.

Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites to give you a variety of flight schedules and prices.

STA Travel
STA Travel offers discounted airfares to students.

Cheapflights works with over 300 international partners to offer a wide array of discounted flights.