Fees & Travel Logistics
Fees & Budgeting
Study Abroad may seem pricey at first, but with financial aid, scholarships, and careful budgeting it can be very affordable!
First, craft a budget by totaling all of your costs.
• Program fees
• Usually this is what the “program cost” is on the brochure. It usually includes housing, excursions, and most meals. Read the program information carefully to see what is included.
• Do a quick search online to determine the price for your destination.
• Meals not included, any souvenirs or additional travel
• How much you spend here is up to you and your spending habits. If you buy groceries and cook at home your budget will be a lot lower than if you eat out for every meal, same as at home. If you stay in cheaper hostels on solo travel (try hostelbookers.com or hostelworld.com) and use discount airlines you can save on individual travel too.
• Travel insurance
• This was around $42 for 2018/19 but prices have not been set yet for 2019/20 and may fluctuate.
• Course registration fees (these are the same fees as you would pay on campus, per unit)
• Textbooks/school supplies
• Passport/visa fees (if needed)
• You should check the website of the government of the country you are visiting to determine if you need a visa. Type of visa depends on how long you will be there, and what you will be doing there. The State Department also has a travel page for each country which says whether you need a visa.
• If you need to apply for a passport, apply early!! It can take several months to process, so apply at least 3 months before your departure date, earlier if you also need to apply for a visa.
Now that you have calculated your COST you can start to calculate your FUNDING.
Check with the financial aid office for course registration and textbook funding, look into scholarships for other funding, and save what you can! See our Financial Aid & scholarships page for more information.
Passports, for American citizens: U.S. Department of State
TSA guidelines will tell you what you can and can’t bring on flights: Transportation Security Administration. We recommend you arrive 3 hours early for international flights so you have time to check in and go through security.
For international flights, the best time to book flights is 3-6 months before you travel. Some useful websites for finding airfare, with special discounts for students, are:
You can also try discount airlines like Norwegian air. Just double check extra costs, as often choosing a seat or bringing a carry-on or checked bag costs extra with discount airlines.
It is also a good idea to stay in hostels if you travel on your own while abroad. You can get a private room in a hostel, which is slightly pricier, or you can rent a bed in a dormitory, where there are anywhere from 4-15 other beds. Be careful with your things and lock them in a locker when you can, and check the reviews of the hostel to make sure it is good. Hostels are a great place to meet other travelers and a great budget option if you do your research. Try hostelbookers.com or hostelworld.com to find one.
We recommend downloading a messaging app like Whatsapp while abroad, that you can use to message people while on Wi-Fi. Facebook messenger, Skype, or iMessenger also work on Wi-Fi and are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family back home and fellow participants. We recommend putting your phone on airplane mode the whole time you are abroad to avoid expensive roaming and international data charges, unless you sign up for an international plan in advance. Check with your phone company on international plans, as many, including T-Mobile and AT&T, have affordable international plan options.
Find out how much the American dollar is worth overseas. You can also download the XE Currency app to convert amounts on the go while abroad.
Remember to alert your bank that you are traveling so you can use ATMs and credit cards abroad. Double check if there is an international transaction fee for using your credit card or debit card abroad, or an ATM fee. Using an ATM or credit card often gets you the best conversion rate
If your bank is part of the Global ATM alliance you could use a partner ATM abroad and not be charged an ATM fee. This is separate from an international transaction fee. Check if your bank is partnered with a bank abroad through the Global ATM Alliance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_ATM_Alliance#External_links