Budgeting and Financial Tips

It’s important to think about all the expenses you are likely to incur while abroad so you and your family can plan ahead. The Fees section for your program explains what your program fee does and does not cover, and will provide you with an “Estimate of Additional Expenses”. For example, your airfare is not included in your program fee. It is important to note that the Estimate of Additional Expenses information is provided for planning purposes only, and may vary according to your own personal spending habits.

Items to consider - Be sure to discuss this with your program manager to see which may pertain to you

  • If you are interested in working while overseas, you may need a special visa. If you are a non-US citizen you may also have a small registration fee to pay upon arrival.
  • Expect to spend extra on meals and basic expenses during your first couple of weeks in-country as you settle in.
  • Some universities assess special course fees for certain academic disciplines. These fees can range from $300 - $4,000 and are usually billed after you have registered for classes overseas. Some courses may also have a supplies and/or lab fees.
  • If you are living in self-catered accommodation you may have to budget for some household items such as pots, pans, silverware, sheets etc.
  • The cost of meals, books, local transport and personal items will vary. If you are assigned to a university residence hall with a required meal plan, you may be billed for this extra cost after your program begins.
  • Personal expenses include costs for laundry, phone calls, entertainment, gym membership, etc. Unlike at most US colleges and universities, where gym fees are included in general tuition fees, students at many overseas universities pay for gym membership separately.
  • Make daily and weekly budgets and stick to them.
Sample Budget Worksheet
Full program fee (including $500 deposit) $              
Orientation expenses
Meals (#program weeks _ x $ _ per wk)
Special Courses Fee
Local transport
Personal expenses
Vacation expenses
Total Expenses

Family contribution $              
Your savings
Stafford Loan (deduct 5% for origination fees)
Other financial aid
Other resources
Total Resources