The “real” cost of studying abroad includes more than tuition and fees. We can help you develop a budget for direct enroll or exchange programs. For programs through an affiliate provider, visit their website for program costs. Costs you will incur include:
- UND application fee
- UND study abroad fee
- Tuition (paid to UND or program)
- Books and supplies
- Travel expenses (including airfare and in-country transportation)
- Affiliate provider application fee (if applicable)
Budgeting Your Costs
Although the cost breakdown forms will give you a good estimate of the overall cost of your program, the costs, such as tuition, are dependent on the exchange rate and are subject to change. It is also important that you do individual research as well. Everyone’s spending habits are different, and it is impossible to define a general amount that will be accurate for each student. Please talk to students who have studied at your intended destination—they are truly your best resources, having lived through what you are about to experience.
The internet is also an excellent resource for cost of living and travel information and expenses. Here are three sites we like:
- GoOverseas Ultimate Guide to Financing your Life Abroad
- Affordable Colleges Study Abroad Financial Resources
Accessing Funds Overseas
There are a number of ways to transport and access funds from outside the U.S.
Debit and Credit Cards
Debit and credit cards are a relatively safe, easy to use, and often yield the best exchange rate. Be sure to check with your bank or credit card company to find out what sort of fees they may charge you for each withdrawal. Visa is the most widely recognized credit card abroad. It is best to have both an ATM card and a credit card. Be aware that many debit cards do not offer fraud protection. Check with your bank and credit cards to see if they offer fraud protection.
For safety’s sake, keep a copy of your credit card number (even a photocopy of the front and back of the card itself) at home with a trusted person and one with yourself. Make sure you also have a contact number for the issuing company or bank in case you need to cancel the card due to theft or loss.
Some students choose to set up their accounts so that someone at home can monitor their balances (in case of discrepancies due to fluctuating exchange rates) and deposit additional funds if necessary. Delegating the Power of Attorney, or the right to access your funds, to a trusted family member may be necessary. Your bank officials can help you with this.
Host Country Bank Account
If you’re going to be abroad for an extended period of time, it may be advantageous to look into setting up a bank account for yourself while you’re there. It is absolutely crucial that you understand the banking policies of your host country before making any decisions about opening an account for yourself. However, having a bank account in the local currency can potentially save you time and hassle, as well as give you additional insight into life in your host country. Be aware that there may be additional charges for transferring money.
Many local banks do provide a service for you to obtain foreign currency before your departure. There is usually a service charge attached to each transaction. You may also withdraw money in your host country currency from an ATM once you have arrived. Keep in mind what day you are arriving in-country as banks may be closed.
There are many companies, such as Western Union or TransferWise, that allow for travelers to wire money overseas. This can be used to transfer money into a host country bank account or to access funds directly from the wiring company. Make sure to do your research ahead of time to verify you are wiring your money through a verified and secure company.