Budgeting for Your Trip
Students commonly cite cost as one of the major roadblocks to studying abroad. To help applicants prepare for the financial realities of traveling and learning abroad, the Office of International Education requires any student going abroad for a semester or longer to create and submit a personalized budget. This budget should account for any expenses beyond tuition and housing. A complete budget might include the cost of books, food and any additional travel in the host country, though this is not a comprehensive list.
Short-term and faculty led programs include a student budget worksheet on their applications, so that students might better understand their financial obligations. Any items included on the worksheet are intended to help students visualize where they will spend their money, and how much they will need. The budget is not intended as a complete summary of costs.
To better estimate what a student’s spending might resemble abroad, OIE suggests that he or she use a currency converter like OANDA to calculate current exchange rates.
Although the Office of International Education cannot tell you what to put in your budget, or how much money to set aside for your trip, the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA) has created a detailed budget for students to use as a template. A larger version can be found here. We are happy to discuss your budget with you, but suggest that you consider this template as your jumping-off point, as NAFSA is the largest organization dedicated to advising students and promoting education abroad.
Remember, your final budget may include all the listed items or it might not; you may want to include additional expenses in your planning. Be sure that you plan for any expense you can think of!