Study Abroad in Europe cost

How to Calculate the Cost of Studying Abroad

Engineer working at an adding machineYou’ve picked your study abroad program and even sent in your non-refundable deposit. You’re now only a few months away from getting that first stamp in your passport and beginning a new life abroad.

You plan on working your butt off all summer and will save every little penny that you can in order to pay for this amazing experience. But do you really know how much you’ll need?

Study abroad costs are more than just program fees. To see how much your abroad experience will ultimately drain your bank account, read on for our guide on how to calculate the cost of your study abroad semester.

Know What’s Included in Your Program Costs (and What’s Not)

Currency exchange app screenshotYou’ll be paying for a lot of things when living abroad– food, accommodations, travel, and more. Some study abroad programs include these expenses in their price, but some don’t. Being aware of what is and isn’t covered will help you better estimate what you’ll be paying for out of pocket.

You should receive a list of everything that the program cost covers, but be sure to contact your advisor or program coordinator with questions about any additional charges you are not certain are included.

Here are some costs you may not have thought of:

Will your program include organized travel? If so, where will these trips go, for how many days will you be away, and are meals, accommodations, and transportation included?

Some study abroad programs give their students weekly meal stipends or vouchers they can use at local eateries.

Does your program pick you up from the airport when you first arrive, or are you on your own? Will you be provided with a monthly bus pass that you may need to get to class, or do you have to purchase that yourself?

School materials
Textbooks, printer access, museum entrance cards, art supplies or anything else you may need for class.

You may be provided with small things like a local cell phone and SIM card, a prepaid internet card, or other items that students usually need while living abroad.

Know Your Spending Habits

You’ve done your research, and you know what typical prices are like in your study abroad city. But those numbers won’t help you calculate the cost of your study abroad semester if you don’t know how many times a week you’ll be buying beer, going out to dinner, or using the bus. By figuring out your spending habits, you can accurately calculate how much you’ll spend each week.

Figure out how often you typically shop for clothing and other items that aren’t food, and how much you tend to spend.

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