Throughout the study abroad process, you will need to budget for various types of expenses. Learn how to plan financially for costs that may occur before and during your program in the sections below.
Get in the Know About Budgeting for Overseas Travel
Apply for a passport if you haven't already done so (approximately $145).
Apply for a visa if required by the country you'll be studying in (costs vary by country from $0-$500). You may also need to budget for travel costs to appear at a Consulate in person, if required.
It is recommended that you check with the Center for Disease Control for all required and optional vaccinations for any countries you will visit abroad.
Consider the following when purchasing airfare:
Check with family members to see if they have airline miles that they are willing to donate to you for use toward your ticket.
Some student travel sites may offer low-cost deposit programs, allowing you reserve your flight and pay the balance before departure
For students who are unsure of their return date, check travel websites (or agencies) to book roundtrip airfare with options to change the return date at a low cost. Research policies regarding changes to your return ticket before you book.
Set fare alerts to see when it would be best to purchase your ticket. You can use sites like Kayak to do this.
Program Fee (Short-term Programs)
Students participating in a spring break, winter break or summer program will be required to pay a non-refundable prepayment upon being accepted to the program and the remaining program fee before departure.
Housing costs (Semester Exchange)
In addition to monthly rent, there may be upfront costs, like an application fee or a housing deposit.
International Health Insurance
Short-term programs include international health insurance in the program fee. Semester exchange students will see the charge on your IU bursar account.
Keep in mind that there may be other items that you'll need to purchase to get ready to study abroad. Items like luggage, outlet adapters, travel guides, etc. may need to be purchased the semester before you study abroad.
Disbursement of Aid
- Financial aid and scholarships disburse ten days before the start of the IU semester you are going abroad
- Review cost estimates for out-of-pocket expenses provided on the O'Neill International fee sheet found on each program page (Please note: fee sheets may not be available until one month prior to the application deadline).
- Talk with returned students for budgetting tips specific to your host country or region.
Keep in mind that most health insurance providers require payment at the time of service and then filing a claim for reimbursement.
Maintain a source of emergency funds (such as access to a credit card with available balance) for unexpected expenses.