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Costs > Budgeting for Study Abroad

Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing an international experience. Not only should you understand the costs of your program (please visit the sections of this website regarding tuition, housing, and meal costs of DU Partner Programs, unaffiliated programs, etc.), but you should also anticipate the other costs that will be associated with your travel. It is important that you understand all of the items and services that will and will not be included in your program.

The DU Office of International Education (OIE) does not have any specific budget numbers for students. It has been our experience that budgets vary widely when students are abroad, just as they do on campus. (The cost of living may be the sameā€”it's the lifestyles that vary.) One of the best resources for getting an idea of expenses while abroad is to talk to a variety of students who participated on your program in the last few years. You may also contact your study abroad program directly for estimated expenses or budgeting tips. Some programs post those numbers on their websites, while others you may have to ask.

Another tip is to spend some time before you leave becoming familiar with the local currency you will be using. Check the exchange rate frequently ( www.xe.com) so that you are used to how it compares to the US dollar. Keep in mind that there are usually more expenses during the first month abroad than there will be the duration of your time.

Always look for student discounts! Saving a few dollars here and there can really add up!

We've created a the following cost planning worksheets for your use in planning your expenses for your study abroad experience.  If you need assistance with filling out the worksheet, please make sure to meet with an OIE advisor.

Pre-Departure Costs:

  • Passport
  • Study Abroad Application Fee (this cost is a benefit for Cherrington Global Scholars)
  • Student Visa Application Fee (this cost is a benefit for Cherrington Global Scholars)
  • Airfare (this cost is a benefit for Cherrington Global Scholars)
  • Other possible student visa or immigration costs, such as medical visits, travel to consular offices, photographs, express mail fees, etc.
  • Travel, health, or personal property insurance
  • Immunizations, if applicable
  • Housing security deposit (refundable)

Costs While Abroad:

Check to see if any of these items are included in your program!

    • Communication (phone, internet, postage)
    • Local transit (bus, subway, trains)
    • Bedding, linens and kitchenware
    • Gym membership or other fees related to extracurricular activities
    • Optional excursions offered by the program for an additional cost
    • Course fees
    • Entertainment and personal travel (this is often the biggest expense for study abroad students)
    • Books and other supplies
    • Personal expenses (toiletries, laundry, souvenirs/gifts, etc.)
    • Food / meals (if your program includes a meal plan, be sure you understand any exclusions that may apply)