The actual cost of studying abroad will depend on the location and on the program with which you study. There are some fixed costs, however, that you can readily compare. Foremost among these will be the costs for tuition, room, and board (often collectively known as "program costs" because these are expenses for which you will be billed).
IWU has a home-school tuition policy, which means that students studying abroad pay the regular IWU tuition -- unless the study abroad tuition is higher, in which case the student pays that higher cost. Students do not, however, pay IWU room and board fees; rather, they pay the room and board costs of the program. Exceptions to this policy include students participating in May Term travel courses; students on summer programs; students participating in the IWU Spain and IWU London programs; students on the IWU Morocco Exchange; and students on the Pembroke Program. Your program provider's Web site will provide you with a current breakdown of program costs.
In addition to these fixed program costs, there are a number of other expenses you need to consider when planning to study abroad. These expenses -- often called "expected costs" or "anticipated costs" -- will not be billed to you by the program but are rather items that you will need to cover on your own, either before you depart or as you are living abroad.
Among the expenses you might expect are the following:
- An application fee
- Passport and visa fees
- Medical examination and immunizations
- Additional insurance
- International Student ID Card (ISIC)
- Round-trip airfare from the United States to your host country
- Ground transportation on site
- Books and other supplies
- Additional meals (if the program costs do not provide for three meals a day)
- Optional travel expenses (for personal travel or participation in an optional program excursion)
- Cell phone rental and usage fees
- International calling card
- Computer fees
- Gifts if staying with a host family
- Personal expenses (toiletries, laundry, etc.)
Your program provider’s website should offer a list of expected costs for the location to which you will be traveling. In addition, it’s useful to talk with recently returned students or faculty to get a sense of the “real” costs. And, of course, as part of your early pre-departure research, you should look into currency exchange rates and any fees that your bank or credit card companies charge for international transactions (see the Money Matters section).
Students are responsible for submitting any deposits specified directly to their program by the published deadline. For the IWU Spain and IWU London Programs, deposits are applied to the overall program costs. Deposit/confirmation deposits charged by affiliated programs are usually applied to overall program costs, but not in all cases: check with your program.
Tuition for your study abroad program will be billed through IWU using the regular billing cycle. Room and board costs, however, are not usually billed through IWU (except for the Pembroke, IWU London and IWU Spain, Morocco and Lingnan Exchange programs). Rather, those costs will be billed directly to you (or your parents) by your study abroad program. Therefore, you should anticipate receiving two bills for studying abroad, but they will be for different charges.
IWU London and IWU Spain Program Billing
A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required to secure a student's place on either IWU London or IWU Spain programs. This deposit will be credited toward the student's final bill. IWU will issue a bill of tuition, room, and board, plus a program fee (approx. $5,000-$5,200). The program fee covers airfare, a meal stipend, group excursions and admissions, ground transportation, and other expenses.
For Pembroke College tuition and room charges will be billed through the IWU account. Board is paid on-site to Pembroke College.
IWU Morocco Exchange Billing
Because this is a true exchange program, in which students from IWU change places with students from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, each student pays tuition, room, and board to their home institution -- which means IWU students will be billed for their regular IWU costs.
IWU Keio Exchange Billing
In this exchange, students pay tuition to their home institutions, but not room or board costs, which are billed by the host institution. This means IWU students on the Keio program will be billed IWU tuition, but will pay for housing and meals in Japan.
IWU Lingnan Exchange Billing
In this exchange program, students pay tuition and housing to their home institutions, but not board costs, which are either billed by the host institution or paid by the students on an as-needed basis. This means IWU students on the Lingnan program will be billed IWU tuition and room, but will be responsible for paying meal costs at Lingnan's cafeterias.