Skip to content

Finances

Finances



 

Financing Study Abroad

The financial aid situation is going to depend on the policies at your home university. EPA recommends that students meet with a financial aid counselor at their home university at the beginning of the application process. The financial aid counselor can explain how your aid, merit scholarships, etc. would transfer to a semester abroad.

EPA Program Costs

The program fee covers the costs of orientation, tuition, accommodation, and internship placement. The program fee does not cover plane fare, student visa, meals, the costs of commuting or any additional personal expenses. Whether or not a student visa is required will depend upon the country.

Scholarships

There are numerous scholarships and other resources available for study abroad. There are also a good number of scholarships for students studying in foreign languages, which could be useful for students planning to go to our Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Madrid or Brussels Program Sites. Application deadlines vary and some may be up to a year in advance of a study abroad program. Also, be sure you check with a financial aid counselor to discuss how these outside awards might affect your aid. In any case, it will be to your benefit to win a prestigious national award. 

Billing

All students going abroad with EPA Internships in Europe must pay a $300 housing deposit, after they are accepted into the program, in order for EPA to secure their housing. However, the tuition and housing billing situation will be different for each student. If you are going directly through EPA and do not attend an affiliate university, you will usually pay the fee to EPA before the start of the program. If you  attend an affiliate university or the University of Rochester, you may only need to pay the housing deposit directly to EPA as the university will bill you for the remainder of the program fees. You should speak to the EPA US Program Director, your study abroad office, and your financial aid counselor to verify how the billing process will work in your specific case.

Budgeting

‘How can I plan for the cost of day-to-day expenses while broad?’ This may be one of the hardest questions for program providers and study abroad advisers to answer very satisfactorily, and most frustrating thing for students and parents not to be able to predict accurately. But the truth is that the question of how much money you will need while abroad depends so much on where you're going, what your personal financial situation is, how well or how poorly you manage your money, and what effect inflation and changing currency exchange rates may be having on the cost of living in the country which you will be studying in. It is therefore very difficult for program advisers to answer this question with any degree of precision and accuracy.

You should discuss with your parents the budget you will have to live within, and/or to what degree they may be able to help you with expenses while you are away. Knowing in advance that the first month is almost always the most expensive may help in planning, and in avoiding dismay and panic if and when it happens.

Credit cards are a convenient and usually favorable way of making purchases abroad. But, they offer the same pitfalls as credit card use anywhere, perhaps exacerbated by the feeling of being in a place “you may never be again.” Talking with your parents about how to manage spending, whether it is their money or yours, is probably a very important discussion to have before you leave.

Currency Exchange

In most of Europe, ATM debit cards offer the most convenient way of getting foreign currency, and usually a favorable rate of exchange as well. If you do not already have an account with an ATM card, you might want to get one for the time you are abroad. Be sure that the bank you are opening an account with has reciprocal agreements with banks in the country you will be traveling in, and ask whether there are any special rules governing PINs, withdrawal amounts, what the amount of charges for withdrawals are, etc. Unfortunately, U.S. travelers on the ground in a foreign country often find that the information they were given by their banks back home turns out to be less than totally accurate, or insufficiently comprehensive. You can visit www.oanda.com to  determine the current rate of exchange.

Money Matters Tips

1. It is very important that students notify their bank and/or credit card company before they leave the United States and let them know when, how long and where they will be traveling abroad.
2. Students should not carry large amounts of cash; however, it is always a good idea to have at least some cash in the local currency on them at all times.
3. Keep in mind that in many places outside of the United States, including Western Europe, cash is the preferred method of payment.
4. Traveler's checks have become outdated. Plan on using your credit card and debit card while abroad