In order to have a budget for study abroad, students first have to have money ear marked for spending while they are abroad, and the best way to get that is to save.

Students can save money from summer earnings, money from work-study while in school, money received as gifts from family members during the holidays, and so forth. If students save at least 20-30% of everything they earn, they will be in good shape when it comes to studying abroad.

Budget and Personal Expenses

Before making a budget, students should carefully check the information from their program to learn exactly which costs are the student’s responsibilities. There are usually more out-of-pocket costs abroad than there are when students are in residence on the Whitman campus.  Below are items that typically are NOT included in program fees:

  • Housing and key deposits
  • Room and meal expenses during breaks
  • Cost of independent travel during breaks/weekends
  • Optional Field trips/excursions
  • Residence hall activity fees
  • Fees to use computers or access internet
  • Medical Expenses
  • Fees to use athletic facilities or join a gym

Budgeting Tips:

  • Most students report they need more money during the first month because there are many one-time expenses (bus passes, household items, library cards, etc.).
  • During the first few weeks, students may be tempted to purchase souvenirs or other local items, which are new and different.  However, the Off-Campus Studies Office encourages students to be cautious about their purchases at first, as they will probably not yet be familiar with the inexpensive restaurants, bargain shops, or street markets where local products can be purchased cheaply.
  • Students studying abroad will also find that living and eating like the locals usually is less expensive and may result in a richer cultural experience.