Five unexpected costs to look out for while abroad

By Caitlin Heikkila, Community Manager at
Published February 15, 2013

Maybe you’ve saved up enough to pay for your tuition while you study in far off places like Rome, Hong Kong, or Buenos Aires, but have you considered all of the additional costs of your program? Be smart about your venture. Make sure you know about all of those extra hidden fees before you leave on your trip and plan out how you’ll pay for them. Here are some costs to look out for, and a helpful way to raise money to cover them.

Phone Fees

Being in a new country, you may have to invest in a new cell phone plan. Do your research before your trip, and be sure to get some information from your program. Many international plans are paid for by the minute, so be sure to use your minutes wisely!

Trips Within Your Trip

Because you’ll be studying in a brand new place, you’ll likely want to take some smaller trips while you’re away. Maybe if you’re in London, you’ll take a short flight to Florence or Paris. Be sure you account for the trips you want to take and budget accordingly.

ATM Fees

It may not seem like much to have to pay a couple dollars when you use the ATM, but after a few months it can really add up! Talk to your bank about what they charge for International ATMs and outside bank fees.

Food & Drink

Trying new food in an important part of learning about a culture, but too many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners out can start to take a toll on your wallet—whether you’re abroad or not! Designate certain nights per week for “dining in” and save your nights out for special occasions.


Many programs have a variety of options for student housing, from campus dorms, to apartments, to host houses. Look into all options, and any additional costs that come with each option, then choose the option that best fits your budget.

After you’ve budgeted for all of those extra fees, plan your fundraising schedule for the time leading up to your trip. We recommend checking out, an educational crowdfunding platform for students to fundraise online to achieve their school-related goals and dreams. Students can create Missions to fundraise for academic expenses, including any of the expenses associated with studying abroad.  Students can then send these Missions out to their family and friends, letting them know how important their goal is to them. It’s also an awesome way to stay in touch with family and friends while you’re away, and keep them updated on your journey. Check it out here and get started!

Looking for more information? Check out more ways to fund your study abroad trip.