Undergraduate Study Abroad


Knowing the non-tuition fees and estimated on-site costs for your program will help you determine whether your semester abroad will cost less or more than a semester on campus.

Semester and year-long students pay Brown tuition and Student Resources fee and pay any non-tuition program fees, like room and board, to their program. Knowing the non-tuition fees and estimated on-site costs for your program will help you determine whether your semester abroad will cost less or more than a semester on campus.

When researching your overall program costs, items to keep in mind include:

  • housing
  • meals
  • books/supplies
  • airfare
  • local transportation
  • health insurance
  • passport, visa, and residency permit expenses
  • vaccines and inoculations (if required by program) and other health care costs
  • personal living expenses (including cell phone)
  • personal travel
  • storage costs for your belongings back at Brown

All Brown students eligible for financial aid (with few exceptions) may use their aid for an approved program of semester or year-long study abroad. For summer programs, most forms of financial aid do not apply.


Learning how to budget your money while abroad will take some time and careful observation. Study Abroad peer advisors and other returned students are good resources for information and advice on how to manage your finances abroad.

  • For your budgeting, it’s important to have a good understanding of what your cost of attendance will be for your study abroad program. Your cost of attendance includes Brown tuition and Student Resources Fee (billed to your student account), non-tuition charges (payable to your study abroad program/host university), and all travel-related (e.g. passport, visa, airfare, etc.) and on-site expenses. We recommend looking at the Brown cost of attendance so you can compare a semester on campus compared to study abroad. The Study Abroad Budget Worksheet (accessible on the Office of Financial Aid website under Forms) is available to help you calculate your expenses abroad and in determining out-of-pocket expenses. If your study abroad cost of attendance is greater, you may want to consider applying for outside scholarships or loans to help cover any additional costs. If there is any concern about covering upfront expenses, such as airfare, visa, and/or deposit for your semester(s) abroad, contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible. 
  • A great way to research and estimate costs for specific programs is to ask your study abroad advisor for names of students who studied on that particular program and speak directly with them. 
  • Have a budget and know what you can spend. Keep a daily expense account the first couple of weeks to be able to plan a budget for your entire stay. 
  • Factor in international fees for credit card and debit card transactions (check with your credit card company or bank for specific information on charges). International travel credit cards carry no transaction fees.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate. Try not to think in terms of dollars, although when you first arrive, it is expected. Never exchange money outside of official banks or exchange offices. You can check exchange rates and currency conversions at XE Currency Converter.
  • You will probably spend more money on arrival than at any other point. Be prepared. You are still unfamiliar with where to find the best bargains and with the exchange rate.
  • Know that some businesses may not accept debit/credit cards, ‘swipe’ credit cards, or credit cards without a PIN number.
  • Look out for special rates and discounts wherever you go, and familiarize yourself with what is available in terms of youth or student discounts with your college/university ID, or consider purchasing an International Student Identity Card (ISIC).
  • When you travel, consider staying in youth or student hostels. Unlike hotels, which cater to tourists and business travelers, hostels are inexpensive, usually dorm-style hotels for young people found in many countries of the world.
Financial aid can be applied toward the cost of a semester or year-long study abroad program if all financial aid application requirements are met.
The Airfare Assistance Program is intended to assist Brown students with demonstrated financial need who do not have the immediate funds to cover the costs of airfare for their study abroad program.