The program fee is intended to be as comprehensive as possible and it includes room, meals, as well as all scheduled group activities and excursions. Whenever we do not take meals as a group or have a packed lunch, there is a modest meal allowance when students are on their own. Students are generally very ingenious in getting good value by going to the supermarket and preparing their own meal. Big eaters might plan on bringing extra money to supplement the meal allowance over the summer. You will also need some funds for personal expenses such as postage, snacks, laundry, souvenirs, individual excursions or travel apart from the group. Please remember that students are not permitted to rent a car, even if eligible, while on the program. Since individual interests, tastes, and activities vary a great deal, it is difficult to advise on an exact amount required. However, a survey of students from previous years has indicated a range of $1,000.00 to $1,500.00 was spent.
Students have found that they can access ATM machines at many points with their credit or debit cards and you may want to make arrangements for this prior to your departure. Many students have felt that this was the most efficient and least expensive mode of securing money overseas. Be sure to check on the procedures before your departure. Travel Money Cards from AAA also work well. Bring along at least $200 in cash as traveling money.
Personal checks cannot be cashed overseas and remittances from your parents may be difficult to negotiate. In an emergency, an official bank check could be sent by express mail and we will assist in cashing it. Wire payments can be made through American Express and some major banks with offices in the larger European cities. But remember this is very time consuming and usually costly. Credit cards are widely accepted in Europe and Asia but be cautious since card fraud is common. Make a photo copy of your credit cards in case of loss or theft and know the number to call if your card is lost or stolen.