Additional Costs Abroad
The personal account deposit is a part of the ACA charges paid through the home campus. It serves two purposes: a reserve fund for emergencies and as a contingency deposit for books, supplies, etc. ‘Emergencies’ are determined by international campus administrators. Personal spending money or money to go on trips is not considered an emergency. This safety money does not allow students to willfully excuse themselves from their work requirements. Any unused portion will be refunded directly to students before they leave the international campus at the end of the school year. Neither this money nor the regular ACA charges will cover:
- Room and board charges for early arrival or late departure. (2 days early is normally acceptable without extra fees)
- Private music lessons and rental of practice rooms.
- Food during vacation time
- Courses beyond the normal load (16-18 credit hours/term).
- Per diem charges during Christmas or other vacation periods not included in the room and board charges if students stay on campus. (Except at UAP and Villa Aurora).
- Personal trips and other expenses incurred.
- Dental work, eye examinations, glasses unless they are due to an accident or hospitalization.
- Health Club memberships, Aerobics/Workout Room fees, Swimming Pool fees or memberships, etc.
Because of these extra costs, students will have to provide for additional funds, but they may not wish to keep large sums of cash. Here are three methods students can explore and perhaps use: (Travelers’ checks are no longer accepted in most European countries.)
- Obtain a debit card with the Visa or MasterCard logo. This functions like an ATM card, but can also be used as a credit card when needed. Students can withdraw funds from ATM machines across Europe and South America and these machines generally provide very good exchange rates. Withdrawals and purchases will be deducted from the account of the card issuing bank in the U.S. and funds can be deposited into the account by parents or other authorized persons as needed.
- Money can also be transferred safely through Western Union, often arriving the same day. There is typically a fee of around $30 U.S. for this service. The international schools can help students locate the nearest Western Union office to the campus.
Ordinarily the total cost of the year abroad will be less than that of a year at a consortium college in North America, unless students elect to do extensive traveling on their own. In planning their budgets for the year, students should consider all costs outlined above plus some contingency for the unexpected and, if possible, for limited additional travel. Although students are expected to attend strictly to their studies and school activities, carrying a full academic load of 12-18 hours per term, there are opportunities for occasional trips–especially during vacations–which can enrich the experience abroad.