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Understanding Budget

Understanding Finances

Payments & Billing
Financial Aid
Scholarships
Refund Policy & Withdrawal
Transferring Money

Costs Associated with Study Abroad

Education Abroad Fee

Depending on the type of trip and the term it takes place, some students are billed EIU tuition and fees and some are billed the host university’s fees. For students paying EIU tuition, a $65 per credit hour administration fee is billed. For students paying host university tuition, a $300 Study Abroad fee is billed.   

Program Costs

We have programs that start as low at $2,300 (everything budgeted in) a semester to as much at $25,000 (everything budgeted in) depending on where they decide to go. Fees payable and how they are paid depend on the program. Payment information is available on the program's budget sheet (cost breakdown), which is linked from the program's information page.

Accommodation Costs

These costs will depend on the program or even the country in which students choose to live. Again, please refer to program's information page and budget sheet.
On campus: the student typically pays for the semester to the institution where they are studying. Students may also be charged monthly installments payable to the institution organizing their accommodation.
Off campus: students will pay rent monthly, along with the costs of utilities.
Host family: students are usually responsible for paying directly to their host family monthly fees for housing and meals.

Passports

All students must have a current passport with an expiration date beyond six months of their travel. If a student does not have current passport, they must apply for one as soon as possible to allow for processing. For more information on cost and applying for a passport in Charleston or at home, visit our page.

Visas

Some students must also apply for and obtain a visa for their stay abroad, particularly when traveling for more than 90 days. The Office of Study Abroad will work with the student to confirm the visa requirements, if necessary.

Airfare

For most programs, students are responsible for their own airfare to their study abroad location and for their return trip. The cost of the travel depends on where the student is studying and for how long. The study abroad can recommend various ways to find inexpensive flights, but will not book itineraries for students.

Payments & Billing

Electronic billing

An electronic bill is issued to students once a month within the first week of each month. A notification is sent to each student's PantherMail letting the student know that a statement has been posted on their PAWS account. Payment is due by the due date, which is provided on the statement, in order to avoid a 1% finance charge. Students should look for their first bill for the Fall semester around August 1st, and December 1st for the Spring semester.

Based on the Program Budget that is tied to each individual program, you will see an asterisk next to specific costs. As explained on the spreadsheet, these items are billable to the student's account.

Making Payments to Host Institutions

Depending on the type of program that a student chooses, there will be a variety of ways to make payments. If a student is attending a faculty-led program, then the billable item payments will be made directly to Eastern. In the case of an independent program, students will be paying our partner institutions. Often times the university will include a payment process form with the certificate of enrollment; this will include details on how to make an international bank transfer from your US bank to the account abroad.

EIU and the Office of Study Abroad are not responsible for fees paid to other institutions.

Financial Aid
 

Financial aid comes in many shapes and sizes: loans, grants, scholarships. The majority of financial aid will apply to study abroad programs, but it is mandatory that your student confirm their status with the Office of Financial Aid. A financial aid counselor will discuss all aspects of how the student's specific financial aid package can apply to a particular study abroad program, based on the program budget provided on our website.

Students who file a FAFSA with Eastern Illinois University are eligible for our financial need-based scholarships. For more information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, please use this link.

Scholarships
 
The Office of Study Abroad offers over $65,000 in scholarship funds for qualified students with a 2.5 GPA or higher. We distribute both merit-based and financial-need based awards between $500 and $2,000 per student. Additional endowed scholarships are available from our office with awards up to $500. Be sure your student consults their academic department to see if there are scholarship funds available, as well as checking the scholarship search engine provided by the Office of Financial Aid. 

In exchange for scholarship funds from our office, students agree to 4 hours of service within one semester of their study abroad program as part of the Study Abroad Ambassadors initiative. There are many different ways to complete these hours: blogging, submitting photos or videos, creating flyers or posters, and participating in on-campus events. Completion of service hours is arranged by the Study Abroad Coordinator.

Students are encouraged to review local, state, national and federal scholarships in their pursuit for funds. By planning ahead for deadlines, many students can access enough funds to pay for a significant amount of their program. 

Click here to learn more about eligibility and evaluation criteria for scholarships administered by the Office of Study Abroad. 

Refund Policy & Withdrawal

Students wishing to withdrawal from their program should contact the Office of Study Abroad to learn the consequences of withdrawing. The EIU refund policy is outlined in his/her application packet. Read this carefully to avoid financial penalties. At most foreign universities, students will not be refunded any fees paid.
  • When the University does not have a financial obligation to an outside entity for airfare, tuition-related expenses, and/or accommodations, the following refund policy applies: A student enrolled in a study abroad program who withdraws from the program by providing written notice 30 or more days before the program’s published start date shall receive a refund of the fees paid or a credit for fees charged less the $50.00 cost for processing.  A student enrolled in a study abroard program who withdraws from the program by providing written notice 29 or fewer days before the program’s published start date or on or after the program’s published start date will not receive any refund or credit and will be charged for all fees normally charged by the University in association with the program. 
  • When the University has a financial obligation to an outside entity for airfare, tuition-related expenses, and/or accommodations, the following refund policy applies: A student enrolled in a study abroard program who withdraws from the program by providing written notice on or before the program’s published application deadline shall receive a refund of the program fees paid or a credit for program fees charged less the $50.00 cost for processing.  Because the University must make advance financial commitments, including payments that it cannot recover to outside organizations or individuals, in support of students enrolled in study abroad programs, a student enrolled in a study abroard program who withdraws from the program by providing written notice on or before the program’s published commitment/deposit application deadline will not receive any refund or credit and will be charged for all fees normally charged by the University in association with the program.
Transferring Money

The best source of obtaining money while studying abroad is an ATM card, which allows you to use or obtain cash from an account in the US. Credit cards are also useful and should be kept in case of emergency.  Have your student leave their credit card numbers with you in case they are lost or stolen. A student should also provide you with bank account numbers in the event that a transfer of funds is necessary. Bear in mind that sending money via wire transfer can be costly.
  • Tip: Remind your student to inform their bank/credit card companies about his or her plans to study abroad, including dates and location of travel. This will ensure that the card and it's associated accounts will not be frozen due to security precautions against identity theft.
  • Tip: All study abroad students attend a mandatory departure orientation. They  receive important information at this meeting regarding budgeting for their time abroad and financing their program. They also receive a student handbook to study abroad. You may want to look over it with your student before he or she departs.