Financial Planning

Invest in Yourself

Let’s be honest: financing study abroad may seem challenging. In addition to academic costs, you must factor in airfare, housing, and other travel expenses. Keep in mind that you are paying for an irreplaceable international experience that will not only foster academic growth but also personal transformation, acquisition of critical life skills, independence, self-confidence, broadened perspectives, and intercultural awareness. Studying abroad is a worthwhile investment in yourself, your education, and your world citizenship.

Our office works hard to develop and recommend quality and cost-efficient programs for our students. Allow us to provide you information on how to afford this invaluable educational opportunity. 

Financing Study Abroad

Finances can and should be a major factor in selecting the right program. To help manage money matters, follow these steps when choosing a program:

  1. Review what you pay to attend UMD. The 2020–21 estimated cost of attendance for one semester of tuition and fees at UMD is: $13,680. (FYI: For semester and year programs, you do not pay tuition to UMD while abroad—you pay a study abroad program fee.)
  2. Use the Budget Worksheet to compare the costs of study abroad program options with UMD tuition
  3. When choosing a program, be sure to compare items that are included such as the study abroad program fee, round-trip travel, housing and meals, books and supplies, local transportation and travel documents
  4. See how financial aid can apply to your study abroad experience
  5. Apply for study abroad scholarships.
  6. Work and save to make this experience possible for you!
  7. Plan ahead!

Scholarships >

There are a variety of scholarship options through UMD and other providers. Our office awards over $80,000 annually. UMD Honors offers study abroad scholarships. The Institute of International Education (IIE) has a searchable database featuring various scholarship, grant, and fellowship opportunities. We encourage you to start applying for scholarships early!

Financial Aid >

Most financial aid can be applied to study abroad. Consult with One Stop to see how financial aid can apply to your study abroad experience. They will be able to guide you with money matters and give you estimates and budget samples. Walk-in counseling is available to figure out when and how aid is disbursed, as well as scholarship opportunities and loan information.

Bringing Money Abroad

  • Credit and debit cards can be a useful way to pay for things abroad
  • Major U.S. credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, are widely accepted around the world
  • It’s typically not necessary to open a foreign bank account. However, you will need a means of accessing and withdrawing from your U.S. bank account in addition to having a U.S. credit card. 

Foreign ATMs usually accept cards from U.S. banking institutions. However, it’s your responsibility to confirm if your card will work overseas. Note: many credit card companies charge a service and a foreign transaction fee. Contact your bank or credit card company prior to departing to inform them that you will be using your cards abroad and ask about your daily withdrawal limit.

Exchanging for Foreign Currency Pre-departure

Check with your local bank about foreign currency exchange well before your departure. Major international airports have banks, money exchanges, and ATMs that will give you a fair exchange rate. However, you are encouraged to exchange a small amount of foreign money before you arrive. Wells Fargo can send the foreign currency right to your mailbox, or you can order it in person. US Bank works with Travelex to offer home delivery.

Track your expenses

  • You don’t want to run out of money halfway through your stay!
  • Keeping an expense record can be very helpful

The amount you spend is determined by your personal lifestyle (shopping, socializing) and your goals (additional travel, activities, etc.) while abroad

Study Abroad Student Information Release Authorization

If you wish to allow Study Abroad staff to provide information to a designee regarding your study abroad program, grades, billing, tuition & fees, or financial aid complete the Study Abroad Student Information Release Authorization form. Due to federal student privacy laws, this information cannot be shared without permission.

Power of Attorney

It is strongly recommended that you select a trusted, responsible contact and grant them power of attorney. Do this in addition to granting parent/guest access to your student account. Completing the written power of attorney documentation allows your contact to take care of most unanticipated financial affairs while you are gone. Without power of attorney, it’s difficult or impossible for your contact to obtain information about your financial aid, complete financial aid paperwork, or resolve other financial and legal matters due to federal student privacy laws. Information for obtaining power of attorney