Budgeting

Plan ahead for your finances abroad by establishing a budget for your expenses. In order to budget for your meals and personal expenses make sure to compare the cost of living between San Jose, California and your program destination. Check out this cost of living comparison website

Think of all your anticipated costs and where you can get funds to help you pay for them. Make a simple budget like the example below to see what you will need to make your trip a reality!

Budget Example - Long-Term Program

Cost of Program

SJSU Tuition & Fees

$3,900.00

Admin Fees/Deposits

$0.00

Program Fees

$0.00

Housing & Meals

$4,500.00

Books & Supplies

$150.00

Insurance

$350.00

Personal Expenses

$2,000.00

Airfare Costs

$1200.00

Other Expenses

$750.00

Total Est. Costs

$12,850.00

 

Available Funds 

Financial Aid

$6,371.00

Scholarships

$750.00

Savings

$3,000.00

Work Funds

$600.00

Other Funds

$1,200.00

Total Available

$11,921.00

 

Amount Needed/Surplus

Total Est. Costs

$12,850.00

Total Available

$11,921.00

Surplus/Needs

$929.00

 

Budget Example - Short-Term Program

Cost of Program

SJSU Tuition & Fees (3 units)

$750.00

Admin Fees/Deposits

$200.00

Program Fees

$2225.00

Housing & Meals

$200.00

Books & Supplies

$0.00

Insurance

$0.00

Personal Expenses

$60.00

Airfare Costs

$1000.00

Other Expenses (Souvenirs)

$250.00

Total Est. Costs

$4,685.00

 

Available Funds 

Financial Aid

$0.00

Scholarships

$750.00

Savings

$1200.00

Work Funds

$1800.00

Other Funds

$935.00

Total Available

$4,685.00

 

Amount Needed/Surplus

Total Est. Costs

$4,685.00

Total Available

$4,685.00

Surplus/Needs

$0.00

 

Using this method to plan your budget will prepare you for your time aborad so that you spend your time enjoying your international experience and not worrying about money! When making your budget is also important that you account for any bills or responsibilities you will still have while you are away. Will you still need to pay for your cell phone? Make a car payment? These kind of responsibilities do not go away when you go abroad so be sure to factor them in as well!

Your budget costs will depend on your program, and the costs will be listed on each program's page. If you have questions about what the expenses are be sure to ask an SAA staff member. 

 

Other things to keep in mind for Long- and Short-Term programs…

Credit Cards & Banking: If you plan to use your credit card while abroad be sure to check if it has any foreign transaction fees. These can be costly and can add as much as 3% per transaction! Be sure you notify your bank of your plans so you card is not deactivated while abroad.

Foreign Currency: Be sure to see what your money is worth in the country you plan to visit and account for the conversion in your budget. Sites like the XE Currency Converter can help give you an idea of current exchange rates. Be sure you remember that these rates are constantly fluctuating and allocated additional funds in your budget for this just in case. 

Airfare: Airfare prices are always changing, and can be costly. For Faculty-Led Programs, you have to wait for the cohort to pay their fees in full before booking your airfare, which can add to the cost as well. STA Travel, the student travel agency, has a program available to help you lock in your airfare called Book Now, Pay Later. For a deposit, they will hold your ticket at the rate you book and they do not charge any interest to do so! As always, be sure to read all the fine print. If you do buy your ticket early with STA or through an airline – just remember, if the program is cancelled you will be responsible for the loss you incur, so read the cancellation and refund policies carefully before you make this decision.