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Frequently Asked Questions - Financial Matters

How much will it cost?

For all semester/year programs listed here, the current UR tuition fee is charged each semester. Students are not expected to pay the program abroad tuition fees in addition to the UR tuition. Each UR semester abroad program has its own brochure page that includes cost and date information. Cost estimates do not include the student's personal recreational travel and entertainment costs. Recreational travel is the single greatest discretionary expense for most study abroad participants.

Housing fees are usually paid directly to the institution or property owner abroad. Most universities abroad do not have meal plans, so students "pay as they go" in university dining facilities or they prepare their own meals in shared kitchens in dormitories or apartments. This means that in most cases, Richmond students are not billed by Richmond for room and board abroad.

Beginning fall 2019, every Richmond student approved to study abroad on a UR semester or year-long program receives a $1,000 travel allowance for each semester abroad. Please see the Support for Semester Abroad page for details on when this allowance is applied to the student’s account. Additionally all UR students studying on a UR semester/year program abroad have health and travel insurance coverage included as part of tuition.

Financial aid applies to all UR semester abroad programs. Questions regarding financial aid for a semester abroad can be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.

Why do I pay UR tuition for the semester my student will be abroad?

UR tuition payment covers the cost of tuition, orientation, pre-semester language courses (as applicable), health/travel insurance and other academic fees (e.g., required class excursions, semester-long language courses) related to the program abroad. Tuition payment also ensures continuing enrollment at Richmond while abroad and access to privileges and services provided by Richmond faculty and staff. It also allows approved transfer credit from study abroad towards the UR degree. Additional specialized advising, support and programming services particular to study abroad are also provided to students before, during and after study abroad.

The policy of charging home tuition for study abroad is standard among the University of Richmond's peer universities around the U.S. Like other highly selective institutions, Richmond carefully chooses and monitors its study abroad programs.

What if I use the Nelnet Tuition Managment Services installment plan to pay my student's tuition at Richmond?

You may use the monthly installment plan through Nelnet TMS (Tuition Management Systems) to pay your UR tuition. To enroll for your semester charges, please contact them at 1-800-722-4867 or online at https://richmond.afford.com.

Can tuition insurance be purchased for a semester abroad program?

Yes. Please see the tuition insurance plan information on the Student Accounts website for details.

Does financial aid apply?

Yes. The same types of financial assistance for which students may be considered during enrollment at Richmond also are available for a UR study abroad program during the fall and/or spring terms. Additional scholarships also are available. Check with the financial aid office for more information on applying financial aid to study abroad.

What are the unbilled and discretionary costs?

Students should anticipate pre-departure costs for luggage, ID photos, vaccines (when required), and travel items such as travel alarm clocks, money pouches, converters, etc.

While abroad, most program participants spend $2,500 to $4,000 per semester above and beyond living costs. These expenses include entertainment, souvenirs, and cultural events, but the biggest single category of discretionary expense is recreational travel beyond the student's host city. Students considering study abroad should be encouraged to start saving early if they plan to travel extensively while abroad. Expenses can be reduced by traveling to nearby cities as well as visiting local sites. We suggest students not travel too much outside of their host city or else they will not be able to develop relationships with local students and persons and will not really know the city or town where they are spending the semester. 

How do I send money to my student while s/he is abroad?

Most students use an ATM card to withdraw cash in the local currency while abroad. See the “Money Matters While Abroad” section of the UR Study Abroad Handbook for more details. There is often a fee charged by both the U.S. bank and the foreign bank for using a U.S. ATM card to withdraw cash abroad. Students should check with their individual US banks to find out what these fees will be and if there is any way to have them reduced or waived. 

It is recommended that when students withdraw cash from an ATM that they withdraw the maximum daily amount and then carry around a small portion of it, keeping the rest safely hidden and locked in their rooms. This will help keep withdrawal fees to a minimum. 

Students should be aware that credit cards may work differently abroad than in the United States. Information is available regarding how credit cards work differently and how chip & PIN cards work. As with ATM cards, U.S. banks often charge foreign transaction fees for credit card purchases at foreign vendors.

Some students may choose to open a local bank account in order to get a regional debit card and avoid fees from the U.S. bank. If this option is taken, it should be done soon after arrival, as it can take a couple of weeks to open the account, receive the details such as the PIN number and debit card, and set up online banking. Depending on the bank and country, this option may only be practical for students who will be abroad for the entire academic year.

Tip from a former UR study abroad student: “TravelEx has a debit/ATM card that you can get and parents can load the card with money from the U.S. It's really handy, you can use it for an ATM and debit card because it's a Pin & Chip Card. The withdrawal fees are way lower than if you use an ATM card from the States and it's really handy!”

Is there a penalty if my student withdraws from a program abroad?

If the student voluntarily withdraws from the study abroad program, there is a penalty. Please see the withdrawal policy for details.

If the student purchases a tuition insurance plan prior to study abroad and withdraws from the study abroad program early due to an illness or injury, the student may be eligible for a full or partial tuition refund. The health costs may be covered through the ACE Travel Assistance (AXA) insurance policy if the student notifies the insurance company, files a claim and has an injury/illness that is not listed in the exclusions section of the policy.

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