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Money Matters

There are many things to discuss when it comes to money and studying abroad. How will you pay for it? How will your student pay for day-to-day things while they're abroad? What about exchange rates? Find answers to all of your money questions below.

More Information
Financial Aid, Scholarships, Currency Exchange

Financial Aid
Students may be eligible for Grand View aid, federal grants and loans, state grants, private scholarships and private loans in accordance with federal, state, private and institutional regulations to help fund their off-campus study program. Check directly with Grand View’s Financial Aid Office in order to determine what financial aid they are entitled to for their program.

Scholarships
The Office of International Studies has information on sources of financial assistance for study abroad programs. We encourage students to inquire and conduct research about possible scholarship opportunities as early as possible as they plan their off-campus experience.

Travel Savings Account
Grand View provides an opportunity for students to save for a future off-campus study program by signing up for a Travel Savings Account through Grand View’s Business Office. The Travel Savings Account is a great way for students to plan and save for their future off-campus learning adventure! Students who work on-campus can designate a portion of their income to be deposited directly into their travel account. If available, students can also designate excess financial aid funds to be deposited directly into the Travel Savings Account. Additionally, students or their family members can make deposits into a student’s account to be saved for a future program. These funds will be retained in their Travel Savings Account and can be used only as payment on their future study abroad/study away program. If at any point they decide that they no longer wish to participate in an off-campus study program, the funds will be returned in full to the student and/or the individual payers (family members) upon written request. Contact the Grand View Business Office, Director of Student Accounts for additional information.

Currency
After acceptance into an off-campus program we recommend students and parents begin to think about the sources of currency they will use while abroad. Research the kinds of services available in your off-campus program community as well as the host committee’s banking customs. Students should also contact their credit card company or bank to let them know they will be traveling as well as check on the availability and locations of ATMs in the area where they will be studying. It is a good idea to talk with your son or daughter prior to their program departure about establishing a travel and spending budget while abroad. Students are encouraged to use location-specific resources as well as other students who have studied abroad to determine estimated expenses for food, local transportation, and personal expenses including some entertainment.

  • Rates of Exchange: Since currency rates are constantly changing, parents and students are encouraged to monitor the exchange rate prior to and during the program period. A website for monitoring currency exchange is www.xe.com/ucc. A helpful website for translating US dollar amounts into the currency of the host country is, www.oanda.com/converter/classic.
  • How to Exchange Currency: The key to successful money exchange is advance planning and estimating how much money you will need for a particular country. It is costly to convert to a new currency because each time you convert you pay a service charge. You can exchange money at banks, traveler’s check companies, airports, railroad stations, some tourist information centers, and travel agencies. Offices of traveler’s check companies, banks and sometimes exchange counters at airports tend to offer the best rates. Bring your passport with you as identification every time you exchange money. Try to avoid exchanging money at airports or high-traffic tourist areas; they will often give a worse exchange rate.
Handling Money While Abroad

Students should plan to have approximately enough money to cover expenses for their first week abroad when they arrive in their host destination. Most airports will have currency exchange centers or ATMs in which the student can access or obtain the local currency upon arrival. Below are a few examples of the ways in which students can access or obtain money while abroad:

Credit/Debit Cards
Credit or debit cards are one of the best methods to use funds while traveling abroad. They usually get the best exchange rate and ATM machines are usually available 24 hours per day. Visa and Eurocard/Mastercard are widely accepted. The student should notify their bank about the locations and dates they will be traveling before they travel abroad because fraud detection systems will cancel a card if it is used in locations that are unusual for the cardholder. Check to see what types of service charges will apply if the card is used internationally. Remember that most banks have per-session and/or daily limits to the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from an ATM.

Cash
Cash is a universally accepted form of payment, however it is often the most prone to theft or loss. Money can be exchanged at airports or most train stations. Banks generally offer a better exchange rate, but they may also charge a fee.

Traveler's Checks
Traveler’s checks are prepaid checks that can be exchanged for currency at foreign banks. They can be purchased at any major bank in the US before going overseas. We recommend that traveler’s checks be used as a last resort since they have the least favorable exchange rate and it can be difficult to find locations that will exchange them. However traveler’s checks are secure and can be returned at any bank for no penalty upon return. If the checks are lost or stolen, the checks are worthless because they require the signature of the check-holder.

How to Carry Money
The best way to avoid loss or theft is to keep valuables in a money belt worn underneath clothing.

Bank Accounts
Opening a bank account in the host country is recommended if the student is going to study abroad for a full year. Students will usually receive an ATM/Debit card that will make financial transactions much easier and more cost-effective; your student will be able to avoid ATM fees if they enlist at a local bank. Opening an account also makes sense for locations where ATM access is not convenient or sufficient. If the student chooses to open an account in their host country, they should wait until they arrive and open the account in person (not online). In some locations there will be a US bank abroad. The student should research the banking options in their host community that best fits their needs.

Study Abroad Insurance

Students are required to have adequate health insurance coverage while abroad. Please note study tour participants are required to purchase the emergency and travel insurance plan provided through Grand View. If you are not participating in a Grand View program, it is important to secure the proper insurance prior to program departure. Begin by determining what your current medical insurance does and does not cover. Since most international health insurance coverage varies greatly from one insurer to another, investigate the insurance policy components when choosing a plan. While abroad, carry a wallet-size ID card with your name, insurance company and policy number with you.

Required Insurance
The types of coverage required for study abroad participants includes: health care, repatriation, and evacuation coverage for international locations.

  • Health Care – Coverage varies from country to country, and covers all medical costs for illness and injury.
  • Repatriation of Remains, Accidental Death, and Dismemberment – While these types of insurance deal with worst-case scenarios, they are still vital for the student to have while studying overseas.
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation – Covers any transportation to the nearest medical care facility, whether by ambulance, helicopter or air.

Optional Insurance
Additional insurance coverage recommended for study abroad includes: personal property, program cancellation, and tuition. These are not covered under the insurance plan required for study tour participants. Students can look for a plan to complement their Grand View plan if they are interested in additional coverage.

  • Personal Property – If you plan to bring valuable personal possessions such as a laptop computer and camera overseas, you may want to purchase short-term, personal property insurance designed for students living or traveling overseas. Personal property will protect your possessions against fire, theft, and vandalism. Consult your or your parent’s homeowners insurance to see if you will be covered while overseas.
  • Program Cancellation – Program cancellation is not part of the insurance coverage for Grand View students participating in a Grand View off-campus program. If you are interested in cancellation insurance, many insurers offer special packages that cover lost or delayed baggage, flight cancellation or delay, and other potential circumstances relating to overseas travel.
  • Tuition – Provides coverage if there is withdrawal from your program due to medical reasons.

Click HERE for a list of insurance options.

When is the Money Due?

Study Tours
Deposit is due the end of November and the final payment is due mid-January. Informational sessions are held for all Grand View Study Tours during the spring and fall semesters. These sessions provide students with detailed information including payment deadlines, program specific logistics, and the required documentation for participating in the program.  Encourage your student to speak with the program’s faculty sponsor if there are any questions.

Summer, Semester, or Yearlong Programs
Payment schedule will be specific to your student’s program. Payment is usually due one month prior to the program start date. Note: If your student is planning on using federal financial aid, the student will need to work with the Financial Aid Office to learn how the money will be disbursed to accommodate payment deadlines.

Exchange Programs
Payment for Grand View exchange programs follows the regular Grand View tuition payment schedule. Students are encouraged to save money for personal expenses. All personal expenses, beyond the cost of tuition, will amount to approximately $7,500 (plane ticket, visas, housing, meals, etc.).

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