Contact Us
Theresa Cann
Assistant Dean, Director of International Education
Phone: 610-526-5375
tcann@brynmawr.edu Undergraduate Dean's Office
Eugenia Chase Guild Hall, Lower Level



Financial Planning for Study Abroad

Financial Planning for Study Abroad (PDF version)

Introduction

Study abroad is an educational opportunity of which we hope many Bryn Mawr students will take advantage. However, some students and their families may decide that the financial stresses and the challenges of living and studying in another country counterbalance the advantages. Because the cost of living varies greatly by study abroad destinations, and because of the different spending habits and financial resources of each of our students and families, we encourage students to talk with their families about the financial responsibilities as well as any concerns they may have early in the study abroad planning process. To get you started, this brochure contains important information on:

1. Bryn Mawr College study abroad financial policy
2. Financial aid for study abroad
3. Making study abroad payments
4. Additional costs in study abroad
5. Study abroad program withdrawal policies and penalties
6. Managing your money abroad
7. Sources of scholarship
8. Campus resources
9. Study abroad fee payment flowcharts


1. Bryn Mawr College Financial Policy

Tuition: All Bryn Mawr College students who study abroad pay Bryn Mawr tuition REGARDLESS of the tuition cost of the study abroad program.  Students are responsible for paying room and board costs directly to the study abroad program.  While studying abroad under the auspices of Bryn Mawr College, students are fully enrolled at Bryn Mawr College. Students abroad also make use of other resources here at Bryn Mawr, including faculty advising, fellowships advising, career counseling, etc.   The credits earned from coursework abroad appear on their Bryn Mawr transcript and these credits allow students to make normal progress toward a Bryn Mawr degree.

Account balance at Bryn Mawr: Students must pay in full any outstanding balance on their student account before leaving for study abroad.  If they do not pay the balance, the College will notify their study abroad program that their approval to study abroad has been rescinded.  If the student nonetheless attends the program without paying the remaining balance, the student will be doing so independent of the College.  The College will not pay the student’s study abroad tuition to the study abroad program; the student will receive no financial aid, and the student's academic credits will not transfer back to the College.

Study abroad room and board costs: Study abroad students are not charged Bryn Mawr College room and board.  Students do not pay room and board to Bryn Mawr.  Instead, students are responsible for paying room and board costs directly to the study abroad program.   

Study abroad and external scholarships: If a student receives a scholarship from a study abroad program, it will be credited to the student’s Bryn Mawr College student account and it will reduce the amount of tuition the student needs to pay.  Any outside scholarship received by a financial aid recipient will reduce a portion of their Bryn Mawr College Grant.  For more information, please refer to the section regarding outside scholarships, and related College policy on the treatment of outside scholarships in the Student Financial Service (SFS) Handbook, available on the SFS website at https://www.brynmawr.edu/sites/default/files/FA_UG_2014-15_web.pdf

Program deposit: Students are responsible for paying all program deposits directly to study abroad programs. This may include application fees, admission deposits, and housing deposits.
Personal expenses
: Students are responsible for personal expenses such as airfare, local transportation, health insurance, visa and passport fees, housing, meals and any optional academic programs before the program starts or after the program ends.   Please refer to the Additional Costs in Study Abroad table below for more details.

Study abroad withdrawal fees and penalties: Some host universities and/or study abroad programs charge students large withdrawal fees if the students drop out of the study abroad program after a specified date.  Students and families are responsible for paying all penalties and fines imposed by the program.  The College does not absorb such fees on any student's behalf.  Please refer to section 5 for more details.

Delinquent payments abroad: Students are responsible for clearing all outstanding non-tuition program balances with their study abroad program.  Programs will not issue a transcript until a student has submitted the final payment.  Please address any such issues with the program and have a transcript sent to Bryn Mawr as soon as possible.  Delay could jeopardize a student's enrollment at Bryn Mawr for the following semester and the student's ability to graduate on time.

2. Financial Aid for study abroad

Financial aid for study abroad is available to students who are eligible for assistance and who have been receiving financial aid during their first and sophomore years.  The College follows the federal guidelines for financial aid.  In order to be eligible for financial aid, a student must complete and submit the required financial aid forms to Student Financial Services (SFS) no later than April 15, and also indicate on the Bryn Mawr College application for study abroad that they are requesting financial aid.  Students should contact Student Financial Services (SFS) if they have any questions at sfs@brynmawr.edu or by phone at 610-526-5245.

Expenses not covered by Financial Aid award: Students are advised to consider the additional costs of study abroad early in the study abroad planning process.   Students who are eligible for financial assistance and who have been receiving financial aid during their first and sophomore years should consult Student Financial Services (SFS), if they have any questions.  SFS staff can provide information about financial aid paperwork, address questions about a student's specific financial situation, and explain the types of aid that can be used for study abroad. 

Costs Used to determine eligibility for aid from the College for students studying abroad:

Bryn Mawr Tuition 2015-2016:   ....................................................................$23,015

Study Abroad Room and Board Charges: varies by program up to Bryn Mawr maximum*

Book Allowance:   ..............................................................................................$500

Personal Allowance:   ..........................................................................................$500

Local Transportation Allowance:   ....................... varies by home state from $40 to $450

Airfare   ............................................................................................NOT COVERED

Travel While Abroad   ........................................................................NOT COVERED

Transferrable aid for study abroad: federal, state, and other forms of financial aid

  • Pell grant
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Plus loans
  • State grants
  • Private loans

Transferrable aid for study abroad: Bryn Mawr College grants and scholarships

  • Merit grants (Merit grants are converted to a “JYA Trustee Scholarship.”)
  • Bryn Mawr grants (Bryn Mawr grants get converted to a “JYA grant.”)
  • BMC International Grant (International grants get converted to a “JYA International grant.”)
  • Various types of scholarships

Nontransferable aid for study abroad: The following funds are not transferrable for study abroad.

  • Bryn Mawr College campus employment
  • Federal work study

Financial Aid and study abroad room and board payments: If the amount of a student's financial aid is greater than the charges on their Bryn Mawr College tuition bill, they will have a credit on their Bryn Mawr student account. The credit amount will be refunded to the student by direct deposit or a check will be mailed to the student’s home address.  The student must use those funds directly to pay the study abroad program for room and board costs.  * For 2015-2016 the Bryn Mawr College room and board charge is $7,425 per semester. When room and board fees charged by a program are less than Bryn Mawr's room and board charges, a financial aid recipient should expect their grant aid to be reduced.  When room and board fees charged by a program are more than Bryn Mawr’s room and board, a financial aid recipient will only be awarded up to the maximum amount for room and board charged at Bryn Mawr. 

When Financial Aid is Credited/Refunds: The financial aid refund can only be issued once a credit balance is created. Refunds should not be expected prior to the beginning of the normal Fall/Spring semester at the College because Federal Funds (e.g. Federal Direct Loans, Plus Loans, Perkins Loan, Pell Grants and, SEOG Grants) cannot be disbursed until the first day of classes at Bryn Mawr.  At that point, refunds are processed based on the regular College refund schedule for on-campus students. If students need an advance on their refund to pay for their study abroad room and board costs, they must make special arrangements with Student Financial Services no later than the end of the semester preceding their study abroad semester.  For example, a student who will study abroad fall of their junior year must make special arrangements for an advance on their refund no later than the end of the spring semester of their sophomore year.

3. Making study abroad payments

Tuition: Students pay Bryn Mawr tuition to Bryn Mawr, which in turn pays the study abroad tuition to the study abroad program on the student’s behalf.

Room and board: Students should follow the preferred payment method recommended by the program, and submit payments for room and board directly to the program.  Some programs accept credit card payments while others require payment by wire transfer.  Families should anticipate and budget for wire transfer fees.

Additional costs: Students should follow the preferred payment method recommended by the appropriate service provider, and submit payments directly to the vendor or service provider.

4. Additional costs in study abroad

Students and families should consider some of the additional expenses associated with study abroad.  Some large cities like Sydney, Dublin, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Florence, Paris, and London have a higher cost of living than most cities in the U.S.  Students and families should budget and pay for the additional expenses listed in the table below.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.  Also additional costs for study abroad may vary depending on program location.


Additional Costs in Study Abroad

Students and families should budget and pay for the following expenses to the appropriate service providers.

Pre-departure Expenses

Student Expenses Abroad

Miscellaneous Expenses

Application fees

Housing and Meals*

Academic programs before or after program ends

Admission deposit

Books and supplies*

Housing before or after program ends

Housing deposit

Commuting Costs*

Meals before or after program ends

Airfare

Utilities*

Vacation travel

Transportation to airport

Laundry, haircuts and personal hygiene supplies

Vacation travel hotels/meals

Passport application fee

Cell phones

Emergency reserve money

Visa application fee

Dining out and entertainment

Additional transcripts

Personal medical insurance

Arrival transportation from airport to program site

Withdrawal fees imposed by the program

Personal property insurance

Return transportation from program site to airport

Money wire transfer fees and excess luggage fees.

*Cost for these items may be factored into study abroad grant for those students who are eligible for financial aid


5. Study abroad program withdrawal policies and penalties

Some host universities and/or study abroad programs have very strict withdrawal policies and penalties.  These policies vary by university and/or study abroad program.  However, in general, students should expect to pay a large penalty for dropping out of their study abroad program after a specified date.  Students and families are responsible for paying all penalties and fines imposed by the program.  The College will not absorb any such fees on any student's behalf.  The College will not refund any tuition that is not refunded to the College by the study abroad program.  To avoid fines, penalties, and non-refundable tuition that result from late withdrawals, students and families are advised to communicate, as early as possible, directly with the study abroad program about the financial implications of withdrawing from the program. 

Room and Board payments and withdrawal policies  
Students pay room and board costs directly to the program, instead of to Bryn Mawr College.  Some host universities and/or study abroad programs require large housing deposits, which the student may end up forfeiting if they withdraw after the date specified by the program.  In addition, the program may impose a withdrawal fee, and also charge for the cost of the room and board.  Students and families remain responsible for paying the fees to the program after withdrawal.   The College will not absorb any such fees on any student’s behalf.

When a student withdraws from their study abroad program AFTER Bryn Mawr College has paid their tuition to the study abroad program
Students pay Bryn Mawr tuition to Bryn Mawr College, which in turn pays the study abroad tuition to the program on the student's behalf.  When a student withdraws from their study abroad program, after the withdrawal date specified by the program and after the College has paid the study abroad tuition to the program, the program may impose a withdrawal fee by withholding a portion or the entire amount that the College has paid on the student's behalf.  The College will pass the withdrawal fee in this case onto the student.  The study abroad tuition withdrawal fee will be posted on the student's Bryn Mawr Student Account.  The student and their family will be responsible for paying all penalties and fines imposed by the program.  The College will not absorb any fees on any student's behalf.  The College will not refund any tuition that is not refunded to the College by the study abroad program.

When a student withdraws from their study abroad program BEFORE Bryn Mawr College pays their tuition to the study abroad program
Students pay Bryn Mawr tuition to Bryn Mawr College, which in turn pays the study abroad tuition to the program on the student's behalf.  In the event that a student withdraws from their study abroad program, after the withdrawal date specified by the program but before the College has paid the study abroad tuition to the program, the student and their family will be responsible for paying all penalties and fines imposed by the program.  This may include program tuition, room and board costs and withdrawal fees.  The College will not absorb any fees on any student's behalf.


6. Managing your money abroad

Currency and exchange rates: Exchange rates can change, which may impact your budget.  It is important to know the currency of your student’s host country and its exchange rate against the dollar.  The latest exchange rates are available in newspapers, online websites, and at local banks.

Banking: Opening a bank account in another country where a student will be staying for a short period of time can be a complicated and lengthy process.  It is recommended that, instead, your students use a combination of cash, credit cards, and ATM/Debit card.

ATM/Debit cards: In general, students will be able to use their debit card at ATM machines in their host country.  Students should contact their bank ahead of time to be sure they can use their ATM card in the host country.  Some U.S banks block the use of debit cards in some countries because of concerns about fraud.

Credit cards: Any credit card a student uses abroad must have their name on it.  The name on the card must be the same as the name in the student’s passport.  If a student will use their family’s credit card, their family should request a card from the credit card company issued in the student’s name.  Students’ families should let their credit card company know the student will be studying abroad in the host country.  Otherwise, their international purchases may be flagged as fraudulent.

Personal checks: Personal checks in U.S dollars or in the currency of another country may not clear in the host country.  Do not bring checks issued in U.S dollars or in the currency of another country.

Wire transfers: If students need money fast, they can have it sent to them by Western Union.  Please note that fees may apply.  To claim the transfer funds, a student will need to present their passport.

Emergency reserves:  Students should always have some money on reserve, particularly when they travel outside of the study abroad country.  It is recommended to have about $200 in cash.

7. Sources of scholarship and grants

Program specific scholarships

  • Some Bryn Mawr approved study abroad programs provide financial awards. Check the specific approved program websites for more information.

Country or world region specific scholarships

  • American Association of Teachers of Japanese - For Study Abroad in Japan
  • BUTEX Scholarship For study in the United Kingdom
  • DAAD Scholarship Programs: For study in Germany
  • St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia Scholarships: For one year of study in a Scottish university

National scholarships

  • Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship: For Pell grant eligible students
  • NSEP: David L. Boren Scholarships: For U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests.

8. Campus resources

For additional consultation, please contact the appropriate office.

Student Financial Services (SFS)
Questions about eligibility for financial aid, Bryn Mawr billing and student accounts should be directed to Student Financial Services at sfs@brynmawr.edu or by phone at 610-526-5245.

Financial Aid for study abroad

  • Felicia Rivera
    Senior Assistant Director of Student Financial Services

Student accounts and billing

  • Linda Locker
    Associate Director of Student Financial Services
  • Carrise Mangano
    Assistant Director of Student Financial Services                        

Dean’s Office
Questions about general planning for study abroad, study abroad academic policies, eligibility requirements, and program options should be directed to:

  • Theresa Cann
    Assistant Dean, Director of International Education
    tcann@brynmawr.edu
    610-526-5375

9. Study Abroad Fee Payment Flowcharts
Payment flowchart for tuition fees.  Students and families pay Bryn Mawr tutition. Bryn Mawr, in turn, pays study abroad tuition to the study abroad program.
Payment flowchart for room and board. Students and families pay room and board fees directly to the study abroad program.
Payment flowchart - additional costs.  Students and families pay appropriate service providers for additional study abroad expenses.