While planning for your semester or year of study abroad, it is important to know that there may be additional costs involved, and you need to keep track of them.
Passport and Passport Photo
You must have a valid passport to travel overseas. The current application fee for a U.S. passport is $45-$60. There may be an additional county fee ($10 in Monroe County). Visit travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html for full details. You will need to submit two photos with your application. These can be taken in a number of places, such as copy centers, American Automobile Association, and the University of Rochester Medical Center Photography Office. Costs vary, but expect to pay at around $10 for two photos. Some study abroad programs may require you to submit a number of passport-sized photos along with the application, or bring some with you.
A visa is official permission, granted by the authorities of a country where you will study or visit, that allows you to enter and remain in that country for a period of time. Some countries require you to obtain a visa either in the United States or at a consulate abroad. Costs and entrance requirements vary, but expect to pay between $75 and $560. Find out before you leave the United States what visas, if any, you will need for places where you will either live or visit. Some Consulates require that you appear in person to apply for your visa. This means that you may have to drive, fly, or take a bus or train to the city where the consulate is located, such as New York, Boston, or Chicago. The Center for Study Abroad does not process visa applications. For details about how to apply for a visa, contact the consulate or embassy of the country where you will study.
The University of Rochester requires all students to be covered by health insurance while abroad. Check whether your current policy will cover you while you're overseas. You may also subscribe to the UHS plan while you are away. Some programs/foreign universities require you to subscribe to their health plan as well.
Some countries require entering travelers to be vaccinated against certain diseases. Not all physicians' offices have these vaccinations available, so check with your personal physician or UHS. Strong Memorial Hospital has a travel health office called "Passport Health," an excellent source of information and can administer necessary vaccinations. Costs range from $30 to $150.
Proof of a negative AIDS test is required before entering certain countries. Some countries will not accept proof from a US physician and require the test to be performed overseas. The latest information on vaccines and AIDS testing may be obtained from embassies or consulates, or from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov.
Most study abroad programs do not include airfare in the program fee. Nevertheless, the Financial Aid Office considers the cost of getting to your destination to be part of the cost of your semester(s) abroad. So your financial aid may cover the cost of your airfare. However, you are responsible for purchasing your own ticket, and this usually must be done several months before any financial aid is disbursed. In other words, you may have to cover the cost of your ticket up front, then wait to be reimbursed by financial aid.