Costs and billing

Cost of studying abroad

Cost estimates for each program are listed on program web pages. Estimates are based on information provided by the host university and by reports from past participants. These are, of course, estimates, and can fluctuate based on many things, including exchange rates. Always check current exchange rates online at or

Billing procedures

Billing is generally done in two stages.

Stage one: Tuition, program, and insurance fees due at the beginning of semester abroad.

All participants will receive a bill from the UW's Bursar's Office as they normally would here on campus. This bill will include the IESP program fee of $1000-$1200 (depending on residency) and the cost of the mandatory CISI health insurance for the entire time your student is abroad. Some programs also require an additional administrative fee or insurance policy and if this is the case with your student's program and it is billed through us, it may also appear on the bill.

Most IESP programs are exchanges, which would charge UW-Madison tuition, plus the fees listed above. The tuition your student pays to UW will allow a student from his or her host university to study at UW. Conversely, that student will pay tuition at his or her university, which allows your student to study there. Hence, the term "exchange program."

Some programs may be classified as a 'study abroad'. Students participating in a study abroad program will pay the equivalent of the foriegn institution's tuition (not UW tuition). The exact U.S. dollar amount for these bills will be based on current exchange rates. Please refer to the web page for your student's particular program for specific information, and do be aware that dollar amounts often change from semester to semester, so it's important to refer to the program page when your student is applying in order to make sure these details are valid for the semester your student is going abroad.

Stage two: Additional fees due to the host university

Many overseas universities require that your student pay additional fees, such as an activity or enrollment fee, housing fee, additional insurance fees, or a fee for an enhanced orientation program. If this is the case for your student's program, he or she can expect to receive a bill directly from the host university, along with payment procedures and a payment deadline.

Other costs

Your student will incur 'out-of-pocket' expenses before departing and while abroad. Your student will need to purchase airfare and, once overseas, he or she will need money for entertainment, personal items (like toiletries) and vacation travel. Just like in Madison, your student will probably need to buy groceries, pay rent, and purchase a bus/subway pass. (Some host universities include housing, meals and local transportation costs in their fees, but this is not common). Out-of-pocket costs are necessary to consider as part of the total costs of studying abroad. The actual cost to your student will vary depending on the site and the exchange rate, and estimates for these costs are included as 'Estimated Additional Expenses' on the program cost sheets.

Financial aid

Financial aid is applicable to all UW-Madison degree-seeking students on study abroad programs.

Students who already receive aid may qualify for additional funding to offset the extra costs sometimes associated with study abroad expenses. Additional aid often comes in the form of loans, although there are some need-based study abroad grants available annually. Likewise, if the anticipated study abroad costs are less than the on-campus budget, the aid package could be reduced.

Even students who have not received financial aid in the past may be eligible for a loan to help with additional study abroad expenses.

For more information, contact:
Office of Student Financial Services
333 East Campus Mall #9701
Phone: 608-262-3060

Disbursement of financial aid

The process for receiving financial aid may change when students study abroad, and financial aid may be disbursed near or after your student's departure date. Your student must contact the Office of Student Financial Services in advance to make sure all requirements are completed before departure. If your student leaves the UW-Madison campus before financial aid is disbursed, you should arrange to receive your student's aid and deposit it or transfer it abroad if necessary.

Withdrawing from a program

Official cancellation or withdrawal from a program requires a written notification from the participant either by email, fax or post. Cancellation/withdrawal becomes effective on the date the withdrawal notice is received by IESP, by email or fax, or the date of postmark on a letter. Financial implications depend on the withdrawal notification date and expenses incurred by the program on your student's behalf.