Study away is rarely cost-prohibitive at Amherst College. In general, students who receive institutional, state, and/or federal aid can transfer their aid package to a program approved by the College and students not on aid do not pay anything to Amherst for the semester or year they are away. Specifics are below.
Students who do not receive financial aid are responsible for all costs of their study away program, paying the program directly. Once you submit your Educational Leave and Waiver Form, the College will not bill you for the time you are away.
Students on financial aid at Amherst may apply their aid to an approved study abroad or domestic study program, but with provisions. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for information on how to transfer your financial aid package to an approved program. Students do not need to apply for aid or scholarship from the program or host institution since Amherst's aid transfers to approved programs. If a student applies for (and is awarded) financial aid or scholarship from the program or host institution, please note that the family contribution will not be reduced. Family contributions remain the same.
The document below should be read and printed out prior to meeting with Dean Kate Gentile (x2296), the senior financial aid officer who works with students studying away at Amherst.
Many programs will provide you with estimated expenses particular to the locale. We have drafted a more extensive list of items that you may – or may not – find necessary or useful for your study abroad budget. You will need to tailor the list to your specific needs, which will be based on what is provided by your program. Some of these items may be covered by financial aid, others may not. By no means is this list meant to capture everything you may possibly need, but it’s a starting point.
Expenses you MIGHT Encounter
Travel and Immigration
- Fees for overweight luggage (fees vary by airline, and are avoidable by weighing your luggage before you go to the airport!)
- Transportation to get your visa if you have to travel to consulate not near home or Amherst
- Passport and visa fees
Health and Wellness
- vaccinations (not all health insurance policies cover required or recommended vaccinations)
- prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Small gifts for host family, friends, etc.
- Adapters for electronics (if there is a difference in electrical current)
- Clothes (especially if in a new climate, more conservative culture, or field-based research programs)
Expenses Upon Arrival
Travel and Immigration
- Residency permit fees or immigration/entry fees (not all countries require students to register with the local authorities or pay an entry fee upon arrival in the country, but some do)
- Transportation to program or host family/residence (if not provided)
- Sheets and towels (if not included in the accommodation)
- Kitchen supplies (if you are cooking for yourself and the accommodation is not furnished)
Communication and Transportation
- Local cell phone (if you do not plan on using your U.S. mobile phone)
- Public transportation and/or taxi fares
- Cost of currency conversion and foreign ATM fees
- Meals not covered by program and meals not covered during break
- Additional accommodation fees during break (if not covered by program)
- Supplemental course fees (if applicable)
- Health and wellness (medications, doctor’s visits, gym memberships, co-pays)
- Extracurricular activities not covered by your program (classes for cooking, dance, music, theatre, art)
- Cultural activities (museums, concerts, sports, festivals)
- Nightlife/social life (dining out, dance clubs)
- Personal expenses (toiletries, local transportation, street food, street vendors, mailing gifts home, access to Wi-Fi if not covered by your program or included in your accommodation)
- Personal travel
- Program excursions (if not fully subsidized by your program)
Expenses When Returning Home
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Last-minute activities you always wished you had done!
- Overweight baggage fees if you exceed the limit (varies by airline)
Where to find student deals
Nearly all study abroad destinations – whether capital city or small town in the countryside – will have establishments that offer discounts to students or are generally more affordable than the tourist traps. The best way to find these places is to ask students who’ve studied abroad before you, but it is even better to ask local students and local staff on your program or at the host university. Cheap eats and hot spots are trendy, so what was popular (and affordable) last semester may not be while you are abroad.
There are few websites that capture all resources for travelers on a budget, but previous students have shared the following with us. Please note that we do not endorse these organizations and it is your responsibility to research which are appropriate for you.
The College will introduce a “home school fee policy” that will begin to apply to members of the incoming class of 2022 who may participate in approved study away programs during their second, third, or fourth year. Under this policy, students who study away will pay costs associated with their enrollment at Amherst and the College will remit payments due to the hosting institution. This aligns Amherst’s practice with a majority of U.S. colleges and universities. It will secure the sustainability of study away for future Amherst students, while also permitting Amherst students to choose the program that best fits their interests and needs, regardless of costs. Students will remain eligible for all financial aid while attending approved domestic and foreign study programs. Financial aid will continue to be portable and based on a student’s full demonstrated need, which is determined by inclusion of the comprehensive costs of the study away program and specific non-billed expenses such as associated transportation costs.