Location: Bowdoin / Off-Campus Study / Guidelines / costs

Off-Campus Study

Costs and Fees

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Additional information on the financial aspect of study abroad, including financial aid, may be found on the Bursar's Office website.

The bills for most programs, including the Twelve College Exchange, are generated by the institution attended; they should not be sent to Bowdoin. Billing comes from Bowdoin only for students attending the ISLE (Sri Lanka), SITA (South India), and CHP (Prague) programs.

You are responsible for paying program bills directly to the program. Do make sure that you understand your program's billing procedure. Many programs and universities will require that you send a deposit of several hundred dollars to secure your place. Due dates for both deposits and fees will differ significantly from those to which you are accustomed at Bowdoin. This is especially so at institutions in the southern hemisphere, where semesters start in early July and payment is normally expected several weeks before that. Some institutions require full payment before you can register for classes, and confirmation of payment is often necessary for a visa application. If you are enrolling directly in a foreign university, you will need to make arrangements to pay the bill in the currency of that country. Note that some universities bill for tuition and accommodation on separate invoices.

Many overseas programs are somewhat less expensive than Bowdoin, but at some, often those run by U.S. institutions overseas, the total cost of attendance can be as high as at Bowdoin, or even higher. Direct enrollment in foreign universities is usually cheaper than attending through an American third-party provider; but the third-party providers may offer financial assistance (awards typically range from $500 to $1500) through merit- or need-based scholarships, for which you are strongly encouraged to apply, whether or not you receive aid through Bowdoin. In the UK, university fees and the cost of living are in general substantially higher in London; there are some excellent universities in lively locations that will cost a great deal less.

The cost of enrollment for the spring and summer terms at institutions such as Oxford that operate on the trimester system will be much higher than half the fees for the full year. For academic and social as well as financial reasons, you are strongly advised to enroll for the full year.

You will find information on fees in the printed or on-line materials provided by your program. Bear in mind, however, that the fees published when you start researching your options are likely to have risen by the time you attend the program. The cost of education is rising faster than the rate of inflation, in study abroad as well as in the U.S.; and the currently weak dollar has also had an effect. Some programs adjust their fees for each semester, rather than annually. Read your program's materials closely to find out whether costs such as airfare, meals, and vacation housing are included. How many of your daily meals are covered in your meal plan? Will you have additional food and housing expenses during breaks? Are organized excursions included in your fee, or are they an additional cost? Does the program estimate personal costs that are not covered by the fees? Many students find that a relatively high cost of living and weak U.S. dollar make their personal expenses greater than they expected. Travel during breaks, eating out, and other entertainment are often mentioned as adding a lot to the overall cost.

Visa regulations make it unlikely that you will be able to earn money while you are away. (The UK, however, has now liberalized its rules.) In any case, your academic workload and desire to see something of the country beyond your program will probably make it inadvisable to take on more than a very few hours employment a week.

Bowdoin charges students studying off campus a fee of $1,000 per program attended to subsidize some of the cost of maintaining and enhancing off-campus study as an option for Bowdoin students. The cost of the fee is taken into account in calculating Bowdoin financial aid.