Finances Abroad

Program Costs

Financial Aid

Financial aid information for visiting and SU students is available in the ‘Grants & Aid’ section of our website.


You should set up direct deposit online via MySlice to access your bursar refunds and earnings from work-study positions at Syracuse Abroad centers. For instructions on requesting a refund, visit (Note: This process may take 7 to 10 business days.) Because refunds cannot be disbursed until your program has begun, do not rely on your loan refund to cover expenses prior to your departure and while initially abroad.


Contact your bank(s) and let them know when and where you will be traveling so that they will not think your spending activity is suspicious and freeze your debit/credit cards. Know what international fees you will incur; different banks charge different fees. Ask now to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Your ATM or debit card is the best way to get cash while abroad. Check with your bank to make sure your ATM card can be used in foreign countries, and to find out what your bank charges for international ATM withdrawals. Some banks do have a partnership with banks abroad which permits members to use those ATMs without paying an ATM fee. However, because there is usually a service charge for each ATM transaction, we recommend that you make weekly or bi-monthly cash withdrawals and budget the cash accordingly. Take out enough cash to last for at least a week, and keep the cash in a safe place in your homestay or apartment, so you are only carrying a small amount of cash at any time. If you do choose to bring cash with you to exchange once on site, it is best to exchange money at a bank to get the best exchange rate.

If you have a debit card, you can use it wherever Visa or MasterCard debit cards are accepted and you will receive the best exchange rate whenever you swipe your card. If ever asked if you’d prefer to pay in the currency of the country or in US dollars, you’ll generally receive a better exchange rate if you request to pay in the currency of the country.

Please note that cash advances against a Visa or MasterCard credit card incur interest charges immediately. Make sure to deposit funds into your account before going abroad so you are only accessing your balance. Another advantage with the Visa or MasterCard debit card is that family members can send you money during the semester by depositing money in a U.S. bank account accessible to you through ATMs or wherever Visa and MasterCard debit cards are accepted.

While not essential, it is a good idea to have a credit card under your name in case of an emergency.

Make copies of both sides of your credit and debit/ATM cards and keep them stored in a safe place.  If a card is lost or stolen, you will still have access to the important contact and account information on your card.


You must budget personal funds for all additional expenses you incur during a semester abroad. For a more detailed breakdown, please see the Financial Planning Budget specific to your program.