Money matters

go global, greenery, roof top

Before you travel abroad, it’s wise to consider the financial realities of travelling abroad and to plan accordingly.

You will face a variety of “inflexible” costs while on exchange — tuition and program fees, flights, insurance, and cost of living among them. You may also want to have a little extra on hand to spend on things like sightseeing and exploring, dining out, or enjoying the local cultural scene.

To help ensure you have an enjoyable time abroad, learn how to successfully plan for the financial side of an exchange.

Registration and tuition payments

Exchange students pay their tuition directly to UBC. Before you leave for your exchange, you’ll need to ensure that you pay your tuition and associated fees.

You can make these payments directly on the Student Service Centre (SSC). If you need assistance, contact Student Services.

  • Set up direct deposit on your SSC account so you can receive any applicable awards electronically.
  • If someone is picking up a cheque or document on your behalf, you must first complete the Third Party Authorization for document pickup found in the SSC under “Personal Information”.  You will provide a password to the third party that will need to be verified upon pickup. The third party is also required to provide ID.


How much should I budget?

  • Students participating in an exchange pay their regular or comparable UBC tuition. Students on exchange are required to pay for 15 UBC credits for each semester on exchange.
  • Global Seminar Program fees vary and are listed on the program pages, but usually include meals, accommodations, and other expenses.
  • There are no additional fees beyond the Go Global fee if you are conducting self-directed research abroad.
  • Some research abroad programs have an additional fee, which is listed on the program page.

The amount of money required for an exchange varies greatly from country to country and from student to student.

Beyond program fees and tuition, only you can determine how much money you will need while you’re away.

Your financial requirements will vary depending on your individual goals, the cost of living in your host country, and your personal preferences.

Preparing a budget

The following are some steps you can take to prepare a budget for your international learning experience:

Download our estimated budget worksheet(xlsx)

Update it as your plans evolve with the information you source on actual costs for your Go Global experience.

Read student reports

Learn about other students personal accounts of costs and money-saving tips.

Use the student directory

Connect with returned participants and ask how much it costs for day-to-day expenses like food, laundry, transportation, and coffee.

Search travel guides and the web

If you want to explore the region you’ll be in, will you prefer to travel by bus? By train? First class? Consider contacting a travel agent to help you determine some of your costs in advance.

Consider your ideal lifestyle while abroad

What are your spending habits at home? Will the same habits apply abroad? Can you adapt to spending less? Are there expenses you can do without?