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Pre-Departure Expenses

Some expenses related to study abroad occur far in advance of the start of your program, so careful financial planning may be necessary in anticipation of these charges.

For financial aid recipients, many of these charges will be included in your financial aid award for study abroad, but it is important to note that your study abroad financial aid will not be available to you until the term you study abroad. This means that you will need to pay out-of-pocket for many study abroad expenses, and you will be "reimbursed" by your financial aid when you receive it. No financial aid can be awarded early or in a prior academic term/year to pay for study abroad expenses.

Application Fees

There is no application fee for the Northwestern University online application. If your program sponsor requires an application fee, this fee is your responsibility. Northwestern cannot pay this fee on your behalf, nor is any financial aid available for study abroad application fees.

Program Deposits

Northwestern does not pay program deposits for students. If your program requires a confirmation deposit and/or housing deposit, you are responsible for paying the deposit(s) to the program directly, not to Northwestern. Program confirmation deposits are generally non-refundable.

Depending on the program, your deposit will be credited towards either your NU invoice or your housing invoice from the program.

For students on financial aid, the amount of your program confirmation deposit is included in your study abroad aid. If paying your program's deposit is a severe financial hardship for your family, please contact your program sponsor directly to inquire about having your deposit waived. Northwestern cannot waive program deposits for students.

Passports, Student Visas, & Consular Fees

If you do not already have a passport that will be valid for at least six months after your return to the U.S., you should apply for one as soon as possible. Financial aid is not available for the cost of obtaining or renewing a passport.

It is your responsibility to verify the visa requirements of your host country. Depending on your program or program sponsor, visa expenses may be included in your overall program fee. For Northwestern financial aid recipients, the cost of visas and related fees will be included in your study abroad financial aid.

If your student visa application requires a financial guarantee or other letter certifying your finances while abroad, you should contact your program sponsor to determine if they will provide this certification for you. Otherwise, if you receive financial aid and/or loans through Northwestern, contact Krista Buda Bethel about obtaining such a letter from Northwestern.


Although some programs include international group airfare in their program costs, students are often responsible for arranging their own flights to and from their programs. Confirm flight arrangements with your program and the date by which you are expected to arrive on-site.

Some suggested travel vendors*:

STA Travel offers an airfare deposit program for study abroad students on financial aid, which allows eligible students to book their flight in advance, as long as it can be paid off within a certain amount of time prior to the date of departure. This program might be a helpful resource for students booking airfare in advance and being able to pay it off once your financial aid is available to you for the quarter(s) you will study abroad. Please contact STA Travel directly to inquire about participating in this program.

*Note: The Study Abroad Office does not endorse these vendors; contracts, agreements, terms, or pricing provisions have not been negotiated with them on behalf of the University.

Health Insurance & Immunizations

Northwestern requires all students to have HTH health insurance coverage for the period of time they are studying and traveling abroad. If you are responsible for purchasing your own HTH policy, you must do so before the start of your study abroad program. For financial aid recipients, the cost of HTH is included in your study abroad aid award.

If you need to obtain any immunizations prior to your departure, these expenses are your responsibility. Northwestern is unable to offer financial assistance for the cost of immunizations related to study abroad.