A formula for figuring out the cost of your exchange is:
Price per week + pocket money ($100/week is reasonable) + flight + insurance + visa = total cost of the exchange
You can expect to pay about $600 per week for an exchange program. Add to that the cost of your travel, which can be equal to the cost of the exchange itself, your visa expenses (if any), and insurance. You’ll also need some pocket money and may have to pay for some meals. In total, for a three week exchange abroad, you can expect to pay at least $2500. For a budget of $3500, you’ll have many more exchange options. Our student exchanges in Costa Rica start at $1190 for two weeks, not including flights.
The factors that affect the cost of your exchange most are:
– Destination: long distance travel is more expensive, but some destinations are also pricier than others. The USA is one of the most expensive. Malta is one of the cheapest. Popular destinations like New York and Miami are usually more expensive than less well-known destinations.
– Duration: Total cost rises the longer your exchange lasts, but cost per week drops. Six and nine-month exchanges have a significantly lower cost per week than short-term exchanges.
– Course type and intensity: Specialized language courses and intensive courses are more expensive than general courses and holiday courses. Exchange programs without courses usually aren’t much cheaper than those with courses because they organize sightseeing and activities, and those also must be paid for.
Going on an exchange or sending a child on an exchange is a significant investment. To get the most out of it, choose an exchange that fits your budget and your needs. Picking a less-intensive course simply to save money can be a disappointment if you don’t end up learning much during the exchange. Like any other investment, it’s wise to explore several options, plan out a detailed budget, and go on an exchange when the cost and the return are most likely to align with your expectations.
Note: Prices accurate as of October, 2019.