How much does it cost to do an exchange in the USA?

You can expect to pay about $1,400 for a two-week exchange in the USA, airfare not included. Each additional week should add about $650. These are ballpark figures, and prices vary greatly depending on the features of the program you choose, the exchange organization, and the length of your stay.

Factors that will increase the price of an student exchange in the USA:
– Selecting a popular city: New York, Miami, and Los Angeles are more expensive than elsewhere
– Being under 16: trips for minors require extra supervision and thus cost more
– Staying in a hotel or student residence: host family accommodation is cheaper
– Booking at the same time as everyone else: promotions and sales happen in the low season
– Using a mom & pop agency: Larger organizations benefit from economies of scale

Long-term exchanges have a higher price tag overall, but the price per week is lower, especially once you begin to look at semester and year-long programs. Your airfare and visa costs are also amortized over a longer period, further reducing the weekly cost. Not everyone has several months to spend in the USA, but if your aim is to complete your exchange fluent in English, the return on your investment will be higher the longer you stay.

In calculating the total cost of an exchange in the USA, don’t forget to look beyond program costs. Bus/metro/uber fares, meals not included in your meal plan, weekend travel, movies, sports games, souvenirs… All these expenses add to your budget. A good ballpark figure is to count on spending $100/week if you won’t do much travel outside your city, or $200/week if you will. Of course, it also depends on what’s included in your exchange price, so pay attention to those details. Planning out a budget in advance will avoid unpleasant surprises and make the cost of your exchange in the USA easier to bear.

Note: Prices accurate as of October, 2019.

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