Cost & Aid

There are many things to discuss when it comes to money and studying abroad. How will you pay for it? How will you or your student pay for day-to-day things while they're abroad? What about exchange rates? Find answers to all of your money questions below.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid
Students may be eligible for Grand View aid, federal grants and loans, state grants, private scholarships and private loans in accordance with federal, state, private and institutional regulations to help fund their off-campus study program. Check directly with Grand View’s Financial Aid Office in order to determine what financial aid they are entitled to for their program.

The Office of International Studies has information on sources of financial assistance for study abroad programs. We encourage students to inquire and conduct research about possible scholarship opportunities as early as possible as they plan their off-campus experience.

A full list of scholarships available to Grand View University students can be found here.

Jeff Zimpleman-Iowa Sister States Scholarship
The name and purpose of this scholarship is unique, and so is the application process. The actual size of each scholarship, including the number of scholarships, will vary depending on the need of the applicant, the number of applications received, and the types of project ideas.

Learn More 

Travel Savings Account

Grand View provides an opportunity for students to save for a future off-campus study program by signing up for a Travel Savings Account through Grand View’s Business Office.

The Travel Savings Account is a great way for students to plan and save for their future off-campus learning adventure! Students who work on-campus can designate a portion of their income to be deposited directly into their travel account. If available, students can also designate excess financial aid funds to be deposited directly into the Travel Savings Account. Additionally, students or their family members can make deposits into a student’s account to be saved for a future program. These funds will be retained in their Travel Savings Account and can be used only as payment on their future study abroad/study away program. If at any point they decide that they no longer wish to participate in an off-campus study program, the funds will be returned in full to the student and/or the individual payers (family members) upon written request.

Contact the Grand View Business Office, Director of Student Accounts for additional information.

When Is the Money Due?

Study Tours
Deposit is due the end of November and the final payment is due mid-January. Informational sessions are held for all Grand View Study Tours during the spring and fall semesters. These sessions provide students with detailed information including payment deadlines, program specific logistics, and the required documentation for participating in the program. Encourage your student to speak with the program’s faculty sponsor if there are any questions.
Summer, Semester, or Year-Long Programs
Payment schedule will be specific to your student’s program. Payment is usually due one month prior to the program start date. Note: If your student is planning on using federal financial aid, the student will need to work with the Financial Aid Office to learn how the money will be disbursed to accommodate payment deadlines.
Exchange Programs
Payment for Grand View exchange programs follows the regular Grand View tuition payment schedule. Students are encouraged to save money for personal expenses. All personal expenses, beyond the cost of tuition, will amount to approximately $7,500 (plane ticket, visas, housing, meals, etc.).

Handling Money While Abroad

Students should plan to have approximately enough money to cover expenses for their first week abroad when they arrive in their host destination. Most airports will have currency exchange centers or ATMs in which the student can access or obtain the local currency upon arrival. Below are a few examples of the ways in which students can access or obtain money while abroad:

Credit / Debit Cards

Credit or debit cards are one of the best methods to use funds while traveling abroad. They usually get the best exchange rate and ATM machines are usually available 24 hours per day. Visa and Eurocard/Mastercard are widely accepted.

The student should notify their bank about the locations and dates they will be traveling before they travel abroad because fraud detection systems will cancel a card if it is used in locations that are unusual for the cardholder. Check to see what types of service charges will apply if the card is used internationally. Remember that most banks have per-session and/or daily limits to the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from an ATM.

Cash is a universally accepted form of payment, however, it is often the most prone to theft or loss. Money can be exchanged at airports or most train stations. Banks generally offer a better exchange rate, but they may also charge a fee.
Traveler's Checks

Traveler’s checks are prepaid checks that can be exchanged for currency at foreign banks. They can be purchased at any major bank in the U.S. before going overseas.

We recommend that traveler’s checks be used as a last resort since they have the least favorable exchange rate and it can be difficult to find locations that will exchange them. However, traveler’s checks are secure and can be returned at any bank for no penalty upon return. If the checks are lost or stolen, the checks are worthless because they require the signature of the check-holder.

How to Carry Money

The best way to avoid loss or theft is to keep valuables in a money belt worn underneath clothing.

Bank Accounts

Opening a bank account in the host country is recommended if the student is going to study abroad for a full year. Students will usually receive an ATM/Debit card that will make financial transactions much easier and more cost-effective; your student will be able to avoid ATM fees if they enlist at a local bank. Opening an account also makes sense for locations where ATM access is not convenient or sufficient.

If the student chooses to open an account in their host country, they should wait until they arrive and open the account in person (not online). In some locations there will be a U.S. bank abroad. The student should research the banking options in their host community that best fits their needs.

Currency Exchange

After acceptance into an off-campus program we recommend students and parents begin to think about the sources of currency they will use while abroad. Research the kinds of services available in your off-campus program community as well as the host committee’s banking customs. Students should also contact their credit card company or bank to let them know they will be traveling as well as check on the availability and locations of ATMs in the area where they will be studying.

It is a good idea to talk with your son or daughter prior to their program departure about establishing a travel and spending budget while abroad. Students are encouraged to use location-specific resources as well as other students who have studied abroad to determine estimated expenses for food, local transportation, and personal expenses including some entertainment.

Rates of Exchange
Since currency rates are constantly changing, parents and students are encouraged to monitor the exchange rate prior to and during the program period. A website for monitoring currency exchange is A helpful website for translating U.S. dollar amounts into the currency of the host country is
How to Exchange Currency

The key to successful money exchange is advance planning and estimating how much money you will need for a particular country. It is costly to convert to a new currency because each time you convert you pay a service charge.

You can exchange money at banks, traveler’s check companies, airports, railroad stations, some tourist information centers, and travel agencies. Offices of traveler’s check companies, banks and sometimes exchange counters at airports tend to offer the best rates.

Bring your passport with you as identification every time you exchange money. Try to avoid exchanging money at airports or high-traffic tourist areas; they will often give a worse exchange rate.

Have a Question? I Can Help.

Dr. Heather Brady
Professor of Liberal Arts