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Finances

Program fees/expenses – apply only to non-exchange study abroad programs, and include costs like housing, museum admission, group meals, etc. They are not considered UWM tuition or part of the tuition scale. 

Billable expenses – are program costs that CIE posts to your UWM Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS) account. 

Non-billable/Estimated additional expenses – are not posted to your account. They differ by program and participant and are in addition to UWM billable budget items. Each is based on the location, program duration and the spending habits of program participants. 

Non-recoverable fees – are costs that UWM or vendors are not able to refund to the student upon withdrawal or cancellation and are therefore the responsibility of the student to pay.
 

Most federal, state and campus-based aid can be applied to the costs of studying on any study abroad program, much the same as if you were still on campus. Financial aid is available to help students who need assistance covering the expenses of study abroad programs.

  • You may use loans, grants and scholarships toward your study abroad cost. If you have never applied or received financial aid before, you are strongly encouraged to consult with Gayla Jenkins (jenkinsg@uwm.edu) in the Financial Aid Office.
  • CIE shares all study abroad program budgets with the Financial Aid Office in order to provide them with each Cost of Attendance, which allows them to include the billable (PAWS fees) estimates as well as the non-billable (additional) estimates not covered in the program fees, such as airfare, in-country transportation and personal expenses, when determining your financial aid award.
    • Students participating in non-UWM-sponsored programs that wish to use their aid must meet with their study abroad coordinator to discuss an individualized budget for their chosen program. Often a “consortium agreement” with the sponsoring institution will be needed.
  • All students who plan to use financial aid to pay study abroad program fees must return a Student Financial Aid Authorization form to the Bursar's Office in Mitchell Hall 285. This form may be downloaded here. Students intending to make program payments with financial aid are held accountable for the full cost of the program even if they do not receive some or all of their anticipated aid. Students who subsequently withdraw from the program are held accountable for the portion of non-recoverable costs articulated in the "Withdrawal/Refund Policy."
  • Financial aid, including loans, scholarships and grants, is distributed no sooner than ten days before any given term. Study abroad program fees may not align with aid disbursement. Please plan accordingly.
  • If the financial aid funds are higher than the fees you owe on your PAWS account, you will receive a check in the mail from the Bursar’s Office for the difference. If the financial aid funds are lower than the fees you owe on your PAWS account, it is your responsibility to ensure that your program is paid for in full.
  • When you return from a semester or year-long program, your grades may not be reported immediately, especially if your program’s dates differed significantly from the UWM semester’s dates. In this case, you may receive an email or written notification in the mail stating that you are in a “warning” status. Don’t panic contact Gayla Jenkins (jenkinsg@uwm.edu) in the Financial Aid Office to let her know. You will still receive your financial aid for the semester and the “warning” status will be lifted as soon as your grades are reported for that term.
    • If you are notified that you have “ineligible” status, again, don’t panic, but e-mail Gayla right away to let her know and get further information from her regarding your status.
 

Fees support the operation of CIE at UWM. All fees are subject to change and are non-negotiable.

Students on exchange programs will be charged regular UWM tuition (without segregated fees) based on residency and graduate or undergraduate student status, in addition to the CIE study abroad administrative fees and international health insurance. All other costs are paid abroad. 

Students on all other types of study abroad programs (faculty-led, non-exchange/affiliate) will be charged a comprehensive fee in lieu of tuition, which may or may not include housing, airfare, excursions, some food, etc., in addition to study abroad administrative fees and international health insurance. The only exception to this is for students on summer study abroad who may have a combination of on-campus (tuition based) classes and study abroad.

Students attending non-UWM programs will pay the majority of fees directly to their affiliate/provider/host university. They are still required to pay associated administrative and international health insurance fees to UWM. 

Consult your program’s budget sheet online or contact a study abroad coordinator for more information on charges.

Administrative Fee

Administrative fees are charged to all students participating in study abroad programs. The following list is a sample of the types of services covered by the administrative fees:

  • Application support
  • Passport and visa guidance
  • Financing and financial aid guidance
  • Scholarship advising
  • Pre-departure preparation and orientation
  • UWM enrollment management and maintenance
  • Course equivalency approval advising and tracking
  • Enrollment in Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) medical and accident insurance
  • Close monitoring of numerous information and intelligence services for updates and reports on countries where programs are operated
  • Emergency and non-emergency assistance while abroad
  • Post-program transcript processing
  • Post-program evaluation

The administrative fee is posted to students’ PAWS accounts, along with other program fees, and is based on the length and type of program. Consult the program’s budget sheet online or contact a study abroad coordinator for more information.

Differential Fees

UW-System policies require non-Wisconsin residents and graduate students to pay differential fees to participate in education abroad programs. The differential fees at UWM are $200 each and are subject to change. When applicable, differential fees are added to the program fees. For example, an additional charge of $400 would be added to the total program fees for a non-resident graduate student. Students participating in exchange programs are exempt from this policy, as they are charged the tuition rate associated with their class standing and/or residency status.

Emergency Contingency

UW-System policies require UWM to maintain a minimum emergency reserve/contingency fund to respond to emergencies and unforeseen problems. To maintain this fund, students attending UWM-sponsored study abroad programs will be charged $20 each term in which they participate. The fee is subject to change and is posted to PAWS along with other program fees.

Late Fees 

The deadlines set by CIE ensure that we have enough time to process the necessary information for a successful study abroad program. Late applications and forms delay registration, orientation, financial aid processing, posting of fees to PAWS accounts, etc. In addition, CIE needs to meet program-specific deadlines set by partner institutions and service vendors. Students submitting late documents during any phase of the process may incur a $50 late fee for each missed deadline. See below for more detail:

  • Application submitted after program deadline
  • Background disclosure
  • Medical self-assessment
  • Flight information (if applicable)
  • General orientation assessment
  • Passport copy questionnaire
  • Special medical health risk and release (if applicable)
  • Other forms as required by program (entry visa, course selection, housing choice, etc.)

Late fees are in addition to program fees and are posted to PAWS.
 

Only one payment is made directly to CIE as part of the application process. Application fee amounts and policies are not negotiable. CIE accepts personal checks, money orders or cashier’s checks (payable to "UW-Milwaukee" or "UWM") and major credit/debit cards (processed online only) for the application fee. CIE does not accept cash. There is a $20 fee for returned checks, which will be posted to PAWS. If a student is not accepted into the program or the program is cancelled, the application fee will be refunded. If a student is accepted into the program and they decline their participation, the application fee will not be refunded. If a student has not yet committed to their program and would like to defer their application to a future term, their application fee will be held until that time.

Students manage their program fees via their PAWS account. Students will not receive a paper invoice. Payment of the balance due on PAWS may be handled online or in-person through the UWM Bursar’s Office. The Bursar’s Office will place an “academic hold” on the records of any student whose fees are not paid in full. An academic hold will prevent students from registering, receiving grades, ordering a transcript, etc. Finance charges will accrue on any outstanding balances. Please see here for more information about making payments.

Program fees will be posted to students’ PAWS accounts shortly before departure. Program fees for faculty-led programs are due by the start date of the program. Program fees for short-term non-faculty-led programs will have varying due dates – please contact your coordinator for further details. Program fees for semester or academic year programs are due by the start of the UWM semester, regardless of program start date. Students studying abroad for a full academic year will be charged prior to each semester.

All study abroad fees are posted on PAWS in categories using an "SA" (for study abroad) designation: SA: Academic Expenses (where applicable); SA: Faculty Expenses (where applicable); SA: Student Expenses; SA: Fees.
 

 

Cash, Credit Cards & Foreign Currency

  • Inform banks/credit unions/credit card companies all locations where you will be going abroad, when you will leave and for how long you will be gone. This includes personal travel that takes place outside the program. This will help ensure your card is not rejected by your bank for suspected fraudulent use when you try to use it abroad.
  • Research the local money practice. Does your study abroad location use credit cards? Cash? Apple Pay? All of the above? It is a good idea to have some cash on-hand, in case using a card is not an option or it does not work.
  • Withdrawing local currency through an ATM will often offer the best exchange rate and is very easy in most locations.
  • You should confirm with your bank/credit union/credit card company if there will be international transaction fees, including ATM withdrawal fees.
  • There is also the option of taking a small amount of U.S. dollars (~ $100) to exchange into the local currency upon arrival. This can be done at the airport before exiting or at a local bank. You can exchange money before you leave via a bank service as well.
  • In case of emergencies, having a credit card that is accepted worldwide or having traveler’s checks can be used as a backup. VISA is one of the most widely used and accepted credit cards worldwide. MasterCard and American Express may also be used. The Discover Card is not accepted abroad. Many banks and credit card companies have initiated anti-fraud measures for client benefit.

 

Wiring Money

In an emergency, funds may be wired from the U.S. through any U.S. bank that has a corresponding bank in the city where students are staying. Funds will be received within two to ten business days from the time the wire is processed. Wiring fees are generally paid on the U.S. side, but occasionally on both. Please be aware that this service can be expensive.

Other Suggestions/Emergency Measures

In a genuine emergency, particularly in more remote areas, the U.S. Department of State may be able to offer some assistance. In some instances, a cashier’s check or money order could be sent to the U.S. Department of State, and then wired from there to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. This process can take roughly 3-4 business days from the time the Department of State receives the check, and costs around $30. You may also be required to show appropriate identification, such as your passport. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State website, or contact the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management:

From within the U.S.: 888-407-4747
From outside the U.S.: +1 202-501-4444