Study USA is a programme of the Department for Employment and Learning NI (DELNI) and is delivered by the British Council. DELNI cover the following student expenses:
- Term-time accommodation in college dorm together with a full meal plan
- Book allowance (up to $1000)
- One return flight to and from the US (any additional travel back home during any holidays must be covered by the student).
Meanwhile the US Colleges provide a generous scholarship by waiving tuition fees and offer:
- Free tuition at the college (this can be up to $25,000)
Student Contribution -
What the student who is accepted onto the Study USA Programme must pay:
1 Insurance - approx £300 (see Travel Requirements - Insurance Guidelines)
2 VISA and SEVIS fees - approx £230 in total (see Travel Requirements - VISA and SEVIS Guidelines)
3 Enough spending money to cover all subsistence expenses during college/university breaks. Keep in mind - SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!
As a rough guide, most students bring around £3,000 with them as extra spending money. (This is based on the January 2009 exchange rate of $1.40 to the pound). You will probably need extra money for:
- days you won't be on Campus. During American holidays such as Fall Break, Thanksgiving and Spring Break the colleges will close and therefore you will be responsible for arranging your accommodation and meals during that time. You may be invited to an American's home or organise a trip with other Study USA students.
- any socialising/sporting activities you wish to do during the normal week
- any extra travelling you undertake: flights, accommodation and sightseeing costs.
- miscellaneous costs like bedding, change for laundry or your morning Starbucks coffee before class.
Managing your money
There are different ways to carry your money with you when in America.
•Credit Card: You may already have a UK credit card, but be aware that the cost of an ATM transaction on your home credit card can be anything up to $6 a go. Ask your bank for information regarding charges for international transactions.
•Travellers Cheques/Card: Students can bring travellers cheques in dollars if they wish or put their money into an international ‘pay-as-you-go’ card, which is loaded with money before you go. For example, Mastercard offers a prepaid ‘cashplus’ card.
•Bank Account in the US: When you arrive in the US you are entitled to set up a bank account there and obtain a US credit card through that. This is a popular option as when you purchase anything online, e.g. flights, some American websites may forbid you to purchase something unless you have a US billing address.
Please note that students who are on Study USA are not eligible to take out a student loan for that year from the Student Loans Company. This is due to the generous funding available on the programme. We suggest you take out your second year loan and put it in a savings account until you depart or alternatively save one or two of the instalments.