Cost & Money Matters

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Program Cost

The Experience China program remains one of the most cost-effective education abroad options available. Its spring 2017 program fee of $8,500* includes:

  • 12-18 credits of tuition
  • Accommodation in a shared room
  • On-campus dining plan
  • Local transportation pass
  • Use of a basic mobile phone
  • Class field trips and activities
  • 2-day Wuzhen water village excursion
  • 3-day Shanghai excursion
  • 4-day Yellow Mountain excursion
  • 5-day Xi'an excursion
  • 5-day Beijing excursion
  • CISI health insurance
  • 24 hour staff support

The program fee does not include airfare, passport fees, campus administrative fees, damage and work deposits, required textbooks, supplementary textbooks and supplies, special class fees and/or other personal expenses.

Please reference the budget sheet for a breakdown of the estimated total program cost for the spring. It should be noted that personal expenses are influenced by individual student tastes and thus vary greatly from student to student. The amounts included in the budget sheets are averages based on feedback from previous program participants.

*The program fee is for Wisconsin residents only; out-of-state students are responsible for their additional tuition. For the 2016-17 academic year, this amount is approximately $350. 

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are scholarships available?

You should check with the Office of International Education and/or the Financial Aid Office on your home campus to determine what scholarships and/or grants may be available to you as a study abroad student. Furthermore, the following national scholarships are valuable resources for additional funding:

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants are designed to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Fifty $1,000 grants are awarded each year. Students must attend an undergraduate institution with an active Phi Kappa Phi chapter, but do not need to be a Phi Kappa Phi member in order to be considered. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

Boren Awards

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. 

Boren scholars represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including by not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.

Boren Scholarships provide American undergraduate students with the resources and encouragement they need to acquire skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to the future security of our nation, in exchange for their commitment to seek work in the federal government.


Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

Fund for Education Abroad (FEA)

FEA is committed to increasing the opportunities for dedicated American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restriction through the provision of grants and scholarships.

Additionally, you may locate additional scholarship/grant opportunities by searching the following databases:

Institute of International Education (IIE) Study Abroad Funding

International Scholarships

How much money can I expect to spend?

As you might imagine, the amount of money you will spend while abroad depends on your lifestyle. Refer to the program cost breakdown to see a more details estimate of what additional money you can expect to spend. It is important to know your budget and be mindful of this.

Because your program fee is inclusive of the majority of your daily on-site living expenses, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to have a robust and rewarding experience abroad. Your program-provided transportation pass will enable you to explore Hangzhou at no additional cost. If you are hoping to use some of your free time while abroad to travel beyond the program-provided excursions, you will want to budget additional funds for travel prior to departing for China. Rest assured, there are many low-cost options for traveling throughout China. Further, you can save money while traveling by staying in hostels, cooking your own meals and taking advantage of student concession rates (where available) on attractions and entertainment. 

What kind of debit/credit cards can I use abroad?

The best advice is to bring a debit card (preferably VISA) from an account that will be kept supplied with money. Several banks in Hangzhou do not charge an extra fee for extracting money from ATM's with a debit card and they give the best exchange rate. Past students agree that the debit card is the easiest, fastest and best money saving form of receiving money while abroad. 

Before your departure, it is important you notify your debit/credit card company you will be out of the country, and provide them with specific dates. If you fail to notify your credit card company, they may put a hold on your account. 

If you have a credit card, be aware that it likely will not be widely accepted in all locations in China. You should be prepared to use cash for many of your purchases, especially in the markets.

Where can I exchange cash?

All airports have an Exchange Bureau which is a convenient place to make a small exchange. However, you should be aware that Exchange Bureau's often offer poor exchange rates in addition to charging service fees. Past students have recommended debit cards for withdrawing cash from an ATM as this reflects the most favorable exchange rates.

If you plan to exchange money prior to departure, it is better to only get a small amount, rather than converting all your funds, as the rate in the U.S. will be the least favorable. 

What is the exchange rate?

The unit of currency in China is the RMB (also noted sometimes as CNY). You cannot spend U.S. dollars in China. You must exchange dollars for RMB at a bank or currency exchange shop. Rates of exchange will vary depending on the location and the form of money you use. For daily quotes, you can check the following websites: