Money & Expenses
Although the program covers most of your costs while in the United States, there are a few things that you should expect to pay for. The program will provide a $50 stipend each week for you to spend on things that you need while in the U.S. and on activities with your host family and the SUSI Ambassadors. You will pay for your own snacks, gifts, long distance telephone calls and activities such as movies, sports events, and meals outside of program hours.
The program provides:
- Round-trip domestic and international travel between your home town and all program locations
- All lodging, meals, and transportation while in the U.S.
- Entrance fee for all activities, museums, tours and excursions during program hours.
- A cash stipend of $50 each week
- A cell phone to use while in the U.S. to make unlimited local calls and texts
- All books and course materials
-A program t-shirt
-For WINTER (January/February) SUSI programs only: A hooded sweatshirt and rain jacket
The program does not provide:
- Medical examinations if required for application
- Cost of getting an international passport
- Day trips and activities with host family and/or friends while in the U.S
- Personal items (clothes, batteries, toothbrush, shampoo, snacks, etc.)
- Unplanned activities, independent field trips
- Excess baggage costs
If you run out of personal items, such as shampoo or deodorant, you are responsible for purchasing those. While you are not encouraged to bring excessive amounts of cash with you, it is difficult to get cash sent to you from home. Try to bring as much money as you will need for the whole program, and don’t plan to have money sent to you in the middle of the program.
Carrying money while traveling
Never put cash in checked luggage. Carry it with you in a protected purse or wallet.
Money can be withdrawn from ATMs, which are in all parts of Seattle, using your personal debit/credit card. When you have American dollars in your possession, it is important not to display it too openly. If you have problems with money or run out of money at any point in the program, tell a FIUTS staff member immediately.
Coca Cola 0.5l: $2.00
Water 1.5l: $1.50
Key-chain souvenir: $4.00
If you choose to go to a restaurant on your own time, outside of the program activities, you may need to tip a waiter or waitress. Tips or service charges, sometime called gratuities, are not added to bills in U.S. hotels or restaurants unless you are dining with a group of 8 or more people. Generally 18-20% of the check is appropriate. Tips are not expected in cafeterias or fast food restaurants.
Most stores in the U.S. are open from 9 AM to 8 PM, every day of the week. Larger retail and grocery stores stay open until 10 or 11 PM, and some stores may be open 24 hours a day. Many Americans go shopping on the weekends for fun, at large malls and department stores. You may have the opportunity, in your free time, to go shopping in Seattle.
Sales tax is charged on almost all items in stores in Washington States, except for some food items in grocery stores. The sales tax rate in Seattle is 9.5%. In Washington D.C. the tax rate is 6%. This means that the total amount you pay is slightly higher than the listed price. Keep this in mind so that you are not surprised when you go to pay for something - the total may be more than you expected!