Finances & Insurance

Having a meal with friends, going to a movie or a theme park, and shopping – all of these take spending money.

Your host family will pay your basic living costs, but you’ll need to bring your own money for personal expenses. Plan for a minimum of $125 to $250 per month. While this might seem like a lot of money, manage it wisely. It can disappear quickly. Your host family can give you advice on ways to save.

Expense Information for Grant Students

If you’re part of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX), or Youth Exchange and Study (YES) grant programs, your host family can get reimbursed for some of your expenses, including clothing and school supplies purchased on your behalf. Be sure to keep your receipts and give them to your host parents to make sure they can be reimbursed! The programs also give you a monthly allowance of $125 for personal expenses.

Insurance Coverage

The American health-care system can be very confusing. In the United States, most people rely on private health insurance. If you have to go to the doctor, you’ll be asked for your insurance card. You may have to pay a small fee (called a “copay”), but the rest of the cost of your care should be taken care of. Your host family can help explain this.

If you’re like most CIEE students, you’re protected through a special CIEE Insurance plan. Or, you may have your own coverage. Either way, your orientation folder has information on insurance. It’s important that you go over it with your host family.

You must carry both your insurance card and student ID card with you at all times! You never know when you might need it. It’s also a good idea for your host family to keep a copy of the insurance number and contact information in case there’s an emergency.

If you need medical attention and your host family isn’t there to help, find an adult to assist you and call your Local Coordinator or CIEE Support. If it’s a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

You or your host family must contact CIEE as soon as possible to report your medical issue. Call 1-888-268-6245, or send an email to