Letter to the editor
Letter to the Editor
November 1, 2023
After enrolling for a non-UWRF study abroad program, I was surprised to see 500 dollars charged to my account for a “study abroad” fee. The Office of International Education claims that it is an administrative fee to cover services that they provide to students such as meeting with them and ensuring that credits transfer back to the university. On the study abroad website, there is no mention that a payment is needed to receive services from them. When inquiring why I had to pay this fee although I was going on a program through a different university, they responded that I signed a legally binding document that requires me to pay.
Additionally, the study abroad website does not provide a full itemized list of fees that I would have to pay, only an estimate of what would be paid. The UW System requires insurance for all study abroad program participants and I was expecting to pay a majority of the fees for insurance, not an administrative fee.
It is very misleading to call a fee a “study abroad” fee as it implies that I am being fined for choosing to participate in a study abroad program. There is no purpose to be charged for a non-UWRF program. If there is no mention that services from the office require payment, then there is no need to be charging a fee and to charge a fee for this is a misrepresentation. Additionally, the legal requirement of this payment in order to participate in a program and receive insurance is extortion.
I am calling on Chancellor Gallo, Provost Travis, the Office of International Education, and the International Programs Committee to change the title of this fee and remove it for those who are choosing to participate in a non-UWRF program.