The following expenses are not included in the program cost in order to allow for maximum flexibility in accommodating individual students' needs:
Airfare: Because students will be joining the program from different cities, we work with a travel agent (JTB) in order to arrange flights that accommodate each student's needs. In the spring of 2010, program participants will be asked to provide their airport of origin to the program directors, and JTB will arrange for airfare from that city to Tokyo (with a connection in Detroit where we all meet and board the same flight to Narita airport in Tokyo). Because airfare costs may differ depending on the airport from which the student is leaving, this expense is not factored into the program price. After JTB makes arrangements for all of our participants' flights, students simply call them to pay for their airfare directly. This also enables students to set a later return date if they wish to stay in Japan following the program and travel on their own. While it is important to remember that airfare can change significantly over time, for your planning purposes it might help to know that in June 2008, the average airfare was around $1200.
Public transportation: All of the program-related travel is included in the program price. However, students should budget for personal travel within Tokyo as well, as they likely will want to explore the city beyond class field trips. Students should plan to spend about $3/ride for subway fare while in Tokyo. Keep in mind that this fare is for each way, and students may wish to go multiple places in a day when exploring on their own. Alternatively, you may be able to walk to your destination, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible. In Kyoto, as part of the cultural immersion experience, students will be responsible for obtaining and funding their own public transportation, if needed, during our time there. An all-day bus pass in Kyoto is ¥500 (about $5.00). In all, it is wise to budget at least $200 for local transportation, plus any personal travel to other cities you may wish to do.
Meals: All weekday breakfasts in Tokyo and two weekday dinners per week throughout the program are included in the program price. However, all other meals are on your own in order to provide you the freedom to eat what and how much you want. While prices of food items vary in Japan, it should be safe to budget about $20 - $40 per day (about $800 - $900 for the duration of the program).
Personal travel and lodging: The program does not cover lodging, travel, food, etc. when you are traveling on your own, including any travel you wish to do over the long weekend. Students planning to stay and travel in Japan following the program may wish to purchase a Japan Rail Pass. You should determine your own probable travel plans and budget accordingly.
Laundry: While the NYC does have laundry facilities on site, they are not free. Plan to spend about ¥600, or $5.25 per load (washing and drying). Keep in mind that dryers in Japan tend not to dry clothes as quickly as they do in the U.S., so you will need to either budget for several dryer cycles and/or bring clothing that can be hung to air dry. We recommend the latter.
Depending on your own personal habits, preferences, appetite, and desire to travel and shop, you may wish to budget somewhere between $2500 - $3500 in addition to the program cost. Note that this is only a general estimate and is not intended to be advice or a guarantee of your expenses while in Japan. It is strongly recommended that you formulate a budget based on your own needs and plan to stay within it.
For more information about the program price and what is included, please click here.
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