Countdown to Nicaragua

How much will this cost me again?

Story by Meghan Hosely, Online Editor

“Hi, I’m here to make a withdrawal.”

Even before I accepted my spot to go to Nicaragua, I couldn’t accurately guess how many times I’ve said those words. Each time, the phrase has weighed me down more and more as the teller printed out my receipt. Do I really have that much left in my bank account?

Okay, I might be overexaggerating. But really, in the beginning this going-abroad process, I went to the bank twice a week for a three or four week period. Which wasn’t really the biggest problem, except my car is parked in the Bollinger Lot, and I bank off campus.


So there were times where I had to sacrifice getting up at odd times to go to the bank, or had to quit working on my homework to go to the bank, or else I would’ve had to wait a while longer to get the cash I needed.

Truth is, I was smart in high school. I had an after school job at the local Dairy Queen, and while most of my coworkers just put their entire paychecks in their checking account every two weeks, I saved most of mine. I have no rhyme or reason as to why I saved most of my money, I just did.

Maybe I saved so I could have experiences like I’m about to have. Because of my actions I decided to commit to a few years back, I’ll be able to pay for this trip without any help.

By no means am I trying to gloat about things. I’m not swimming in cash; that’s far from the case.

I also understand money hinders people from chasing their dreams abroad, and I can think of a few people right now who have been told money is the only thing standing in the way of them traveling.

Jenna Krosch, study abroad coordinator at the Center for International Education, said money issues is, “ranked as a top concern” among students who talk to her.

“There’s a misconception that it’s more money,” Krosch said. “But if you think about all the added costs you have during your time abroad that you wouldn’t make when you’re in Eau Claire, it’s not that big of a difference.”

Krosch said some added expenses include traveling on the weekends, roundtrip airfare and souvenirs.

If you think about it, we don’t fly to campus. We don’t really buy things for others because we’re not in a far away land. So, yes, while it is more expensive to go abroad, these aren’t regular costs we normally have to pay. It’s basically a once in a lifetime opportunity, and since I prepared for this a few years back, it’s definitely made my preparations a lot easier.