Program Cost

Costs Paid for by TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University
Through the generous support of the TOMODACHI Initiative, full funding is provided for the following expenses:

  • International Airfare: Tokyo – Houston – East Coast – Tokyo
  • 4-week research internship in science or engineering laboratory at Rice University
  • Weekly Seminars at Rice University
  • Volunteer English Classes at Rice University Organized by the Office of International Students & Scholars
  • 1-week Science & Technology Leadership Study Tour on the East Coast
  • Double-occupancy Hotel Lodging in Houston and on the East Coast
  • International Health Insurance for duration of stay in the U.S.
  • Rice OISS Visa Processing Fee ($300) and Visiting International Research Student Registration Fee ($100)
  • Enrollment in ELEC 007: Visiting Research Course at Rice University (0 credit, pass/fail)

Costs Paid Individually by the Student
Students will need to pay individually for the following.  Actual costs may vary based on individual spending habits while in the U.S. Most students will fall within the Low – Mid estimated spending range. Only students who plan to eat out for most meals and that want to budget for high personal expenses/sight-seeing/shopping costs will fall into the High category.

All participants will also be matched with an Alumni Mentor from the 2018 program.  You will be able to communicate with your alumni mentor prior to departure via Email, Skype, or Line and ask them questions about estimated costs, packing, and other pre-departure matters.

Travel to/from Tokyo for International Group Flight
You must book/pay for your own travel to/from Narita Airport. 
Cost Varies by Student
Passport Application Costs (if applicable) Cost Varies by Student
J-1 Visa Application Costs
See U.S. Visa page for more details
~$160 USD
See U.S. Visa page for more details
~$180 USD
Proof of Meningococcal Vaccination Record or Waiver
Texas State Law requires all “entering students” to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis if you are under the age of 22 as of
the first day of classes. If you are 21 or younger as of the
first day of the program at Rice University, you must provide proof of vaccination within the last 5 years. If you are 22 or older, you are exempt from this requirement. See also CDC Health Information for Travelers to the U.S.
Cost Varies – Speak With Your Doctor
Meals in the U.S. 
Exact costs vary based on individual spending. Hotel rooms in Houston will have a kitchen and students can save money by cooking meals on their own.  During the final week on the East Coast, hotels will not have a
kitchen but daily breakfast will be provided.

  • Low: Cook two meals per day on your own. 
  • Medium: Cook one meal per day on your own. 
  • High: Eat out for all meals. 
  • See Food in the U.S. for more information.

Low: ~$15/day or $540

Medium:  ~$25/day or $900

High: ~$45/day or $1,620

Daily Transportation
In Houston, students can walk to campus or use the
free, hotel shuttle for travel to/from their research lab. The
hotel shuttle will also take students to/from a nearby grocery
store. To go to other locations in Houston for sight-seeing or
restaurants students will need to use Uber/Lyft or a taxi as public transportation options in Houston are limited.In Washington, DC students will pay individually to use the subway for transportation to/from site visits and for sight-seeing. See Transportation in the U.S. for more information.

~$25/week or $125


Pre-Paid U.S. Cell Phone and Usage 
All students will be required to purchase a pre-paid U.S.
cell phone to use while in the U.S.  This will enable you
to communicate with program staff and/or your
host lab or to police/fire/ambulance in case of an
emergency. More information on cell phone options
will be provided to selected participants in mid-to-late January.
Personal Spending/Shopping/Souvenirs
Students should also budget for personal expenses,
independent sight-seeing, and shopping/souvenir costs.
Exact costs will vary based on individual spending.

Low: $75 per week or $375

Mid: $100 per week or $500

High: $150 per week or $750

Estimated Total Costs

Low: $1,530
Mid: $2,015
High: $2,985 


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