No, food is not included in it because there is no real meal plan we can get since we're on the go almost every week so it really depends how much you want to spend. Food is Czech Republic is extremely cheap, especially in grocery stores. It gets pricy in Vienna and high tourist areas like Prague. If you can get your hands on such a program at your school I highly recommend it. It's an experience you'll never forget.
However, if you just want to backpack, there's tons of hostels out there and also, tons of McDonald's along the way if you don't want to spend too much money (seriously, they're like American Embassies over there, all employees speak english, in all the places I've visited). But in Central Europe, fast food may atually be more expensive than a meal at a nice restaurant. A good reason to walk around the city until you find the right restaurant.
I've convinced Maxx to join me in 2010 for the World Cup in South Africa. I hope I convince more. Travelling is now an addiction, right after my addiction to Hungarian/Czech gulash. I mean look at this! For 3 bucks!
If you can afford the time off then do it. Once you have a career, you won't really be able to take a month off to go to Europe or anywhere else.
My friend did something like this but he took 4000 and just went everywhere. He drove the autobahn, lived as a fisherman in exchange for travel to italy from spain, went on a real african safari drive with proper english people beside him, accidentally witnessed an underground sex party which he described as the worst smell in the world and something he wishes he could un-see, and a shit load more.