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Cost of Living for International Students

cost of living

For most international students, the cost of living is an important factor when choosing a study destination. Looking out for study destinations with cheaper cost of living for international students can be a good way to cut back on your study abroad expenses.

Your cost of living as an international student will include expenses like accommodation (rent and utilities), feeding, transport, healthcare and study materials. Generally, the costs of living in big cities will be more expensive than that of smaller towns. Other factors can contribute to your cost of living and determine how much you’ll have to spend as an international student during the duration of your study program.

This article will provide an insight into the cost of living estimates in four popular study destinations for international students, as well as tips to help you spend less on living expenses as an international student.

Cost of Living Expenses
  • Accommodation

Like general living costs, accommodation expenses will vary depending on the location. Students can choose to stay on campus or off-campus or share accommodation with a roommate. Some off-campus accommodation will include utility costs as a part of the rent. However, if this is not the case, you’ll have to pay a separate fee for charges like electricity, water, heating and internet. When exploring off-campus accommodation options, you should also consider the transportation costs attached.

In the US, for instance, the cost of accommodation may range from $8,000 to $20,000 per year, depending on the city you live in, while in Canada, the cost of accommodation ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 CAD per year.

On other hand, accommodation costs in the UK and Australia, however, range from £400 – £1,200 monthly and 600 – 1,700 AUD monthly.

  • Feeding

Just like other living costs, your feeding cost will depend on your lifestyle and the area you live in. Some on-campus accommodations come with meal plan options for students to choose from. If you decide to live off-campus, you’ll have to cover the cost of your meals and groceries yourself. (There are affordable grocery stores that offer promos and discounts for students). To reduce your cost of feeding, you can choose to make your meals rather than eat out.

The monthly average cost of feeding in the US is $400-$800. Students living on campus can also take advantage of the campus meal plans which range from $250 – $600 per month. The cost of feeding for international students in Canada will range from 200 to 600 CAD.

The monthly average cost of feeding for students in the UK and Australia are £150 – £200 and 500 – 1000 AUD respectively.

cost of living
  • Transportation

As a student, your most expensive transportation cost will be from your home country to your study destination. Planning your trips will help you book your flight at the right time and save money, as late bookings usually attract higher charges.

Your monthly cost of study as an international student will mostly depend on the distance between your accommodation and school. While there are several means of transportation available, as a student, you’ll get to enjoy discounts on your transport passes.

The transportation pass for a month can range from $40 – $100 in the US and £32 – £90 in the UK. A monthly pass for public transportation in Canada may range from 80 – 150 CAD, while in Australia, public transportation passes will range from 30 – 70 AUD.

  • Healthcare

For international students, studying abroad, a major cost to include in your budget is healthcare. Most universities require international students applying for study to get health insurance for the duration of their study program. Though not all universities include health insurance as a requirement, it is advisable to get a good health insurance policy (if possible, before you get to your study destination). This is because healthcare costs will be too high for you to cover as a student.

International students in the UK will be required to pay £470 per year to cover the health insurance surcharge. In the US, however, the cost of health insurance will depend on factors like the type of coverage and can range from $500 – $1000. While the annual health insurance for international students in Canada can cost between 600 – 900 CAD, health insurance for international students in Australia could range from 470 – 600 AUD.

There are other costs to consider when moving abroad for your studies. These costs may include clothing expenses and the cost of study materials. To cut back on your study and living expenses as an international student, you can take advantage of student discounts, buy pre-owned books and reduce the number of times you eat out. Applying for scholarships and part-time jobs you qualify for, are also a great way to increase your income.

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