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Many students, particularly those from India, have always been drawn to the United States. And why shouldn’t they? The country offers top-tier quality education and has proven to be a major contender for placements, jobs, and overall good quality of life. The expanding economy has allowed them to invest extensively in developing skilled labor. Over time, the swarming country has become a melting pot of many ethnic cultures.
Some costs that a student might incur include the following:
An international student’s cost of living in the United States is generally higher than in the Northeast or East. There are multiple factors to consider before migrating to the United States.
Housing costs vary depending on whether the student chooses to live on or off-campus, housing type, nearby amenities, healthcare, city, and state of residence.The monthly charge of living in the US is approximately $700-$1000 (INR 52328 – 74755), amounting to $10000-$12000 (INR 747550 – 897060) per year.
Indian students visiting the US for the first time are encouraged to stay in student housing managed by their university. However, cheaper accommodations may have flaws, such as being partially or entirely furnished. As a result, students may have to spend more money on furniture and other necessities.
Students must also deal with other expenses like electricity, cell phone, internet, etc. The monthly electricity bill is around $20 (INR 1585). Home internet and international calling cards cost about $15 (INR 1189.36).
Many students opt for part-time in the US while studying to alleviate their financial strain. While studying, international students have the option to work in the United States. When school is in session, students on an F-1 student visa are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week of part-time work.
Food and other leisurely items costs will vary depending on the student’s lifestyle and eating habits. Students living on-campus may choose meals when filling out their accommodation papers. A hostel student’s food budget would be around $250(INR 19822), including three meals daily in the hostel mess.
Indian students who live off-campus, whether in dorms or the suburbs of campus, are responsible for their food expenses and groceries. Groceries and food prices can range from $100-$200(INR 15858), depending on the state. The most affordable food retailers in the US include Walmart, Target, Costco, and Trader Joe’s
Depending on the state, International students can purchase monthly public transportation passes for $40-$100 (INR 3171-7929). As the states are well-connected, it is simple and easy to travel throughout the United States.
International students can also pre-purchase plane tickets to return home or the United States. Few alternatives like buses, bicycles, trains, and subways are also available to international students.
Other expenses an international student has to fund include clothes, books, stationery, hygiene, and other personal costs. The annual cost of these things varies from $5000-$6000(INR 3,66,638 – 4,40,000). But this might vary according to the students and the place they have opted for.
According to the US government, all international students studying in American universities and colleges must have year-round health and accident insurance. International students, preferably, should opt for college-sponsored insurance because it is much cheaper. You may also purchase personal insurance, but it must be recognized by the university.
Living Expenses Compared To India
According to reports, living in the USA is 221% more expensive than in India. However, the cost of living in India is quite low compared to other nations, and a student’s life often involves the following expenses:
India is far less expensive than the USA for overseas students. There are also less expensive lodging options available, however, renting a flat typically costs between INR 10,000-15,000 ($125 and $200).
If you choose to live on campus, the living cost will range from INR 1.5lakh-2lakh ($2000- $2500) per year. The dormitories close to the university also provide a sharing option for about INR 5,000–10,000($70-$125). Even staying as a paying guest is an option available to students, which is both handy and economical.
If you live on campus, utilities are handled by the hostel management itself. Few colleges even provide Wi-Fi/internet services to students.
But if you stay off-campus, you have to bear the expenses for the utilities like electricity, mobile tariff, water, Wi-Fi/internet services, etc. The average monthly expenditure for two people was somewhat around INR 5000 ($60).
If you decide to live off-campus, the majority of students prefer public transportation because it is relatively affordable and efficient, despite being highly busy. On average, students can see themselves spending around INR300-500 ($3-$10) per week on transportation.
For added convenience, you can purchase a monthly pass for the public transportation system. There are also specific student discounts available.
If you live off-campus, you need to do your grocery shopping. In India, it is very affordable as the average cost of groceries for two people in India is around INR 45000-5000 ($50-$60). You can also hire a cook for yourself, but the price will depend from place to place.
Students can also indulge in festivals, concerts, games, and movies in an inexpensive way. Weekly entertainment can estimate to be around INR 2000-5000 ($25-$60), but it mostly depends on an individual’s spending habits.
Shopping in India is very inexpensive. You can roam around the streets and can find many shops that sell stationery, books, clothes, etc., at an extremely low rate. India also has high-end malls and shops, so you, as a student, have a lot of options to choose from.
Even health care and personal care items are very economical and easily accessible.
However, the overall cost of living in India is incredibly low when compared to the US. Even expensive cities are thought to be more affordable than other places worldwide. Due to its accessible lifestyle and high standard of education, India has been able to draw in numerous international students. It has grown to be one of the most well-liked places to study.
The Average Cost Of Living
The estimated living cost in the US for international students is around $10000-$18000(INR 7,94,175-14,29,515) per year, with an average of $1000-$1500(INR 79,417-11,9126) per month. Food, public transportation, mobile, internet, books and supplies, and other utility costs will be part of your living expenses. In addition, you must have mandatory health insurance to stay in the United States, which costs around $7,000 per year.
However, the cost of living may vary depending on whether you live on-campus or off-campus, the amenities, the state you choose to live in, and the distance of the apartment from your university. As a result, on-campus housing is preferred.
Despite having expensive living and educational costs, the US is one of the best places for foreign students. US universities are renowned for their top-notch instruction and research. The educational system has a relatively open-ended and adaptable philosophy. The degree granted is acknowledged for its academic excellence on a global scale and gives you the chance to collaborate with top professionals in the field.
Tips For International Students
Choosing to study in the US is very exciting, but it requires a lot of pre-planning. Below are some tips that might help you navigate your way in a foreign land:
- Make a budget for yourself.
- Develop your language skills.
- Join a club/society.
- Explore your interests and hobbies.
- Immerse yourself in the culture.
- Know the local laws.
- Build a strong network of support.
- Try new delicacies, but make sure to stay healthy.
- Be prepared with all the necessary books and stationery.
- Get to know your campus.
- Don’t be shy to ask something if you are in trouble.