international student life

international student

International Student's Living costs & making ends meet:

Cost Estimates, How to spend less, Essentials, Cheap Stores, Buy online, Coupons, Transportation, Rent, Books and More.

All International students get a cost estimate from their college as part of the admission process. Many prospective students are horrified by the high costs involved because they don't have the kind of money recommended in the cost estimates.

It's however not all gloomy. One can make do with a lot less money that the estimates given by the college. The following are the main things included in the cost estimates for international students;

School fees, rent, food, health insurance, electricity, internet, Cable TV, books, transport, clothing, Entertainment, School supplies, cell phone, entertainment and medical insurance.

Most things in the above list are essential but others are not and one can do without them entirely. For the essential ones, you can obtain them for very cheap. One can do without Cable TV and watch free channels. You can also curtail expensive entertainment and go for cheap ones, which are often as good.

For most of your essential household needs, you should visit stores like Walmart where you will get the best value for your money. Many stores advertise their merchandise by sending coupons to your mailbox. Collect these coupons and use them when buying things. This can save you a lot of money. You can also get coupons online by searching for coupons on

Another great way to get cheap but good things is to visit used items stores like Goodwill Store. People also sell items they don't need any more from their homes at what is called Garage sale. Garage sales are advertised on the streets and on the newspapers and you can get very good items here for very cheap.

Transportation is another thing that you can save on. While most American students have cars, I don't advise International Students to buy a car because this will cost you a lot of money. You will have to pay for the car, pay for insurance, car tabs, gas, repairs and parking. Save on transportation by using buses, trams, light rail or Subways. They often have big discounts for students if you buy a bus pass. Some colleges also provide free shuttle rides for their students to grocery stores and other places. Utilize these as much as you can.

Rent for apartment is one of the biggest costs for an International Student. You can save on rent by sharing apartment with other students or living in college dormitories that are a lot cheaper.

Save on electricity by using energy efficient bulbs and switching off lights when not needed. If you have internet in your shared apartment, you can get a wireless router and share a single internet connection with your roommates and also share the Internet bill too. This will be a lot cheaper than paying for it yourself and you will not use it all the time.

College books are very expensive. The good news is that a lot of education materials can also be found online for free or at a small cost. If you must buy a book, try to buy used books from the college's bookstore, or online from Another way to save on books is to invest in an electronic book reader like Amazon Kindle. This will help you buy electronic books for less than half price of printed paper books.