Once you decide to study at a foreign university, you must start preparing yourself for the extra expenses you might end up incurring. There is no gainsaying that student expenses often go through the roof, especially during the initial few months. As we learn to adapt and adjust to the new environment, our expenses become largely regulated because we learn ways to sustain ourselves efficiently. Regardless, however, the fact remains that expenses will always be one of your major concerns. And, this brings us to the question: what are those expenses anyway?
Well, you will get your answer pretty soon as I am going to talk about them in the following paragraphs. Just a sneak peek into the world of student expenditure, and you should have a broad idea of what it means to be an international student.
Here are 5 expenses you must take seriously.
- Tuition Fees
The most obvious and the first biggest expense you will make is the tuition fee. You want to study at a university so you must pay up. Even in countries where students are exempted from the payment of tuition fees they might end up paying other amounts that go into other facilities being offered. Of course, if you are on a scholarship, you don’t really have to worry about it. Earning a degree is not an easy affair, and a lot of money goes into it, nearly every year, to ensure that your education does not get affected. Many students take loans or pay up by working part-time; either way, the amount going into tuition fees will take up significant space in your accounts.
Now, there are two options available: you stay on or off-campus. If you stay on campus, you usually get a package deal that includes your meal costs and laundry among many others. However, those who decide to live off-campus can choose from a variety of options, from dorms to apartments; but, they usually lack the convenience which university-affiliated accommodation facilities have. Staying off-campus can be, therefore, expensive. While dorms are not very expensive, apartments can put a strain on your budget. Hence, it is advised that you move in with a roommate so that you can split your bills.
Without a doubt, transportation is one of those areas where we end up shelling a lot of money. This is, especially, true for those who live off-campus. In order to reduce the financial burden caused by transportation needs, you should consider taking advantage of your status as a student. Many countries, particularly those known for high student population such as London and New York, have special discount systems in place. You register with your student ID and can avail yourself of discounted ticketing facilities on transportation. Carpooling is another cost-effective way to save money. Taxis are generally very expensive all over the world so avoid them unless it is too urgent.
Yes, this is the devil. We might not realize this but small bucks spent on food, especially street food, actually add up to a significant amount. If you are living off-campus, you should switch to cooking. Avoid getting food delivered from the outside and invest in cooking equipment and groceries. Your expenditure will be controlled and you will be able to save a ton. Those living on campus should consider their packages. If you have the option to choose your meal package, only choose those which you will actually consume. Also, as I said, use your status as a student; many restaurants and food brands run student discounts.
- Stationery and electronic supplies
You are a student, and a student of today needs more than just conventional stationery. You need laptops, mobile phones, and whatnot. Books are themselves very costly, and even if you only get parts of them photocopied, you will be paying pretty much. Also, you will need a backpack to carry your stuff around. Throughout the year, you will be buying some form of stationery depending on the needs; one day, bookmarks, and the other day, scientific calculators. So, always keep in mind that you need to save some for this area of expenditure.