Studying abroad is a dream come true for many students, offering a unique opportunity for personal growth and academic excellence. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the various costs associated with international education beyond tuition fees. When studying abroad, it’s not just the tuition fees; various additional costs can catch you off guard, and if you’re unprepared and suddenly need money, it can lead to a challenging situation.
Before setting foot on foreign soil, you need to account for various pre-departure expenses. These include the cost of sending applications to universities, airfare, student visas, medical tests, and insurance. Application fees can vary, but, for example, applying to five universities in the US can cost you around $500 (approximately Rs 38,500). Airfare costs depend on your destination, with an average one-way ticket to Europe from Mumbai costing around Rs 40,000. Additionally, some countries require a medical check-up during the visa application process, which is an added expense.
Regarding insurance, many universities offer medical coverage, but it comes at a premium. You can get insurance in India, which is often more cost-effective. However, experts recommend considering the university’s insurance, as it’s tailored to the specific needs of students in a foreign country.
Some students may need external coaching or tuition during their initial semesters to excel in subjects or modules that are challenging for them. Unfortunately, most banks offering abroad education loans do not cover the costs of external coaching or tuition for specific subjects. Therefore, students must budget for these expenses if they require additional support in a particular subject.
Accommodation costs can vary significantly based on the city you choose to live in. In smaller towns, house rent may be low per month, but in major cities like New York, San Francisco, or Chicago, it can skyrocket. Additionally, most landlords require a deposit, which can amount to several months’ rent. This deposit is a significant pre-departure expense that students must prepare for.
Local Transportation and Short Outings:
If your accommodation is far from the city, you must factor in local transportation expenses. Additionally, students often embark on short outings or trips with friends during breaks from their programs. These recreational expenses should also be part of your budget. An example provided by a student, Anirudh Kalkotwar, shows that he spent an additional Rs 3 lakh on five trips in nine months while studying in Europe.
Rising Inflation’s Effects on Currency Exchange:
In the current economic climate, students face the challenges of higher inflation and currency exchange risks. The Indian Rupee has depreciated against the US Dollar by approximately 7.5% this year. Students should consider the impact of these factors on their monthly budgeting and the overall cost of living while studying abroad.
Rising inflation has led to increased house rents in his area over the last six months. For example, rent in the northeast of Boston has risen from $500 (approximately Rs 39,000) per month to around $700 (approximately Rs 55,000) per month. Additionally, the increased cost of living may lead students to opt for home-cooked meals over dining out.
In conclusion, pursuing higher education abroad is a significant investment in your future, and with a higher education loan, you are prepared for the full spectrum of expenses that come with it. Thorough research, consultation with experts, and networking with experienced students can help you budget effectively and ensure your international education experience is both enriching and financially manageable.