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How to Lower the Cost of Living as an International Student

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Studying in the US can be quite expensive especially if you are an international student. Finding ways to save on costs can go a long way in helping you lower expenses and prevent you from falling into a debt trap. You can also do part-time jobs to help you raise funds to cater to your expenses and finance your education. There are several strategies you can implement and lower the costs of studying in the U.S. In this article, we will highlight some of the ways to reduce the cost of living as an international student.

Living off Campus

Living within the campus is the second expensive cost after tuition for international students. The cost of accommodation in universities and colleges is usually high in the U.S. You can rent a room outside the campus and off town at a lower price. You can then be commuting to school using a bike. This will save you lots of costs that you would have otherwise spent on accommodation and transport in the long run.  

Living with Roommates

The other way international students can reduce the cost of living in the U.S is by living with roommates. Living with a roommate will help you share rental costs and other living expenses. However, it is important you be keen when choosing a roommate. Ensure he or she is a person you can trust and is ready to share costs.

Choose Universities in Low Living Locations

You can also reduce the cost of living by choosing to study in a university where the cost of living is low. When selecting a university or college, select one in a location where the cost of living is low. For instance, universities in major cities like New York can be very expensive. First, identify areas where the cost of living is low and then identify the universities in those locations.

Work at School

The other way you can lower the cost of living as an international student is by working in the school. You can work as a bookstore keeper or a tutor. The school will be paying you and you can use the income to fund your education and pay your living costs. By working at the school, you get an opportunity to make new friends and gain experience working in the U.S work environment.

Look for a Part-Time Job off Campus

You can also look for part-time jobs where you can work when you don’t have classes. This will help you generate an income that you can use to fund your education and meet your living costs. You also get experience working in the U.S and you can create new friends. Some of the part-time jobs you can look for include babysitting, working in a restaurant or you can also work online. There are many part-time jobs in the U.S that pay well and you can take advantage of them.

Buy Used Textbooks

You can reduce the cost of studying in the U.S as an international student by buying used textbooks. New textbooks are very expensive, yet the content is the same as that of old textbooks. Once you are done using the textbooks, you can resell those books. You also have an option to rent textbooks instead of buying. You can check if your school library allows renting of books. 

Utilize Student Discounts

You can also lower the cost of studying in the U.S as an international student by utilizing student discounts. There are businesses that offer student discounts. To utilize the discounts, you only need to provide your student ID card. You can save a lot on entertainment, food, and coffee by just presenting your student ID card. Check some of the businesses that offer student discounts and then you can always shop there. In the long run, you will have saved a lot.

Take Advantage of Meal Plan Options

Many universities and colleges in the U.S have dining halls and student centers with restaurants that sell food at subsidized rates. You can save a lot by eating from campus restaurants compared to off-campus restaurants. You just need to choose your meal plan from a wide range of options.  

Cook Your Own Food

If you have access to a kitchen, preparing your own food can help you lower your expenses by far. Food from restaurants is expensive compared to cooking your own food. You just need to shop for groceries and pay for gas. The advantage is that you can prepare your food as you want it. You can also prepare a lot of food to avoid cooking very many times.

Read also: How to start a grocery store in the U.S.

Apply for Scholarships

Tuition fee is the most significant cost for international students in the U.S. If you want to study in the U.S, you can apply for U.S scholarships. There are many universities and colleges in the U.S that offer international student scholarships. You can apply for scholarships online and you can land a scholarship that would save you lots of expenses you would have otherwise spent on tuition fees.

Summary on How to Reduce the Cost of Living as an International Student

You can implement the above strategies and lower the costs of studying in the U.S as an international student. The U.S is among the most expensive countries to live in. As such, you need to live below your means as much as possible to lower your expenses. You can opt to work while studying in the U.S to cater for your tuition fees and living expenses.

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