A large number of Indian students head to the US every year to pursue their higher education.
Almost 4 per cent of the students taking up higher education programs in the US are international students. The US has the world’s largest population of international students. The US offer a great deal for Indian students looking to widen their knowledge, education and life experience.
If you are planning to study in the US, then there is a lot to consider. You would want to find a good and affordable college to study in. The next big decision you need to make, is to choose an American city to live in. The US is an expensive country to live. The city you choose should be affordable in terms of living costs, transportation costs, healthcare costs and other expenses.
With fluctuating exchange rates and the rupee hitting new lows, the cost of living in the US is an important factor to consider.
Below is a list of 10 affordable cities for Indian students to live in. Five of these cities are located in the states of Arkansas and Texas.
1. Idaho Falls, Idaho
Living costs: 12% below the national average
The housing costs in the city are 29 per cent below the national average. The residents of Idaho Falls can afford to get big things on a small budget. As a student, you could rent a place on the cheap. The average house rental rate is $655 per month. Compare that with the nation-wide average rental cost of $870 and you’ll realise just how much money you can save living in Idaho Falls. But it’s not just house rental that are cheap; you can even save up money on groceries. The cost of a pack of potatoes is about 26 per cent lesser than the national average prices.
2. Conway, Arkansas
Living costs: 12.1% below the national average
Conway is located 30 miles north of Little Rock. In terms of overall living expenditure, you’ll find that this city is kind to your pocket. Every facility, including utilities, healthcare, products, services and more are cheaper compared to the state capital, Little Rock.
The average bill amount paid to a doctor is 17 per cent lesser than the national average. You could get a bigger discount if you are visiting an eye doctor as you pay, on an average, 19 per cent lesser than the national average. You can save up on your dental bill as well by paying, on an average, 23 per cent lesser than the national average.
3. Springfield, Illinois
Living costs: 12.3% below the national average
The average cost of buying a house in the city is about 39 per cent below the national average. It’s highly unlikely for a student to buy a house, but just so you know, a house in Chicago costs twice the amount you pay to buy one in Springfield. The cheap housing value also means lesser rental costs and this is where a student can benefit. Utility costs like the phone service charges, electricity bills and others are also cheaper compared to other cities. They cost about 15 per cent lower than the national average.
4. Pueblo, Colorado
Living costs: Nearly 13% below the national average
Pueblo is a small city located in southern Colorado, about 100 miles away from the city of Denver. The average cost of purchasing a home in the city is nearly 50 per cent lesser than the state average. The average income of a householder in the city is about 34 per cent lesser when compared to the average income of the householder in other parts of the country. So due to these figures Pueblo is the city with the lowest average household income in this list. Due to its low cost of living, the city becomes affordable for students looking to find cheap accommodation.
5. Wichita Falls, Texas
Living costs: 13.6% below the national average
In this list, this city is the second-lowest in terms of the cost of housing. Cheap housing rates mean cheap rentals and that is a key factor for students looking for cost-cutting solutions. The city also has low unemployment rates, and that helps students who are interested in taking up part-time jobs in the city.
6. Fayetteville, Arkansas
Living costs: 14% below the national average
This cost effective city is located in Arkansas, at its north western corner. This city comprises of the University of Arkansas, which serves as a major local employer. The people of this city do not have huge salaries, but the unemployment is certainly below average. Costs of housing, utility and transportation are quite low.
7. Memphis, Tennessee
Living costs: 14% below the national average
Memphis is a big city, but it’s not big in terms of pricing. The city is located near the Mississippi river, and is therefore a hub for transportation and shipping industries. Despite its importance, the cost of living in the city is much cheaper than other big cities in the US. Memphis is home to three Fortune 500 companies and has numerous Universities and colleges.
8. Norman, Oklahoma
Living costs: 14.4% below the national average
People in Norman earn high incomes, but the cost of living is comparatively low and the rate of unemployment is equally low. Students will find healthcare costs and housing rental rates in the city to be particularly affordable. The cost of purchasing a home is also less compared to other cities in the US.
9. McAllen, Texas
Living costs: 14.6% below the national average
This city has high rates of unemployment, but for a student the city and its low costs can be beneficial. The cost of living in the city is low, the cost of groceries is low, and the average rental cost of a house is cheap compared to the national average.
10. Harlingen, Texas
Living costs: 18.2% below the national average
This city has ultra-low costs of living. Housing rates and groceries costs are remarkably cheap. You will find very few cities in the US that have cheaper grocery rates than Harlingen.
This is not an exhaustive list by any standards, but it’s meant to help an international student find affordable places to live in the US. The low cost of living in these cities would ease the financial pressure some students face when opting to study in the US. Consider these cities if you are planning to study in the US, and if you have any more suggestions to add to our list, please express your views in the comment section below.