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The basics
THE USA: Before you leave

Insights: Living costs in the U.S.

Find out from an expert in America about how your study location in America will impact how much you an expect to pay in living costs as an international student.

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An ever-present factor when considering pursuing your studies overseas is what sort of costs are involved and whether or not you’ll be able to afford it. Very often you’ll have to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself and undertake your studies before you are admitted to study at a university. Sometimes these costs can be dependent on the location you choose, with living costs varying significantly from region to region. To get a better idea of what option may suit you best we contacted a representative from a homestay organization in the U.S. to give us their take on living costs and accommodation in America. 



Homestay options 


Studying in the U.S. means that you will likely have the opportunity to take up a homestay accommodation option. It’s a model of living in which you are placed with a host family and live with them for an agreed period of time. One of the main reasons why this type of accommodation is fairly popular is that it provides you with a support structure and allows you to learn about a new culture, including improving your language skills. Additionally, homestay options can have added incentives included in their packages, such as health insurance and liability cover. 



The cost of homestay options does vary quite considerably depending on the location and the type of accommodation on offer. For example, staying in a room within a family home will be priced differently to staying in a studio apartment in a major city like New York. In some cases, you can request specific requirements, like a private bathroom, but this does come at an extra cost. Most homestay providers have a large number of options that you can select from. Pricing will also vary depending on the length of your stay, with discounts often being applied for extended stays. You need to evaluate a homestay option on the basis of your own personal needs and the costs involved in relation to your budget


Study location is key 


The cost of living and especially accommodation, will vary quite significantly depending on where you are studying. In the context of America, certain cities like New York are extremely pricey. Apartments in Manhattan can start at a minimum of USD 3500 per month. That’s before you factor in the cost of transport and food. You do have the option of moving further out of the city centre, but this can then involve increased transport costs. It’s important to do your research before picking a university and evaluate it holistically and realistically, including the location. You don’t want a situation of running out of money halfway through your studies through spiralling living costs.



One of the top tips for saving money on accommodation and living costs is to research what sort of facilities a university has and if you can apply for living in a residence. You’ll often find that some on-campus accommodation is reserved for students coming to a university for the first time. Staying on campus can save you quite a bit of money, with meals and utilities provided. It’ll also give you the chance to interact with other students and access student support services.  The key is taking your time to discuss and evaluate what living options suit your unique situation.






Study in the USA


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