Cost of living is generally relative, necessities like food, water and accommodation differ across cities. For a fully grown adult that has needs, the average cost of living can be ridiculously expensive, Students on the flip side have it worse. Student do not have time to take on full time job to cater to their needs, this necessitates the fact that a lot of thought and consideration has to be put in to selecting an affordable city to reside and school. Affordable cities for international students have distinct features which make them more welcoming than others.
Some of the cities that have the best universities are often time the most expensive to reside. So, a balance most be formed between quality of university education in an affordable city and cost of living in the same city.
Factors to consider when calculating the cost of living in a city are numerous but some of the most important factors are listed below
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- Accommodation: Accommodation expenses covers everything that has to do with residence, it includes property tax, rent, house maintenance fees etc. Oft times, accommodation is the biggest challenge an international student might face when schooling abroad. Affordable cities for international students as a rule of thumb have considerably cheap accommodation.
- Feeding or food: Humans need food to survive, and cost of feeding might be a challenge. International students might have to decide between cooking in and eating out.
- Utility bills (Power, water, gas, Telephony): Utility bills captures all the foreseen and unforeseen bills that a student will legally need to pay to gain access to some necessities.
- Transportation: While students that stay on campus might not see transportation as necessary, transportation goes a long way in determining how affordable a city is for international students.
- Personal effects and clothing: Emergencies occur, and as such it is expected that some miscellaneous items are not too expensive, things like medical drugs, first aid kits and even sanitary pads are necessities that play an important role in determining how affordable a city is for international students.
The factors listed above to a very large extent determine how affordable a city will be for an international student, in view of this, a list of the most affordable cities for international students are
- Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian capital is a truly beautiful city, what is truly baffling is how it is one of the most affordable cities for international students. Mercers’ cost of living index, which ranks the cost of living in cities (the first in the ranking is the most expensive city) ranked Kuala Lumpur as 113th out of a total of 214 cities. Also, three universities in Kuala Lumpur were ranked globally to be among the best 800 universities in the world. All these pro’s combine to make Kuala Lumpur to be a perfectly affordable city for an international student. (Average cost of living is $5800 per year and tuition fees of $3,900)
- Warsaw: Like Kuala Lumpur, Warsaw is the capital of Poland, it tops the list of most affordable European cities for international students. Mercer’s cost of living index places it as 175th. In Warsaw international students can get free tuition to study, if they take their classes in polish. (Average tuition fees cost about $3,400)
- Hsinchu: Situated in Taiwan, Hsinchu is not a capital like Kuala Lumpur or Warsaw, but it is an affordable city for international students. Though not so popular it known for its technological innovations and some good universities like National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University etc.
- Berlin: Germany, a country known for its cutting edge technological innovations and automated processes, it is a wonder that its capital is among the most affordable cities for international students. Rankings show that berlin is the 9th best city for student’s worldwide and 106th according to mercer’s cost of living survey. Berlin offers a high quality of living relative to the living cost of the city. Also, as the capital of Germany, the German government initiated policies on free education started here.
Mexico City: Mexico is a country that shares border with the US. While the US is known for having really expensive cities for international students, Mexico is at the other end of the scale. Rankings by mercers living cost survey places Mexico as 137th. Mexico City is the cap
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