Attending college in the US is an expensive affair. This is more so for international students because they are unable to accept regular employment outside of college to support themselves. Therefore, it becomes necessary for international students to save money in any way they can. While the cost of tuition and insurance are fixed, there are a number of ways in which international students can save money. Given below are three ways in which international students can make the most savings, with some careful planning and determination, while attending college in the United States.
- Live off campus and share a room
This will probably save international students the most money. Although living in the dorms is a great experience (even if only for a semester), it can be very expensive at most colleges. Renting an apartment off campus is usually a much better option if saving money is one of your top priorities. There are many properties around most colleges that only rent to college students. These places are much cheaper than renting a dorm room. You can further save money by sharing a room with a friend.
- Learn to cook
A meal at your campus cafeteria will cost anywhere around $5 to $7. A meal at a restaurant costs upwards of $10. You can make significant savings if you cook your own meals. Students have busy schedules, so you might want to cook a lot of food and store in your refrigerator. How much you spend on groceries really depends on what you eat, but you will probably spend much less than if you bought a meal plan at the college cafeteria.
- Buy used textbooks online
Never buy textbooks from your college bookstore. These places usually charge through the roof. You can usually get used textbooks online at half the price. Another option would be to buy older editions of the book that you need. I have bought older edition textbooks for $2 to $3 when the required edition was upwards to $70. I have found that going back one edition does not cause much trouble in the classroom; the only thing different are the page numbers. Don’t hold me to this though, because your experience might be quite different.
There are many other ways that you can save money. But the above three methods will usually make you the most savings. Feel free to add your ideas to the comments.