Cost of Living Calculator for Studying Abroad

Cost of Living Calculator for Studying Abroad

10 mins read250 Views Comment
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 16, 2024 19:33 IST

Worried about the cost of living for your study abroad dream? Our interactive cost of living calculator reveals estimated expenses for popular study abroad destinations such as USA, UK and Canada. Also, discover insider tips from real students on saving money while living your dream abroad.

Cost of Living Calculator

The cost of living calculator is going to provide Indian students going to study abroad a fair idea about the expenses he/she would have to bear during their stay in the foreign country. The cost of living calculator would take into account the current economic state of the country and your preferred lifestyle to provide you with a near estimate day-to-day cost of living in your preferred study abroad destination. Cost of studying aside, the cost of living is the most important financial responsibility that students need to look into when planning to study abroad.  

Having the required finances for studying abroad also becomes important as your student visa approval depends heavily on it. Student visa officers should be convinced that you have the required finances to support your stay for the entire duration of your course and not become a burden on the state. Candidates applying for their student visa would be required to show that they have the required cost of living funds at their disposal for the entire duration of their course to have their student visa processed. Read: Understanding the Cost of Living Index for Students

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Documents Accepted as Financial Proof

Every country has certain guidelines that would be required to be respected to show proof of your financial ability to study and live for the entire duration of your stay in the foreign country. Generic financial documents that work as evidence of financial ability include

  1. Family bank statements.
  2. Documentation from a sponsor.
  3. Financial aid letters.
  4. Scholarship letters.
  5. Letter from an employer showing annual salary.

Cost of Living Across Countries

Cost of Living in Japan for Indian Students Cost of Living in Luxembourg for International Students Cost of Living in Spain for Students
Cost of Living in Switzerland for Indian Students Cost of Living in Poland on a Student Budget Cost of Living in South Korea

Cost of Living Calculator – For Top Countries

In this section, we are going to be talking about the cost of living for popular study-abroad countries. Candidates should note that this is the recommended amount for the smooth processing of your student visa for each country and it is important that candidates can prove that they have the required funds for their entire duration of stay.

Candidates should not hesitate to keep a little extra over the recommended cost of living to take care of any bank charges that might sneak up on them. However, keeping below the permissible limit is a big NO.

Cost of Living for Popular Countries

Top Countries to Study Abroad

Cost of Living

Cost of Living in USA

$25,038 for 9 months (UG)

$37,165 for 12 months (PG)

Cost of Living in UK

Cost of Living in London: £1300-£1400 per month

Cost of Living rest of UK: £900-£1300 per month

Cost of Living in Canada

CA$ 20,635

Cost of Living in Australia

AUD 24,505 annually

Cost of Living in Germany

EUR €934 per month or  €11,208 for a year

Cost of Living in France

EUR €600 to €800 per month

Cost of Living in Ireland

EUR €1,240 - €1880 per month

Cost of Living in New Zealand

NZD 20,000 annually

Cost of Living in Singapore

S$10,400 for a year

Cost of Living in Belgium

EUR €950 to €1,350 per month

Cost of Living in Netherlands

EUR €1049 - €1986 per month

Cost of Living in Sweden

SEK 10,314 per month

Cost of Living Calculator – Components

In this section, we will be talking about elements that make up your cost of living. And how tweaking your preference can save you money and bring your cost of living to the bare minimum.

Related Blog: How to Save Money as a Student?

Accommodation Costs

This is perhaps the number one factor that will affect your total cost of living in a foreign country. Candidates should note that staying on campus or in housing provided by the university is going to be cheaper as compared to living in an apartment alone or with friends. The downfall of university or government housing is there are too few to matter. However, there are universities abroad that try to provide first preference to international students who are enrolling at their university.

A sub-part of accommodation. Your rent would greatly be affected by where your housing is located. Candidates who are staying in the city would have to shell out a higher rent as compared to students who opt to stay in the outskirts.

  • Prefer: University accommodation, government-funded housing, staying on the outskirts
  • Avoid: Single/Double occupancy in a builder apartment, staying in the city


An equally important factor. Your food habits would shape how much you would be spending in any given month. Indian students who are ready to buy groceries from the farmer's market, cook their food at home and minimize eating out at restaurants would be saving on their food expenses. On the other hand, students who prefer to eat at take-outs, or at restaurants as compared to eating indoors would see their cost of living exponentially rise.

  • Prefer: farmers market, cooking by yourself, eating in-doors
  • Avoid: buying packaged foods, eating at restaurants


Internet, sim card and your long-distance calls are your utility expenses. While the Internet and your sim card are necessities today., However, candidates should be smart and opt for a plan that would keep their overall cost of living under budget. Remember, your university would be equipped with free Wi-Fi on campus and in their libraries. Students should remember to use the facilities being provided by their universities and opt for a low-data plan. Similarly, Indian students can opt for internet calls such as WhatsApp calls as compared to sim services to keep their cost of living at a minimum.

  • Prefer: university internet, WhatsApp Calls
  • Avoid: subscribing to exorbitant plans


Students need to travel. They would need to travel to their university if they are staying in the outskirts or to work if their place of work is at a distance. However, students can opt to cover short distances on foot as most countries have wide pavements and good air quality – factors suitable for walking. Students can opt for public transport such as buses and the subway which would be cheaper as compared to hailing a cab. Most countries would also provide students with a student discount card at a monthly rate. This would help to keep the cost of living controlled and at the same time make the most use of the benefits being provided to students.

Students can also think of investing in a bicycle. It would not only help them beat rush hour traffic, keep them healthy and help cover short to moderate distances. You will also be saving gas money. However, cycling would be difficult in uneven terrain and extreme weather conditions.  

  • Prefer: Walking short distances, cycling, using public transport
  • Avoid: Cab Services

Cost of Living Across Countries

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Cost of Living in China for Students Cost of Living in Malaysia for Students


It is important to keep healthy. However, health issues are unpredictable. To avoid having to pay through your nose every time you get a cold it is recommended that you carry with you over-the-counter medicines for simple ailments such as headaches, heartburn, acidity and pain meds. However, since you must buy health insurance. Be wise to take health care insurance that would cover most if not all mishaps. Candidates should note that most insurances leave out dental and dental work is expensive abroad. Remember to get all your dental work done before leaving.

  • Prefer: Carry over-the-counter medicines, purchase good health insurance
  • Avoid: n/a


Most international flights would allow Indian students to carry close to 30 kg of baggage. Candidates should plan to carry items that would be expensive in their destination country. Staple Indian food items and cooking vessels indigenous to India are both rare and expensive to find and should be part of the baggage. Stationary items should be picked up from India given they are exorbitantly priced abroad. Candidates are advised to request their airline for an increase in their baggage allowance as they are travelling on a student visa.

  • Prefer: Carry Indian staples, stationary, winter wear
  • Avoid: buying unnecessary items

Fitness & Mental Health

It is important to keep fit. Candidates can look at joining university fitness centers which are covered as part of the tuition fees. Candidates can also explore public fitness centres that are state-funded and have sports areas, a gym and a swimming pool for students to use. These state-funded fitness centers are subscription-based and students are required to pay a subsidized fee to avail of the facilities.

Indian students can often tend to get lonely as many have separated from their families for the first time. They should not hesitate to get assistance from counsellors who would be available at the university, online support groups or NGOs near you who would be happy to assist you in all ways possible.

  • Prefer: Join the fitness centre at your university, check out free workout routines, check in with an NGO for mental health woes, and your university mental health resources
  • Avoid: Private gyms and facilities

Cost of Living

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Dinning and movies are an expensive affair. However, candidates can opt for food courts to hang out with friends as stand-alone restaurants can be expensive. Similarly, watching movies in a movie hall is expensive and students can subscribe to OTT platforms to watch the latest releases. They can share their OTT subscription costs to lower their entertainment expenses every month without compromising on enjoyment. Candidates also opt for free or low-cost entertainment options like student clubs, campus events, and cultural activities during their free time.

  • Prefer: Food courts, shared OTT subscriptions
  • Avoid: expensive restaurants and movie halls when on a budget

Hidden Costs

Candidates should always leave room for hidden costs in the form of visa fees, travel costs, textbooks, and social activities. Hence, candidates are advised to always have more than the set amount to take care of any miscellaneous expenses that could creep up during their stay abroad.

  • Prefer: always have extra money on you, be prepared for surprises
  • Avoid: trying to control all facets of your stay

Scholarships and Grants

Study abroad scholarships are another way to reduce your living costs. Candidates should scout for scholarships being provided by their university, country or private groups that would help lower the cost of studying abroad.   

Candidates should note that part-time work opportunities and student discounts are provided by all countries to students to allow them to enjoy their stay in the country without having to worry about finances. Candidates should remember that keeping their living costs within budget is important. It is equally important to enjoy the process.

Candidates should note that there are multiple ways they can save on their expenses without having to compromise on enjoying the process. It is important for candidates to holistically develop themselves when they are studying abroad. Candidates can get in touch with our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors for assistance with university admissions. Candidates can get in touch with us with queries on the cost of living calculator.

Disclaimer: The article has been written to provide students looking to study abroad with an updated cost of living. However, candidates are advised to check the real cost of living at the time of applying due to the dynamic nature of pricing.

About the Author
Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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