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Cost of Living in the USA for Students in 2024


 Starting on an educational journey to the United States is a dream for many students from Nepal. However, navigating through the financial aspects of studying abroad can be daunting. The cost of living in the USA is a crucial factor that Nepali students must consider to ensure a smooth and worry-free academic experience. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the various expenses you can expect, from accommodation to necessities. How much does it cost to live and study in the US? What financial planning strategies can help you manage these expenses effectively? Let's look into the blog and uncover what Nepali students need to know about the cost of living in the USA.

Accommodation Costs in the USA for Students:

Finding a comfortable yet affordable place to live is at the top of the priority list for students from Nepal studying in the USA. Accommodation costs can vary widely depending on the city and type of housing you choose. Below is a table outlining the average monthly costs for different accommodation options:

Accommodation Type

Average Monthly Cost (USD)

On-campus housing

$500 - $1,000

Off-campus apartment (shared)

$400 - $800

Off-campus apartment (private)

$1,000 - $2,000


$600 - $900

It's important to note that cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have higher housing costs than other parts of the country. Researching and planning can help you find the best housing option that fits your budget and preferences.

Food and Groceries Cost in the USA for Students:

Adjusting to a new dietary environment can be a challenge for Nepali students in the USA. However, with a bit of planning, you can enjoy a balanced diet that caters to your Nepali dietary preferences without breaking the bank. Here's an overview of the average monthly costs for essential food and grocery items:

Food/Grocery Item

Cost in USD

Water (1.5 liter bottle)


Lettuce (1 head)


Onion (1kg)


Potato (1kg)


Tomato (1kg)


Oranges (1kg)


Banana (1kg)


Apples (1kg)


Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)


Chicken Fillets (1kg)


Local Cheese (1kg)


Eggs (regular) (12)


Rice (white), (1kg)


Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)


Milk (regular), (1 litre)


Transportation Cost in the USA for Students:

Understanding the cost of living in the USA for international students includes navigating transportation expenses. Whether you're commuting to campus or exploring your new city, the USA offers various transportation methods to suit your needs.


Cost (USD)

Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)


Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)


Gasoline (1 liter)


Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)


Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)


Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)


Monthly Pass (Regular Price)


One-way Ticket (Local Transport)


Entertainment and Leisure Costs in the USA for Students:

Balancing studies with leisure is vital for a fulfilling student life. Here are some typical costs for entertainment and leisure activities:

Entertainment/Leisure Activity

Cost (USD)

Cinema Ticket

$12 - $15

Gym Membership (monthly)

$30 - $60

Eating Out (per meal)

$10 - $50

Museums (general admission)

$10 - $25

Live Music Concert Ticket

$50 - $200

Theatre Ticket

$40 - $150

National Parks Annual Pass

$80 (annual)

Amusement Park Admission

$50 - $100

Bowling (per game)

$4 - $6

Golf (18 holes at public course)

$25 - $100

Yoga Class (single class)

$15 - $25

Kayak Rental (per hour)

$10 - $20

Ski Lift Ticket (per day)

$100 - $150

Art Workshop (per session)

$20 - $50

Zoo Admission

$15 - $25

Aquarium Admission

$20 - $30

Escape Room (per person)

$25 - $40

Health Care Cost in the USA for Students:

Navigating the healthcare system in the USA is a critical aspect for international students. The cost of healthcare services varies widely, but having a comprehensive health insurance plan can mitigate these expenses significantly. Below is an overview of typical healthcare costs and insurance options:

Healthcare Service

Cost (USD)

General Doctor Visit

$100 - $250

Specialist Visit

$150 - $500

Emergency Room Visit

$500 - $2,000+

Basic Health Insurance Plan

$1,000 - $2,500/year

Cheapest Cities to Live in the USA for Students:

For students looking to manage their expenses, choosing an affordable city is key. Here's a comparison of some of the most budget-friendly cities in the USA, considering rent, groceries, and transportation:


Average Monthly Rent



Wichita, Kansas




Tulsa, Oklahoma




Louisville, Kentucky




Memphis, Tennessee




El Paso, Texas




Omaha, Nebraska




Albuquerque, New Mexico




Des Moines, Iowa




Greensboro, North Carolina




Akron, Ohio




Factors Affecting the Cost of Living in the USA for Students

Several factors influence the cost of living for students in the USA. Understanding these can help in planning a budget more effectively:

  • Location: Urban areas tend to be more expensive than rural areas.
  • Housing Choices: On-campus housing, shared apartments, and private rentals vary in cost.
  • Lifestyle: Eating out, entertainment and personal expenses can significantly affect your budget.
  • Transportation: Options range from public transit to owning a car.
  • Healthcare: Insurance coverage and medical needs will impact expenses.

In conclusion, understanding the cost of living in the USA is crucial for international students planning their studies abroad. This guide has highlighted key expenses, from healthcare to housing and daily necessities, across various American cities. Careful budgeting and choosing the right city can significantly impact your financial well-being and overall study experience. Affordable cities like Wichita, Tulsa, and Louisville offer a lower cost of living, allowing students to manage their expenses more effectively. Remember, while managing costs is important, selecting a city that aligns with your academic and personal preferences is equally vital. AECC is here to support you in making informed decisions, ensuring a rewarding and enriching educational journey in the USA.

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