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Methods to Save Money being an International Student in the United States

It is every international student’s wish that they don’t merely survive in the United States, but get the best out of their potential and resources. Getting higher education in the United States can be very expensive. Still, if students plan ahead and follow these money-saving tips, they can cut a considerable amount of cost for their time there. 

Money-saving tips for international students – 

1) Submit your application to Universities that don’t have an application fee or minimal cost applications –

Prospective international students should research well about different universities which have the program they want to pursue and look for options that have either no application charge or a nominal amount. If students are applying to multiple universities, they can save a considerable amount of money by selecting their universities after a thorough check. 

For instance, there are some colleges like the Tulane University, Louisiana and Loyola University, Chicago who do not have application fees and have affordable programmes to choose from. There are also other schools like the Henderson State University, Arkansas which charges a $30 non-refundable fee, and applicants should look for such colleges that provide lower tuition fees but excellent education. 

Bemidji State University in Minnesota is also an affordable option. Some student permit experts say that international students can cut costs by completing their first two years of education in a community college and then transfer to a four-year university. In the academic year, 2020 – 2021 cost of international students at community colleges are $8,538 at Pasadena City College in California, which is relatively low compared to four-year universities. 

2) Live Off-Campus –

A good option for cutting costs in some cases is considering living off-campus. However, living off-campus will entail other costs from transportation to utilities. According to experts can save a lot of money by planning ahead and using all their resources. For example, there are a lot of new startups like or that provide cheap food and accommodation for students around campus, which can reduce the cost as low as half of the option available on campus. 

Also, students need to keep in contact with their universities international student services office as they would have an updated list of nearby local rental apartments. The library notice boards or student bulletins also have other students searching for a roommate. 

3) Work on Campus – 

After being enrolled at the university campus, international students have an option to work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Students can take up jobs of their interest like a librarian, work at a bookstore or barista.

Due to remote learning because of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, there is currently no on-campus employment available for students. But, students should always be on a lookout for vacancies, as students can work in the college cafeteria or campus-tour ambassador. 

4) Monitor your expenses to cut down avoidable costs – 

Potential students should plan and log every expense, from books to travel so they can remove any unnecessary cost while studying in the US and save money. International students are very aware of the amount of money they have invested in getting higher education from the US. So they use online budget planners like Mint to track their expenses as well as take advantage of student discounts for phone plans, software, etc. 

Students should also expand their network and buy used textbooks or from back-to-school sales, get previously owned furniture from passing out seniors. Experts also recommend joining events happening in the university which provide free food or perform giveaways, as it might also help with networking.

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