Indian Students Studying Abroad Face Significant Additional Expenses Beyond Tuition

Indian students studying abroad often overlook additional expenses beyond tuition fees, which can account for nearly half of their total education expense. These expenses include pre-departure costs, standardized test fees, health insurance, external coaching, and accommodation expenses.

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Nitish Verma
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Indian Students Studying Abroad Face Significant Additional Expenses Beyond Tuition

Indian Students Studying Abroad Face Significant Additional Expenses Beyond Tuition

When planning to study abroad, Indian students often overlook additional expenses beyond tuition fees, which can account for nearly half of their total education expense. A five-year-old CARE Ratings report from 2019 surveyed over 1 lakh individuals and found that tuition fees represent only about 51% of a student's total education expense.

Why this matters: This oversight can lead to significant financial burdens for students and their families, potentially affecting their ability to complete their studies abroad. Moreover, it highlights the need for better financial planning and awareness among Indian students pursuing higher education overseas.

Indian students studying abroad need to budget for a range of pre-departure costs, including application fees of around $150 per university in the US, travel expenses like airfare and travel insurance, and visa application fees that can be as high as $350 for a US student visa. Standardized test fees for exams like TOEFL, which costs Rs 16,900, and GRE, which costs Rs 22,500, along with preparation materials, also add to the expenses.

Health insurance is another significant cost, with students needing to research and budget for necessary medical tests, vaccinations, and premiums for health insurance policies either from the university or an Indian insurance company. External coaching expenses for additional support in initial semesters, which are not covered by education loans, further increase the financial burden.

Accommodation and deposit costs also make up a substantial portion of the expenses. In the US, rent can range from Rs 42,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh per month, with deposit amounts varying from one to three months' rent upfront. Eela Dubey, Co-Founder of EduFund, emphasizes, "When planning and budgeting for education, especially in a foreign country, it's crucial to consider a range of expenses beyond just tuition fees." She adds, "Meticulous financial planning and budgeting are a must."

Rohan Ganeriwala, Co-Founder and Director of Collegify, advises students to compare costs, coverage details, and claim processes both from Indian providers and the university partner when it comes to health insurance. Parag Gandhi, a 27-year-old student from Surat who planned to study in Melbourne, Australia, serves as a real-life example of budgeting for additional expenses. He spent around Rs 80,000 on IELTS and GRE exams and paid two months' rent as a deposit.

Indian students aspiring to study abroad must carefully consider and plan for the wide range of expenses beyond tuition fees. From pre-departure costs and standardized test fees to health insurance, external coaching, and accommodation expenses, these additional costs can significantly impact the overall financial burden. Thorough research, meticulous budgeting, and exploring various options for each expense category are essential to ensure a well-prepared and financially sound study abroad experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Tuition fees account for only 51% of total education expense for Indian students studying abroad.
  • Pre-departure costs, including application fees, travel, and visa fees, add to expenses.
  • Standardized test fees, health insurance, and external coaching costs are often overlooked.
  • Accommodation and deposit costs can range from Rs 42,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh per month.
  • Meticulous financial planning and budgeting are crucial for a financially sound study abroad experience.