International students preparing to attend college in the U.S. cannot avoid considering their budget. But there's more to consider than your future tuition, room and board or textbook fees.
You already know these kinds of costs and probably have a plan to get scholarships to cover them at best, or you're at least aware of them. Instead, I would like to tell you about the following college costs that many international students only realize they'll have to account for once they set foot in the U.S.
[Learn the steps to take to save for a U.S. college.]
1. Health care and health insurance fees: You might need to pay for or have scholarships to cover your college health insurance. Very often your college insurance does not cover the full cost of doctor's appointments or appointments for health issues with your eyes and teeth.
Health insurance will likely be different from college to college. Read about the benefits of your college insurance to clarify what it can assist you in paying.
Do not just make the assumption that something will be covered, but be certain of these benefits, because even a routine appointment with a doctor could cost you extra. I once received a bill of more than $70 for an appointment just to figure out that I simply had a cold.
The health system in the U.S. might be different from that in your country. Things that you may get for free in your home country might cost more than you think in the U.S., so be prepared.
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2. Expenses during breaks: Very often, international students forget to include expenses incurred during school breaks in their financial plans. Most international students I know cannot simply stay in their dorms during long breaks, such as winter break.
Sometimes you have to pay extra to stay on campus, or you have to move out and can only get back into your dorm when the break is over. If you're not staying at your school or in the U.S. during these short or long breaks, you'll spend money for a flight and other accommodation fees, such as daily meals, drinks, social outings and many more.
Plan for these breaks a couple of months ahead of time so that tickets and other transportation fees will be cheaper than they are at the last minute.
[Get tips on spending less on college as an international student.]
3. Transportation: If you live in a dorm, then you might not need to plan for daily transportation fees. But many of my friends who study abroad in the States choose to live off campus.
It would be ideal if you could just walk to school, but if your home is quite far from your classes, it could cost you extra for transportation. You might need to buy and maintain a bike or spend money on a monthly train or subway pass, especially if you attend school in a city.
Moreover, sometimes getting away on the weekends with your friends can also involve money for transportation, especially if your school is in the middle of nowhere.
These hidden costs are just some of the many expenses that international students might forget to put in their financial plans before studying in the U.S. Planning ahead for these extra costs can help you avoid some headaches while being away from your parents.
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