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Studying abroad is an excellent option for the present generation as it gives students ample scope and career opportunities. It is why a huge number of teenagers prepare for foreign entrance exams. New York is one of the best locations to pursue a great career, as it is home to several world-class universities, colleges, and institutions. One should remember the cost of living in New York is significantly higher than in other locations. So, it becomes challenging for the students to survive in this posh city. 

Effective management of funds can assist students in keeping their expenses under budget. You should consider getting yourself a zero forex markup travel card like Niyo Global for making payments at no extra costs during your stay in New York.

To lend a helping hand to international students in preparing a budget for living and studying in New York, we will deep-dive into every aspect that affects the cost of living in New York per month.

A Brief Summary of Living Costs for International Students in New York

In general, an average international student spends around $12,000 to $18,000 per year while studying in New York, i.e., the average cost of living in New York for Indian students is $1,000 to $1,500. The price mentioned includes all necessities, including accommodation, food expenses, travelling, tuition fees, entertainment, clothing, lifestyle, etc. It is a bit expensive for an Indian student’s life in New York. Despite high costs, more than 1.5 lakh Indians have shifted to the US for study purposes due to better opportunities. 

The overall average of the cost of living in New York is much higher than in other foreign countries like Canada, Malaysia, France, etc. The living costs depend entirely on the standard of living. To maintain a budget, the students should lead an everyday life with basic amenities. An overview of the living costs for international students in New York are –

FactorsAverage Cost
Accommodation$6,000 – $7,000 per year
Food and Groceries$250 – $300 per month
Transportation Costs$300 – $700 per year
Household Bills$100 – $150 per month
Entertainment$500 – $600 per year
Miscellaneous Expenditures$400 – $500 per year

Let’s deep-dive to understand all the components in detail to guide the students to prepare a budget chart for studying in New York.


Accommodation is one of the prime elements of expenditure for student life in New York. A variety of housing options are available to the students based on their requirements. The housing cost in New York depends on location, amenities, etc. Students should look for low-cost properties with standard amenities and facilities to live a budget life in New York. 

The universities also offer hostels to the students for living purposes. These hostels/dorms are the most sought after accommodation facilities for students as they are comparatively more affordable and help them in maintaining their budget. Here is an overview of the average cost of accommodation of different properties for students.

Accommodation TypeAverage Monthly/Yearly Cost
Private College/University Hostels$1,000 – 1,500 per year
Public College/University Hostels$7,000 – $9,000 per year


$450 – $500 per month

One-bedroom Apartment in sub-urban areas$500 – $800 per month
One-bedroom Apartment in Downtown areas$2,500 – $3,500 per month

 So, it is evident that living expenses in New York are majorly dependent on housing cost in New York. Hostels or sharing rooms are the best options if you plan to live on a budget in New York. Apart from accommodation, the significant expense for students studying abroad is food and groceries.

Food and Groceries

Food and groceries are significant expenses that must be addressed by students studying abroad. Students can maintain the budgeted expenditures for food and groceries if the students stay in hostels or shared rooms. The expenses related to food and groceries can rise if you think about staying alone in an apartment. The average monthly cost of food and groceries for students in New York ranges from $150 – $200. A meal in a restaurant in New York ranges from $15 – $50. If you are trying to maintain a budget in New York, plan meals and consider preparing food at home.


Transportation Costs

Travelling is an essential aspect of studying in foreign countries. Exploring and going to different locations is crucial for keeping your mind and body healthy. The city of New York offers excellent transport facilities to students in the form of public transport. Public transport is the ideal way of travelling in a budget-friendly manner. The public transport in New York is well-connected, allowing you to travel freely within and across cities in the US. Here is an overview of travelling costs for students studying in New York.

Mode of TransportAverage Cost
Private Vehicle$0.69 (Cost of Gasoline per Litre)
Public Buses/ Vehicles (Monthly)$60 – $120 per month
Public Buses/ Vehicles (For Single Travel)$2 – $3 per travel
Taxi or Cabs$15 per 8 kilometres

The table shows the expenditure on various modes of transport in New York. Public transport is the best option if you want to stay on a budget in New York.

Household Bills in New York

Students pay several utility bills while living in New York. These household bills hike the overall budget of students heavily. Some everyday utility bills students in New York cannot avoid are Gas Bills, Electricity Bills, Mobile, Internet Bills, Insurance Bills, etc. All these amenities are the basic facilities that a person needs for survival. The average expenditures on utilities in New York are as follows:

BillsAverage Cost
Mobile and Internet Bills$65 – $70 per month
Gas/ Water/ Electricity Bills$120 – $200 per month
TV bills$90 – $100 per month
Insurance$100 – $ 150 per month

 These are the average cost of living in New York that Indians and international students incur while staying in the city. The expenditures on bills are high but must be kept in mind as these are the basic amenities required for survival in a city.


Entertainment is crucial for keeping minds lively and fresh. Student life in New York becomes dull without enjoyment. It is the main reason that entertainment expenses are an integral part of living expenses in New York. So, if you are planning or plotting a budget for staying in New York, you must include the costs related to leisure activities. A brief overview of the entertainment costs in New York is here briefly in the given table –

Entertainment/ Leisure ActivityAverage Cost
Movie Tickets$9 – $10 per person
Sporting Activities$20 – $100 per activity
Dinner at Restaurants$15 – $60 per meal
Concert Tickets$80 – $100 per show
Tickets at Amusement Parks$75 – $80 per visit


$250 – $300 per month

Miscellaneous Expenses

Apart from all the basic amenities and facilities, the students should also allot a budget for miscellaneous expenses. These miscellaneous expenses may include trips, medical fees, books, stationery, etc. These costs could vary from person to person. However, a rough estimate of the miscellaneous expenses in the city of New York is here in the table.

Miscellaneous Activities or PurchasesAverage Costs
Household Items$20 – $50 per month
Medical Expenditures$1,500 – $2,000 per year
Books, Stationery, Toiletries$100 – $250 per year
Other$500 – $1,000 per year

These are some brief interpretations of the average cost of living in New York that Indian students must bear while studying in the city. Staying in New York under a tight budget is challenging as New York is on the list of most expensive cities worldwide. However, if you want to stay under budget in the costly city of  New York, there are some tips that you should follow.

Tips for Students to Stay Under Budget in New York

  •   Availing of student discounts is an effective way of cost-cutting. It is a technique that most international students implement to maintain their monthly or yearly budget.
  •   Choose cheaper alternatives for transport, meals, etc., to save effectively throughout the month.
  • Finding part-time jobs in New York can help you in earning some additional income. The money received through these part-time jobs can help you stay within your budget.


The US government offers numerous scholarship opportunities to international students. Try to help yourself with the scholarship opportunities for lowering studying and living costs in New York.

Here are some popular ways students can follow to keep their budgets in check.


Is New York safe for Indian students?

New York is one of the safest metropolitan cities in the world. The 24/7 protection and invigilation in colleges and universities protect international students.

What is the average cost of staying in New York for a student?

Though the cost of staying in New York varies from person to person, the average cost of staying in New York for a student ranges from $10,000 – $18,000 per year.

Which are the best universities in New York?

Some of the best universities in New York include Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, etc.

How to maintain a budget as a student in New York?

Some popular ways to maintain a budget in New York include opting for public transport, choosing part-time jobs, avoiding meals outside, applying for scholarships, etc. 


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