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The true cost of an overseas education

International travel is only one of the extras you need to account for while budgeting for your child’s overseas education goal.

A return flight to New York can cost anywhere upwards of Rs 60,000, prices are similar when you consider London and higher for Sydney. Singapore is cheaper, but even then, you are looking at Rs 20,000-30,000 for a Mumbai – Singapore return flight. 

What does this have to do with the cost of an overseas education? A lot, if you are planning to fund this education cost for your child and don’t want to go through 3-4 years without seeing them. Every summer or winter break, your child may want to visit home or you may want to visit them. Four to six return trips during the course of your child’s overseas graduation or under graduation program can set you back any where between Rs 1.5 – Rs 3 lakhs, or more, depending on the time of travel and number of travellers. 

International travel is only one of the extras you need to account for while budgeting for your child’s overseas education goal.

The basic tuition aside, lodging and food expenses can add up to quite a bit. University accommodation may be relatively cheaper, but has to be applied for much in advance and even then, not everyone is allotted a room.

Living expenses

The basic tuition aside, lodging and food expenses can add up to quite a bit. University accommodation may be relatively cheaper, but has to be applied for much in advance and even then, not everyone is allotted a room. Accommodation choices will depend on the country your child decides to study in and also the norm of the university. Nevertheless, there will be a cost. Keep in mind that the Indian Rupee has an established depreciating trend against all major currencies of countries which are top choice for Indian students. Hence, expenses will pile on. At the same time, you won’t like to compromise on living standard because of cost.

Neither will you want to compromise on food and once again, costs are going to pile up as more often than not, children will end up paying for ready food. Then there are incidentals like laundry, weather appropriate clothing, local travel costs, course related stationery, and so on.

Extra courses

Once there, your child may want to add on some extra course in areas of interest which don’t fall within prescribed curriculum of the degree program they have signed up for. These courses will come at an additional cost. Individually, the course may not cost a lot. However, a few of these together can start to look expensive. At the same time, you don’t want to discourage your child from expanding their area of knowledge – hence, be prepared for this eventuality too. 

Extracurriculars 

Sky diving, football games, opera visits or trekking, your child may want to indulge in some such activity in their free time. It is suitable too, that students find the time to do other activities to refresh their minds and broaden their horizon. 

When you start to add up all these, the cost of an overseas education gets pushed up by anywhere between 30%-50% of the tuition fee. Thus, when you plan for this goal, remember to add these incidentals too.  


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