Small World Map

Financing home

Budgets and cost of living

Costs on campus

An important step in determining how much you can afford to spend on study abroad is to figure out how much you usually spend living in East Lansing and attending MSU. If you don't already track your expenses, below are some tables and links that can help you find out how much you usually spend per semester. Just remember to include all your expenses like laundry, cell phone, internet, cable, Netflix, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, gas and vehicle repairs, etc. It is important to account for these because you will not have to worry about some of them while you are abroad as you may be able to suspend/cancel your service or find someone to take over the expense for you.

Below are tables outlining estimated costs for undergraduate students living on or off campus. The tuition and on-campus expenses are taken from the MSU Controller's Office (PDF)*.

Sample semester budgets for undergraduate students living on-campus (Spring 2012)

Expense Type Michigan Students Michigan Students Out-of-State Students Out-of-State Students International Students International Students
Lower Division Upper Division Lower Division Upper Division Lower Division Upper Division
Tuition (15 credits) $6,101.25 $6667.50 $15,573.75 $16,065.00 $15,573.75 $16,065.00
Fee & Taxes $26.00 $26.00 $26.00 $26.00 $51.00 $51.00
Room & Board1 $4,102.00 $4,102.00 $4,102.00 $4,102.00 $4,487.00 $4,487.00
Books & Supplies $498.00 $498.00 $498.00 $498.00 $498.00 $498.00
Personal/Misc. $900.00 $900.00 $894.00 $894.00 $894.00 $894.00
Medical2 None None None None $655.50 $655.50
Total Budget $11,627.25 $12,193.50 $21,093.75 $21,585.00 $22,159.25 $22,650.50

1Room & Board is based on double room with Silver meal plan
2Remember to add in the cost of your health insurance if you have to pay this yourself. International student insurance rate is based upon the student only (no spouse or dependants)

Sample semester budgets for undergraduate students living off-campus (Spring 2012)

Expense Type Michigan Students Michigan Students Out-of-State Students Out-of-State Students International Students International Students
Lower Division Upper Division Lower Division Upper Division Lower Division Upper Division
Tuition (15 credits) $6,101.25 $6667.50 $15,573.75 $16,065.00 $15,573.75 $16,065.00
Fee & Taxes $26.00 $26.00 $26.00 $26.00 $51.00 $51.00
Apartment Rent1 $4,102.00 $4,102.00 $4,102.00 $4,102.00 $4,487.00 $4,487.00
Meals & Groceries2 $1000.00 $1000.00 $1000.00 $1000.00 $1000.00 $1000.00
Utilities / Cable / Internet3 $520.00 $520.00 $520.00 $520.00 $520.00 $520.00
Books & Supplies $498.00 $498.00 $498.00 $498.00 $498.00 $498.00
Personal/Misc. $900.00 $900.00 $894.00 $894.00 $894.00 $894.00
Medical4 None None None None $655.50 $655.50
Total Budget $11,845.25 $12,411.50 $21,093.75 $21,585.00 $22,159.25 $22,650.50

1Apartment rent is estimated at $700/month for 4 months
2Meals and groceries estimated at $250/month for 4 months
3Utilities, cable, and internet estimated at $130/month for 4 months
4Remember to add in the cost of your health insurance if you have to pay this yourself. International student insurance rate is based upon the student only (no spouse or dependants)

Please also note that neither of the tables includes money for vehicle expenses (though they do include some expenses for local transportation).

If you would like to create a more personalized budget, then try the Tuition Calculator provided by the Controller's Office. You first calculate your semester tuition and fee costs based on residency and level (lower/upper division), then select "Calculate Annual Budget" to go to a page that will also assess your monthly income and non-school related expenditures. This is a great tool to be sure that you are including the expenses you might not normally remember. If you need more help, AreaVibes offers a list of average prices for a variety of goods and services in different cities around the U.S., including East Lansing.

Costs abroad

Just as the cost of living varies greatly in the United States (try comparing the prices between New York City and East Lansing - there's a big difference), your cost of living abroad will depend not only upon what country you go to but also upon the city in which you decide to study abroad. Use the Study Abroad Cost Worksheet to start putting together estimates of how much you will need. You can do some research on GOOGLE to find out what prices are like in your potential study abroad location or compare two cities on EXPATISTAN to see differences in cost of living. To find cost estimates for popular goods and services in cities all over the world visit NUMBEO. Their world map color-codes the cities according to the cost of living so you can see how different regions of the world compare. Members of NUMBEO submit local prices for where they live and the site is updated on a regular basis so number should be fairly accurate. You can find out not only what the average cost of living is for Spain, but also for specific cities such as Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, or Granada. Below are some cost estimates drawn from NUMBEO (based on Spring 2012) so you can see what it might cost for an evening out! (PDF)*

So what might it cost you to go out for an evening? Here are some comparisons drawn from Numbeo.

EUROPE Two-way Local Transport Inexpensive Meal Soft drinks Movie Ticket Total
London, UK $10.00 $21.50 $4.00 $15.50 $51.00
Rome, Italy $2.50 $24.00 $8.00 $9.50 $44.00
Athens, Greece $3.50 $17.00 $4.50 $11.50 $36.50
Dusseldorf, Germany $6.00 $11.50 $6.50 $13.00 $37.00
Paris, France $4.50 $17.50 $4.00 $13.50 $29.50
Valencia, Spain $3.50 $12.50 $4.50 $9.50 $30.00
Ankara, Turkey $2.00 $6.00 $2.50 $7.50 $18.00
Budapest, Hungary $3.00 $6.50 $3.00 $7.00 $19.50
ASIA & OCEANIA Two-way Local Transport Inexpensive Meal Soft drinks Movie Ticket Total
Sydney, Australia $9.00 $17.50 $6.50 $17.00 $50.00
Tokyo, Japan $4.50 $13.00 $3.00 $19.00 $39.50
Auckland, New Zealand $4.50 $12.50 $4.00 $11.50 $32.50
Hong Kong, Hong Kong $2.50 $8.50 $2.50 $9.50 $23.00
Beijing, China $0.50 $4.50 $2.50 $10.00 $17.50
Seoul, South Korea $1.50 $5.50 $2.00 $8.50 $17.50
New Delhi, India $1.00 $3.50 $1.00 $3.50 $9.00
Bangkok, Thailand $1.50 $2.50 $1.00 $5.00 $5.00
Manila, Philippines $1.00 $2.50 $1.00 $3.50 $8.00
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST Two-way Local Transport Inexpensive Meal Soft drinks Movie Ticket Total
Jerusalem, Israel $3.50 $11.00 $4.50 $11.00 $30.00
Lilongwe, Malawi $2.50 $3.50 $2.00 $12.50 $20.50
Rabat, Morocco $1.00 $5.00 $2.00 $4.00 $12.00
Johannesburg, South Africa $3.00 $9.50 $1.00 $5.00 $18.50
Cairo, Egypt $0.50 $6.50 $2.50 $5.50 $15.00
Nairobi, Kenya $1.00 $3.50 $1.00 $6.50 $12.00
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania $1.00 $4.00 $1.50 $5.50 $12.00
AMERICAS & THE CARIBBEAN Two-way Local Transport Inexpensive Meal Soft drinks Movie Ticket Total
Montreal, Canada $5.50 $15.50 $3.50 $12.50 $37.00
Salvador, Brazil $3.00 $6.50 $3.00 $8.50 $21.00
San José, Costa Rica $1.50 $6.50 $3.00 $6.00 $19.00
Buenos Aires, Argentina $1.00 $8.50 $2.50 $6.50 $18.00
Quito, Ecuador $0.50 $5.50 $3.00 $4.50 $13.50
Lima, Peru $1.00 $5.00 $1.50 $6.00 $13.50
Querétaro, Mexico $1.00 $6.00 $2.00 $4.50 $13.50

*Adobe Acrobat Reader Opens in new window is required to read PDF documents.