Congratulations! So you just been offered a provisional admission to study on cheap tuition in your dream university in the USA. You are probably thinking where should I consider living in the United states of America? “In fact, what city is the cheapest for me?” The truth is, it is never easy to find an affordable place in the United States to live in as an international student-one that actually suits your budgetary needs. Recently, the Council for Community and Economic Research which is a nonprofit group, did a study, that involved 306 urban areas. The aim of the study was to compare the cost of living in key cities/regions in the USA. The study took into consideration the comparative cost of housing, transportation, groceries,, medical care and other miscellaneous expenses. Based on the data gathered from the research, here is a list of the top 10 cheapest cities in the United States of America for International students.
- Harlingen, Texas
Harlingen, also known as “the Capital City of the Valley”, contains a population of about 75000 as a metropolitan city, situated in the southern part of Texas, specifically the Central region of Rio Grande Valley. Harlingen has a cost-of-living expense of 21.5 percent, and is touted as one of the cheapest cities in the United States to live in. To put things into perspective, a pound of meat (beef) cost less than $2.5 whereas the national average cost is about $3.5. Also, the cost of watching a movie at the cinema does go beyond $10.
- Memphis, Tennessee
Similar to Harlingen, Memphis is another beautiful metropolitan area. It is the second largest city in Tennessee, with population size more than that of Harlingen. Memphis’s population is well more than 1.3 million people. Memphis is popular for her diverse culture and musical prowess. This city is yet another area in the United States where you live in and spend low on daily expenses. The city’s low-cost housing options give it an edge for international students who rent apartments outside the school. The monthly average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Memphis fall within the range of $725 to $800. Compared to the national average, the cost of living in Memphis is just about 14.5 percent which is lower than the national average. Another fantastic thing about this city is that the Memphis government does not necessarily impose any state city or county income taxes.
- McAllen, Texas
McAllen is said to be a sister city to Harlingen. It is found in the Southern part of Texas, and just like Harlingen in Rio Grande Valley. McAllen’s population is less than that of Memphis but actually more than Harlingen. The city has a population of 135,000 inhabitants which makes McAllen the largest city in Hidalgo County and twenty-second most populous city in the USA. It has a cost of living of approximately 16.2 percent which is lower than the national U.S average, hence one of the cheapest places to live in, particularly as an international student. The monthly average cost of a two bedroom apartment in McAllen is about $708, with the cost of a home is within the range of $175,000 to $180,000.
Also found in Tennessee city, Knoxville, is yet another area to check out if you’re an international student seeking an affordable city of residence. It is popular for being the city where the University of Tennessee is found, and even more so as an affordable city from feeding to transportation. The cost of living in Knoxville is 17.8% which is nicely lower than the national US average. Knoxville has a quite dense population compared to the other cities, containing a population of about 186,239.
- Temple, Texas
Without mincing of words, it is safe to say that Texas seems to be an incredibly affordable state in terms of cost of living. Temple is another metropolitan city in Texas that made the list for the cheapest cities in the United States of America for foreign students. The average cost of living in Temple is 14.3% cheaper than the U.S national average figure. The monthly rent for a two bedroom flat apartment averages about $656, while the cost of a home is not more than $215,000. If you are an international student, Temple, Texas should definitely be on your lookout list.
- Fayetteville, Ark
The cost of living in Fayetteville, Ark, is very affordable for international students. The cost of living in Fayetteville, Ark, is roughly 15 percent lower than the US national average figure. The monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is about $545, a pound of meat (beef) is just about $3.3 and it actually costs no more than $9 to watch a nice movie in a cinema unlike that of New York City which goes above $12.
- Ashland, Ohio
Coveted for being the home to Ohio State University, Ohio is equally popular for being the home for renowned academic intellects. The cheapest of all the cities in Ohio is known as Ashland. Ashland, Ohio, is particularly popular for her nickname, “The World Headquarters of Nice People”. This tells a lot more about the quality of people who live in Ashland, who are warm, nice and welcoming. Therefore, if you are an international student, Ashland, Ohio, should ideally be on your mind when making the decision on the cheapest cities to live in as an international student. The cost of living in Ashland, Ohio is 14 percent lower than the US national average, with monthly rent for a two bedroom flat averaging about $523.
- Pueblo, Colorado
If you’re an international student, I recommend you check out Pueblo, yet another metropolitan city with a favourable cost of living. Pueblo contain a population of about 106,595 according to the 2010 census, which ranked it as the 26th most populous city in the United States. The cost of living in Pueblo, Colorado, is about 14 percent below the US national average. In addition to the low cost of living, the government of Pueblo imposes a very low-income tax rate of 4.6 percent. This city provide the opportunity for you to work while studying which is very helpful. The cost of watching a movie in the cinema averages just about $8.50.
- Conway, Ark
Conway, Ark is a beautiful city to look out for if you are an international student actively looking for an adorable and low-cost area in the United States. Beside being affordable, Conway, Ark has a relatively youthful population with median age of 27 years. In terms of the cost of living, Conway, Ark is about 14 percent below the US national average.
- Tupelo, Mississippi
Tupelo is another metropolitan city, popular for birthing Elvis Presley, and located in Lee County, Mississippi. Tupelo is the largest city of Lee County. With an average cost-of-living index of 20.8, Tupelo is one of such cities where you won’t have much difficulties living on a budget as an international student.
It is worth stating that that although these cities are generally affordable to live in, they may not necessarily be the best cities to live in when viewing from a general angle in terms of opportunities. For instance, for most of these places limited openings, securing a might prove difficult. We have taken our time to highlight 10 of affordable cities, but there are surely other states and cities much cheaper that are not on this list. It is therefore key to research as much as possible to choose a suitable for your income level. Do not forget to enjoy your study abroad on low or cheapest tuition.