Cheapest Cities to Live in USA for International Students


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 16 September 2022 & Read Time 7 minutes



Many students aspire to study in USA to acquire the best education from top universities worldwide. In India, many students choose to study abroad, and nearly 30-35% of students opt to study in the USA. Universities in USA guarantee students the best educational experience, with different communities' involvement. According to a survey, nearly 202,014 Indian students went to the USA for higher studies.

Though USA provides outstanding education, it is also a country in terms of living and education. The fluctuation of the Indian rupee simply adds to the collecting costs. Regardless of all these factors, it is still possible to study in USA at a minimal cost. This can be done by choosing the cheapest place to live in USA. People only recognise USA from its top cities like Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Sam Francisco, and many more. But, there are a lot of other cities that are home to some great universities in USA. One can choose to study there and get good exposure as well.

Here we have a list of the cheapest US cities, considering the average cost for basic items and educational expenses:

San Diego

Average Cost of Living: $1,400 - $2,400/month

Average Cost of Education: $30,000-$55,000/ year

With the low educational expenses and the reasonable cost of living, San Diego is a city that protects international students from heavy spending. It is perhaps the least expensive spot to live and study in USA.

Students can experience fresh air with loads of fun exercises and delicious Mexican food. The city likewise hosts nearly 7,000-8,000 international students every year. It ranks #76 in the world's best international study destination (QS).

If you want to pursue a bachelor's degree in USA, then you should consider these universities in San Diego:

  • University of San Diego

  • San Diego State University

  • Alliant international university

  • New School Architecture and Design

  • University of California, San Diego


Average Cost of Living: $1,100-$2,000/month

Average Cost of Education: $22,000-$44,000/ month

Baltimore is a fascinating city. It has many shopping malls and restaurants to explore for international students. Apart from tourist spots, it also has famous boat rides, bringing peace to students living there. Baltimore is home to the second-biggest seaport in the country. It is the largest city in Maryland and has a peaceful atmosphere with vibrant arts, communities, and culture. It is an excellent destination for international students as it welcomes international students. The city has a meagre cost of living compared to other big cities.

Baltimore is home to the country's number one health school. Baltimore is the best choice to pursue nursing, medical science or any other healthcare course. John Hopkins University (ranked 13th in the world). Some other best colleges in Baltimore are:

  • University of Maryland

  • United States Naval Academy

  • Loyola University, Maryland

  • Morgan State University

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Average Cost of Living: 1,200-2,200 USD/month

Average Cost of Education: $33,000-$45,000/ year

Atlanta is another reasonable place for international students. Atlanta is ranked 57th on the QS world ranking of the best places for international students. More than 16,000 international students study in Atlanta each academic year. The opportunity and industry openness are additionally high as the city houses many large companies like Porsche, CNN, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Philips, Coca-Cola, and AT&T Mobility.

There are numerous things one can do apart from studying in Atlanta. International students can visit historical centres, music settings, theatre, and artistry displays. The city has great mountain ranges, and one can climb up there on weekends to refresh their mind.

Some top universities for international students in Atlanta are:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Emory University

  • Georgia State University


Average Cost of Living: $800-$1,300/month

Average Cost of Education: $12,000-$35,000

It is also referred to as the University City. Philadelphia has the second-largest number of colleges in the USA. The city is ranked #8 in the US for best international education city ranking (QS). It is home to the most extensive Catholic education system in the United States.

Additionally, international students worldwide make up 12% of the city's international population. Another positive is the city's area. It is two hours from New York and 3 hours from Washington, DC. This can be useful for speedy end-of-the-week excursions, short entry-level positions, and tasks.

Some top universities in Philadelphia are:

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • Villanova University

  • University of Delaware


Average Cost of Living: $1,000-$2,000/month

Average Cost of Education: $27,000-$40,000/ year

Houston, the second-largest city in terms of the prominence of Fortune 500 companies, is the fourth-largest metropolis in the United States. Houston is exceptionally comprehensive and stands among the least expensive urban communities in the USA for international students. Of its population of more than 6 million people, 1.5 million are immigrants and international students.

Houston has numerous attractions like the Museum of Fine Arts, Galleria-region Water Wall, and Downtown Aquarium. One can keep a list of these spots to tick them off at each end of the week. Houston is also called the Space city as it is the home of the NASA Space Centre. This makes the city extremely well-suited to concentrate on top courses like Engineering, Physics, Astrophysics, and significant level Mathematics.

Some top universities in Houston are:

  • Rice University

  • University of Houston

  • University of St. Thomas


Average Cost of Living: $1,300 to $2,500

Average Cost of Education: $32,000-$45,000/ per year

Also known as the "Gem of the Midwest", Chicago has numerous things to bring to the table for international students. For every degree level— Bachelor's, Master's, PhD, research studies, and professional degree study programs—you can specialise in any field of study in Chicago. Chicago's most well-liked academic specialities are law, medical, public policy, social sciences, business, biological sciences, economics, journalism, engineering, communications, finance, and other fields. Political science, philosophy, and mathematics are the areas of specialisation for Master's programmes. The city's business schools offer top executive MBA programs, considerably enhancing students' job possibilities.

Additionally, the city is ranked among the top 10 study cities for international study insight. Chicago is the home of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, as well as having one of the most balanced and diversified economies in the United States (the "Merc"). Chicago is home to 12 Fortune Global 500 and 17 Financial Times 500 enterprises, a wealthy city in the United States. Additionally, there are countless opportunities for students to complete internships with top companies across several industries. It is the finest city overall for professional development. 18% of the city's entire population is international students. It is probably the best city to live in and study in USA for Indian students also.

Some top universities in Chicago for Indian students are:

  • University of Chicago

  • The University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Illinois Institute of Chicago

  • Loyola University of Chicago

  • DePaul University


Average Cost of Living: $1,200-$2,000/month

Average cost of Education: $20,000-$35,000/ year

Pittsburgh provides educational opportunities with its prestigious colleges and the chance to wander among its 446 scaffolds. According to the United States rating of the "Best Education Schools" for 2021, the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Education is ranked No. 39 nationwide. News & World Report. The institution is regarded as Western Pennsylvania's top graduate programme in education.

Based on four metrics—a quality assessment score by peer institutions and educational professionals, student selectivity measures, faculty resources, and research activity—the ranking highlights Pitt Education's status as one of the best schools in the nation. Pitt Education was ranked No. 22 in Educational Psychology in a speciality rating. The school provides a range of studies in this field, including Applied Behaviour Analysis, Applied Developmental Psychology, and Early Intervention. International students explore other significant urban areas like New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Toronto, a day's drive from Pittsburgh. This proves to be useful for excursions and short time plans.

Some top universities in Pittsburgh are:

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • University of Pittsburgh

  • Duquesne University

  • Chatham University

  • Point Park University

Studying at a top study destination in the world is not difficult anymore. Meridean Overseas Education Counsellors can help you secure seats in top universities in these affordable cities. Call us at 1800-1230-00011 or mail queries at .


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