Living Expenses

To help students calculate their financial needs, the table below shows estimated costs for the academic year 2023-2024 in US dollars. This allows for a simple-to-average, but not luxurious standard of living.

Additional Cost in US$

Study visa fee (US$30/month)$440 (Sept – Sept, 1 year)
Books and supplies$300 (Sept – April)
Room and board**(US$560/month)$5,040 (Aug – April, 9 months)
Optional field trips$260
TOTAL$6,040

Many students decide to augment language study with one-on-one conversation classes with a Tibetan or Nepalese tutor. Typical costs are NPR 500-800 (US$5-8) per hour. A more qualified language instructor may charge more. Online tutoring might be more costly.

**Room and board costs are estimated for simple-to-average living in Nepal. Apartment rental costs will vary depending on location and size. According to the 2022 RYI survey, the cost of living (rent, electricity, and food) in Boudha starts at a minimum of NPR. 40,000+ on average. A shared apartment may cost around NPR. 15,000+ per person. Smaller simple apartments start around US$220 per month but can be as expensive as US$500 or more per month for large/ upmarket apartments. Prices also depend on whether the apartment is unfurnished, semi-furnished, or fully furnished. Usually, fully furnished apartments come with all amenities included in the monthly cost, however, unfurnished apartments may not include electricity, Wi-Fi, water and extra bills. Discounts for longer stays can be negotiated. Another option is to rent a studio room/apartment in a guest house that may cost between US$250 to US$500 per month. Guest house apartments usually include cooking gas, internet, and electricity bills in the monthly charges. Costs increase the closer to the stupa you are.

In terms of food costs, it is cheaper to cook for at home or eat at our monastery’s restaurant, the Utpala Café (US$2.85 for lunch after RYI student discount), than eating at recommended restaurants nearby (about US$4.50 for lunch). Local restaurants that do not cater to foreigners are even cheaper, but the chances of getting ill from eating at these restaurants is quite high. One of the cheapest options is to live with a Tibetan or Nepalese family, which usually charge about US$250 for a room, breakfast, and dinner. Another cheap option is to rent an apartment and share with other students, and cook at home. Generally, weekly grocery costs are about US$40.

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Rinpoche Talk for RYI - 2022
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Erik Pema Kunsang & Catherine Dalton - "The Practice of Buddhist Translation"

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