Living Expenses

To help students calculate their financial needs, the table below shows an estimate of costs for the academic year 2020-2021 in US dollars. This allows for a simple-to-average level of comfort, but not luxurious living.

Additional Cost in US$

Study visa fee (US$30/month)$360 (Sept – Sept, 1 year)
Books and supplies$250 (Sept – April)
Room and board**(US$500/month)$4,500 (Aug – April, 9 months)
Optional field trips$250

Many students decide to augment language study with one-on-one conversation classes with a Tibetan or Nepalese tutor. Typical costs are NPR 400-500 (US$4-5) per hour. A more qualified language instructor may charge more.

 **Room and board costs are, as mentioned above, estimated for simple-to-average living in Nepal. Apartment rental costs will vary depending on location and size. These days, smaller apartments start around US$220 per month, but can be as expensive as US$500 per month for large fancy apartments. Costs tend to increase closer to the stupa. In terms of food costs, it is cheaper to cook at home or eat at our monastery’s restaurant, the Utpala Café (US$2.20 for lunch), than eat 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 living with a Tibetan or Nepalese family, who usually charge about US$220 for a room, breakfast, and dinner. Another cheap option is to rent an apartment to share with other students and share cooking duties at home.


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