How Much Money Does a Student Need in Romania?

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We have talked about the cost of living in Romania on previous occasions and we already know that $1,000 (about 800 Euros) is enough for a person to live a decent life here. But what about students? How much money does a student need to live in Romania? We’re going to find out in this article.

First of all, if you can match the sum listed above, you should not worry: you can easily live off that money (and actually live a good life) as a student with that monthly allowance. But what if you’re on a tighter budget? Let’s see how low can we go!

When I was a student, almost 10 years ago, my parents used to send me anything between 150 to 280 Euros ($185 – $350) per month for my monthly expenses, plus the rent – $120 per month. That’s really not a lot of money, but I was indeed living a student’s life: eating very low quality foods, but extremely cheap, drinking the cheapest booze available and choosing to party with friends, indoors, as often as possible, as opposed to going to the more expensive pubs or clubs. Still, I managed to even save money on that budget, which is pretty much incredible. Of course, prices are not as low today as they were 10 years ago, but I am sure it’s a good example of the fact that you can really cut on the expenses.

Fast forwarding to the present day, here is how much I believe one student would pay for a decent life in Romania:

– Rent is anything from 50 Euros (if you choose a dorm) to 100 Euros (if you share an apartment) to 250-300 Euros (for a decent studio). Depending on where you choose to stay, you will pay more or less on utilities (around 100 Eur or less, including cell phone, cable and internet)

– Food can vary as much as possible, but if you eat on a budget, preparing most of your food and eating at student cafeterias and/or fast food joints, probably 150 or 200 Euros will be enough. If you would go to extremes, you might go a little lower, if you want to splurge a bit, you will only go upwards.

The nice thing about food and students is that you will have a lot of colleagues from Romania who will generally receive a lot of delicious food from their parents. And they like to share, so you will probably get quite a few free meals. Also, splitting costs with others if you share an apartment is a great opportunity to save even more money. So if you are to ask me, go for shared accommodation and your budget will not take a hit!

– For transportation, students pay about 15 Euros per month, while health insurance for students is as low as 10 Euros per month.

I guess that these would be the basics, going as low as 325 Euros per month ($400). You will of course need some extra money for entertainment (even though there are a ton of free events for students) and other purchases, but fortunately everything is pretty cheap here in Romania.

Another factor is the place where you will study. Bucharest, our capital, is a bit more expensive – and the prices in this article are adapted for Bucharest. You could go a bit lower in Timisoara, Cluj, Iasi or other cities, but not by much.

Also, students usually get discounts about everywhere, as well as a lot of freebies in student areas or some bars (usually girls get more freebies, too).

Overall, I believe that a budget of 500 Euros per month would be a good starting point for any student out there, but don’t expect too much – you can still expect a decent lifestyle, though. Also, have in mind that the first month’s expenses will probably be a bit higher since you will have to pay taxes and purchase items that won’t be needed on a monthly basis.

Oh, and one more thing: get ready to fully enjoy your life as a student in Romania. You’re going to have a lot of fun!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Calin: Interesting article. What about tuition, books, lab fees, etc? Were they already assumed to have been paid? Anyway you put it, it’s probably a lot cheaper to be a student in your country than to be one here in the USA where the average student loan debt is $26,500 (94,112.10 RON)!
    Do some of your students try to get p/t work to help with expenses? I know a lot of students, here, work as pizza delivery drivers to help with costs.
    BTW: have you all started wearing your warm booties yet? Here in the USA, we’re having exceptionally cold (crappy!) weather. ~Teil

    • Hello Teil,

      In the minimum, I haven’t included the tuition fees and books, but they can still be easily paid for with a budget of maximum 500 Euros per month. Studying here is extremely cheap: if you get good grades at a state University, you will get to study for free. The yearly tax is a maximum of 1,200 Euros (about $1,500), but most universities charge a lot less. There are no lab fees and other costs, so except for the yearly tax, everything else is in budget 🙂 Students here even manage to lower the book costs a lot by photocopying ones from the library, so it’s no problem there either.

      Still, many Romanian students indeed get part time jobs to help with expenses. For many families, 500 Euros per month is a huge expense and therefore many students have to either learn how to do with less or get a part time job. Student loans are, fortunately, frowned upon in Romania and I don’t think there are many students getting this kind of loans.

      Regarding the weather, winter is starting to let us know it’s coming, but we’re having a pretty warm weather for the time of the year: the temperature’s about 15 degrees (~60 Fahrenheit) every day, which is pretty good.

      • Calin: You all are indeed lucky! Have I mentioned the USA is just so wacko;-)
        I think at the very least the Kardashian “Klan” (God, will Kim ever stop her selfies?!?!?!?) and Miley Cyrus (a virus!) should be deported to Russia, and let Putin have them;-)
        I hope your nice weather will last for a while. It is too bad the US can’t emulate your school and university system. ~Teil

  2. I love that the parents of Romanian students are so “shareful” as my daughter likes to say. 🙂 Parents here in the U.S. don’t cook much these days, many of them, so students are left to fend for themselves foodwise if they live in the dorms or anywhere that isn’t home.

  3. Are US international students welcomed in the universities if they have a general knowledge of romanian language or is there a lot of discrimination? Also are courses hard?

    • Most of the Romanian people still have the “American dream” so US residents are particularly welcome here. However, the Romanians are really nice to all people, no matter what country they are from. Discrimination exists here, but it’s generally aimed to the rroma people (the gypsies).

      Regarding the courses, it really depends on your choice because some are known to be more difficult than others, but I don’t think that anybody would have trouble.

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