When you are looking to go study abroad, the cost of living in your destination definitely matters as you are choosing which country to go to. A report on currency exchange rates and their effects on student mobility by ICEF Monitor, a market intelligence resource for the international education and student travel industry, states that student decisions are not only based on the academic reputation and geographic factors of their destination, nor future prospects for immigration, but for many students and their families affordability matters greatly, which, well, makes perfect sense.
So, no matter if you are planning a longer stay, as in studying your whole degree abroad, or a shorter study exchange, the cost of living is a huge factor in choosing the study destination. Being able to afford not only the tuition fees, but also living costs every month without having to worry about every penny spent makes life less stressful and the study abroad a more enjoyable experience.
Spain is among the more affordable European countries in the eurozone, and Valencia is among the more affordable Spanish cities. Compared to Madrid and Barcelona, two other popular Spanish destinations for international students, living costs in Valencia are definitely lower. In fact, according to the data collected by Expatistan, a collaborative index for living costs all over the world, the cost of living in Madrid is 25% and in Barcelona 23% more expensive than in Valencia. Especially food and housing costs are more expensive in these two cities, as well as transport and entertainment. It is no wonder that Valencia has been listed as one of the most affordable cities for students in the whole world!
The cost of living for a student in Valencia is approximately €600 per month. Here is a rough overview of the basic living costs:
- Accommodation in a shared flat (monthly): €200-300
- Food (monthly): €150
- Books (yearly): €90
- Clothing (yearly): €240
- Pocket money (monthly): €100
- Metro pass (monthly, 2 zones): €53,80
- Single journey metro ticket (2 zones): €2,10
- Single bus ticket: €1,50
- Cinema ticket: €7
- Taxi journey: €6
You can also use our university’s expense calculator!
While renting in Valencia is overall cheaper than in many other Spanish cities, it is important to note that in addition to the rent you will also be paying for utilities like water and electricity, which can hike the housing costs by as much as a hundred euros, depending of course on your spending. The location of your housing and the number of roommates you live with will also affect your rent: while living alone in a studio in a trendy area of the city seems ideal, it is most likely also very expensive. Living further from the centre is generally cheaper, and living in a shared apartment with more people sharing the utility costs will also be more affordable, even in the centre and the trendier neighbourhoods. So, why not to look for roommates? You will not only save money, but you also get to socialize with other students and have the opportunity to make lifelong friends. Many students of University CEU Cardenal Herrera decide to live in Valencia, but there is also the option of looking for accomodation in the smaller municipalities of Moncada and Alfara del Patriarca. Although smaller than the city, these towns are also cheaper, and so many students choose to live there. And as that is where the University campus is located, you will save not only money but also precious time that would be otherwise spent in the metro.
Valencia has a good public transport network consisting of metro, trams, regional trains, and buses. To make it even better, public transport in Valencia is very affordable for students: you can obtain the youth card carnet jove which will give you a 15% discount on your monthly metro and bus passes.
Your monthly spendings also depend on your lifestyle. While food is relatively cheap in Valencia, eating out can get more expensive than cooking at home. There is a good selection of affordable supermarkets to do your weekly grocery shopping in, and the price of basic groceries like rice, eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, milk, and white bread is low even on the worldwide scale. However, while the more traditional food markets mercados might be more expensive, they are still worth your visit if you are looking for special items. Although more expensive than cooking your every meal at home, eating out can still be reasonably cheap in Valencia. Just avoid the touristy areas of the city centre, and go where the locals go to find the more authentic and affordable options!
Entertainment in Valencia can be cheap, depending of course on where you go and what you do: movie tickets are cheaper than theater tickets, and maybe you could choose your neighbourhood bar over the high class clubs. As Valencia is a university city popular with students, there are many affordable options available in regards to entertainment and nightlife. Again, avoiding the touristy city centre goes a long way: see for example what the neighbourhood of Ruzafa has to offer!
So if you are looking for an affordable destination, Valencia is an ideal choice for your studies abroad!