University of Illinois at Urbana & Champaign (UIUC), ranking No. 2 in the most recent nation’s ”Top 20 Research Institution” in number of interna- tional students, currently has 8,203 international students from 115 coun- tries, which making up 20% of her total student enrollemt, and welcomes about 2,700 new international students annually. China, South Korea and India are the top 3 countries where about 71% of the total international students come from.1
For every international student, financial issue is one of the most con-
cerned factors when planning advanced education abroad. Usually, before the application process, international students should already ensure their financial sponsorship. The support may from their government program, employer, bank loans, and, in most cases, their parents. Therefore, es- tablishing a comprehensive expenditure plan in advance, which covers most predictable expenses, is very important for international students. However, expenditure inherits heterogeneity and may vary a lot in different months beacause of emergencies, purchases of expensive durables, holiday travel, and so on. Also, such a pre-plan must base on rational expenditure esti- mation because living expenditure is affected by multiple factors, such as the location of the university, price level, personal shopping habit, personal rquired living standard and so on. These uncertainties make international students’ expenditure estimation even more difficult. The above two features of expenditure are the main reasons why international students’ expenditure estimation worth discussing.
Literature concerning students’ overall living expenditure is rare, and most of current literatures focus on some special expenditures, for example, expenditure of college students on drugs, health service, and so on. Joan Anton Carbonell in his 2007 article “Cost of living for Erasmus students” summary a survey for college students that living in the Scandinavian area.
1 Data from UIUC official website: www.illinois.edu.
The survey concludes that for twenty years, accommadation stays as one of the main concerns expressed by students going abroad, and “its cost also rep- resents an important part of the monthly expenses, which largely depends on facilities provided by the host institutions” (Carbonell, 2007). In the book “The interntional students’ handbook: living and studying in Australia”, the author Danny Ong (2009) ranks the expenditure of international students in order of importance: accommodation, food expenses, direct university ex- penses, essential cost, indirect university costs and personal/entertainment expenses. Claire Callender and Caroline Kempner (2000) in their research paper for DfEE2 states that the largest item of expenditure for all students is living cost, which absorbed ...