Indian students in the US tighten their belts as R falls
On Tuesday, as the rupee took a dive against the dollar, Insiya Nasrulla, 24, strapped on her seatbelt and took a plane out to Chicago.mumbai Updated: Dec 14, 2011 00:56 IST
On Tuesday, as the rupee took a dive against the dollar, Insiya Nasrulla, 24, strapped on her seatbelt and took a plane out to Chicago.
Nasrulla, a medical student from Mumbai left for the US for one-month medical internships at North Western University in Chicago and Cornell University in New York.
While Nasrulla was lucky to have already paid her tuition costs before the currency's nosedive, she was worried about other expenses.
"It will be a problem and I will have to cut back on my living expenses, on accommodation and food," said Nasrulla.
There are more than one lakh Indian students in the US, but most, unlike Nasrulla, begin their academic year in September. However, they too will have to make adjustments in their lifestyle to accommodate the rupee's fall.
"This definitely means cost cutting, crashing at friends' places, basically trying to live with the bare minimum," said Karan Shah, a post-graduate student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, via email. "Fewer restaurants, trying to manage with the cheapest food, cutting down on travel, trying to find a job within the college until I get a substantial full-time offer."
Shah said he would have to depend on his parents to fund him for three months before he became eligible to get a job after completing his course.
Even prospective students looking to apply next year are worried by the falling rupee and have begun to think of ways to get around the problem.
"I hope it cools off next year otherwise I will try to pay three years worth of fees at one go because colleges often give students discounts if you pay at one shot," said the parent of one applicant. "I was prepared for an 8% to 9% variation on what I had set aside, but 17% is going to be quite expensive."