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Student cost comparison: NI versus USA

Just how much cheaper is uni life in Northern Ireland compared to the USA? MBA student Clare Rhine crunched the numbers.

The beauty of Northern Ireland reminds me of the beautiful landscapes of America’s Pacific Northwest I remember from my childhood. But stunning pictures on my Insta grid was not the only thing that drew me to Northern Ireland. In fact, one of the reasons I chose to come and study at Queen’s was the astronomical cost of studying in my native USA.

 Clare draws comparisons between America's Pacific Northwest (above) and the stunning Northern Ireland landscape (below)

Not convinced?

I went ahead and made a couple of cost comparisons for the Pacific Northwest vs Queen’s University, Belfast for a typical undergraduate student. The schools listed below are located in either Oregon or Washington and are some of the more popular schools in the PNW. Even with the currency exchange, the cost is astronomically different (even if the landscape and beautiful scenery is incredibly similar).

Food Cost Comparisons: Pacific Northwest to Northern Ireland

Whole Foods Market       Tesco      
Item US $ Can$ £* sterling   Item £* sterling US $ Can$
Sandwich Bread, Whole Wheat (16 Slices), 24 oz/ 680g 2.99 3.92 2.3 Wholemeal bread, 28oz/ 800g 0.36 0.47 0.62
Long Grain Brown & Wild Rice, 8.8 oz/ 250g 2.99 3.92 2.3 Easy Cook Brown Rice 35oz/ 1Kg (1000g) 1.5 1.95 2.56
Italian Salad, 10 oz/ 283g 2.69 3.53 2.06 Alfresco Salad, 8.8oz/250g 1.25 1.63 2.13
Cola 6 x 12 fl oz/ 340ml 2.99 3.92 2.3 Classic Cola 6 X 11.2fl oz/ 330ml 1.25 1.63 2.13
Pulp Free Orange Juice, 340ml 1.99 2.61 1.53 Orange Juice Smooth 1 Litre, 1000ml 0.85 1.11 1.45
Organic Carrots, 16 oz/ 453g 0.99 1.29 0.76 Carrots, 2.2lbs/1 kg (1000g) 0.41 0.53 0.7
Large Brown Grade A Eggs, 12 count 2.99 3.92 2.3 Mixed Sized Free Range Eggs, 15 count 2 2.6 3.4
Grade A Reduced Fat Milk, 1 pint 0.99 1.29 0.76 Semi Skimmed Milk, 1 Pint 0.5 0.65 0.85
Loose potatoes, lb/450g 0.99 1.29 0.76 Loose potatoes, 2.2lbs/1 kg (1000g) 0.83 1.08 1.42
Whole Chicken, lb/ 450g 1.99 2.61 1.53 British Whole Medium Chicken,  1.1lbs/ 500g  1.06 1.38 1.81

Prices based on online costs (October 2020)
Approximate equivalencies are shown at the following rates (October 2020) US$1.30 = £1 Can$1.71 = £1

Housing & Tuition Cost Comparisons (based on 2020/21 rates)*:

School/ University Accommodation Annual Cost US $  Annual Cost Can $ Annual Cost £ sterling Annual tuition fees (notes)
Queen’s University Belfast (Elms BT9) Single w/private bath, comunal kitchen 8397 11018 6448* Undergraduate/ FR1 (classroom)
Oregon State University (Bloss Hall) Single w/private bath, comunal kitchen 12090 15863 9293 Visiting International Student
Washington State University (Community Duncan Dunn) Single w/private bath, comunal kitchen 14236 18680 10943 International
Pacific University 3-person Apt w/kitchen/single bedroom 10578 13880 8131 College of Arts & Sciences (Undergraduate/ on campus)
Willamette University Single w/private bath, comunal kitchen 8620** 11320 6631 College of Arts & Sciences (Undergraduate)
University of Oregon (Global Scholars Hall) Single w/sink, communal kitchen 16457 21615 12672 Non-Ohio resident/international (living on campus)

* Cost based on 52 weeks
** Cost based on 2 semesters

Discover more about Queen's Accomodation

Disclaimer: The prices listed on this page were updated in October 2020

 

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