Medellin is a pleasant, safe and a friendly Colombian city. The city is increasingly expanding and developing as a major economy in Colombia.

It has all the services and facilities you would expect in a modern metropolis. Yet, the cost of living is quite cheaper in comparison to other major cities.

With the presence of some of the best Colombian universities, Medellin hosts quite a big population of international students. The students can gain a worthwhile educational experience and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of the city within a decent budget.

The following list gives you an approximate value for various factors related to the cost of living for a student in Medellin:

1. Rent

The rent of an apartment is going to vary depending on the size of the apartment, the facilities provided and the neighborhood in which it’s located. The level of estrato (socio-economic scale in Medellin) is also going to affect the cost of rent and utilities as well.

On an average, the rent is usually around $250-$5000 in a posh neighborhood like El Poblado which has a majority of estrato 6 homes.

Other neighborhoods like Laureles and Envigado, provide suitable accommodation options at a much lesser price. In Laureles and Envigado, on an average, the rent can be around $150-$400.

If you’re renting a furnished apartment, the rent usually covers all the cost of utilities as well.

Student Housing in Medellin


2. Food

In Medellin, you have the option of buying groceries from big supermarket chains like Exito, Carulla, and Jumbo. Or you can buy your groceries from local markets as well.

Plaza Minorista has a great abundance and variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products at very low prices. It’s a local fruit market that’s a great sight to visit in the weekend.

Then there are street sellers selling fresh fruits and vegetables in local neighborhoods. Buying food from them will cost you less than the supermarkets.

For dining out, there is a wide variety of options for restaurants and eateries in all range of budget. There is also a wide variety of street food stalls which offer cheap and delicious options for snacks and appetizers.

In local restaurants, you can have food in the range of $3- $5 per meal. One of the most popular items for lunch in local restaurants is menú del día. This usually costs around $3 – $4. It consists of a serving of salad, soup, meat, rice, arepa, potatoes and plantain along with some variations.

3. Transportation

Transportation is one of the most remarkable features of the city. The public transportation system is very affordable as well. You would be able to travel a good amount of distance at a comparatively cheaper price range.

There are plenty of options for public transportation.

The metro typically cost $0.75 per ride. One can also avail the Civica card, which is a metro card which provides a discount on the ride prices. With this card you will also be able to get the Encicla card to use the free bikes throughout the city.

Then there are buses, taxis, and Uber.

The fare for the buses typically ranges from $0.66 to $0.73. The taxis are metered, so you pay according to the distance you travel. The minimum fare of the taxis is around $1.8.

Uber is by far the safest and easiest mode of transportation. The price is often lower than the public yellow taxis you will find on the street. Although Uber is actually illegal in Colombia, it does not seem to make a difference. You can freely use it just like the locals do.

4. Entertainment

There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs in Medellin. Parque Lleras in El Poblado and La 70 in Laureles are two of the most popular nightlife spots in the city.

A nice dinner in a very fancy restaurant would cost around $20-$30 per person. There are a lot of cafes as well, with coffee prices ranging from $1-$2.

Other miscellaneous expenses like gymming or attending dance classes are also fairly reasonable.

Local gyms can cost you anywhere around $20-$30 per month. There is a variety of options for dance classes as well. Private dance classes usually cost around $20 per hour.

The overall cost of living would, of course, vary with your preference and personal lifestyle choices. However, generally, the cost of living for a student is relatively cheap in Medellin. Even with less costs, one can enjoy a fairly high standard of living here. The quality of life is really good for the price you pay for it.
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