Culture Corner


The currency in India is the rupee (INR). One rupee can be divided into 100 paise. 100,000 rupees are equivalent to 1 lakh, and 10 million rupees are equivalent to 1 crore. This system is used in place of the terms "million" and "billion". For example, if one were to read the amount 6,36,21,539.99 aloud, it would be "six crores, thirty-six lakhs, twenty-one thousand, five hundred thirty-nine rupees and ninety-nine paise".

Conversion Rates

What is the Rupee worth compared to the dollar? Please see for up-to-date exchange rates. While traveling, it may be helpful to carry a portable currency converter (found at travel stores). Sometimes in the form of a keychain, this is a handy gadget (like a calculator) into which you enter the exchange rate (depending on the exchange rate at the time and the country in which you are located), and then simply enter prices and the device converts the amounts into dollars.

Cost of Living

Prices for most things in India are relatively low when compared to the US. There is however always the possibility of going over board with spending. If you pay attention to your spending and create and stick to a budget, it can be very easy to live comfortably in India and even fit in a few splurges.

Former students have given us some idea of what you should expect to spend per week while in India. Due to the change in exchange rates and vast difference in individual spending habits, we can only give you estimated figures. However, most students seem to spend around $100 per week. This figure does not include extra traveling, heavy shopping, or frequent restaurant dining. Please keep in mind that some students spend less and others spend more.

When budgeting, keep in mind that it is always better to overestimate than to underestimate. To give you an idea of common approximate expenses and commodities a typical student will incur, please see the brief list below.

Public Transportation: $15 per week
Telecommunications: $25 per week
Dining Out: $20 per week
Entertainment: $15 per week
Shoppping: $20 per week

Additional Estimated Expenses

The ISA program cost includes items such as tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and more. To view what is included in your program price, please visit the "What's Included" section of the ISA Hyderabad program page.

The "Additional Estimated Expenses" in the "Accepted Students" section of the ISA website has the following estimated expenses listed.

  • Airfare
  • Books & Supplies
  • Visas/Passports


It is recommended that students to look into purchasing an ISIC card for their studies in Hyderabad. The ISIC card is an internationally recognized student ID card that gives students thousands of discounts worldwide from travel to cinema, meals and more. While you will likely have a student ID from your host university abroad, it may not grant you discounts that an ISIC card could. You will likely be able to purchase an ISIC card abroad, but it is most convenient to purchase this card BEFORE you arrive, as it may grant you travel discounts, and you won't have to deal with the hassle of international delivery. To find out how to get an ISIC card, visit Once there, you can find information on discounts in Hyderabad, and what is needed to obtain an ISIC card.