Budgeting and banking
Below is a rough guide for average cost of living expenses for students.
Most students choose to stay in the buildings around campus and within walking distance from the university. Rental costs can be from around BD 250-300 for sharing up to BD 800 for an individual 2 – 3 bedroom apartment. Please refer to the Accommodation section for more details on accommodation prices around campus. Further away from the Busaiteen campus area, it is possible to find a single bedroom or an unfurnished studio for around BD 200 per month but this option is not advisable if there is no transport and if the students do not know the area very well.
Bahrain does have an improving bus service, connecting various parts of the Kingdom, but a better option of getting around Bahrain is through taxis or private transport. Average taxi charges are around BD 3/- one way to nearby places from campus, such as Amwaj or Seef Mall, or Bahrain City Centre Mall. There is the London cab service which provides female drivers when requested.
Food & Entertainment
Take-away food is inexpensive and costs students about BD 4-5 a day if all meals are eaten outside. Some students go to coffee shops in town at night when the library on campus closes which obviously increases the costs. Most students visit the cinemas at Seef mall or Bahrain City Centre Mall on weekends. Average weekly entertainment expenses are around BD 20 – 25.
Printing at university (for lecture notes, projects etc) costs around BD 10 per month.
Annual Visa Renewal
The student visa is initially issued for one year. The visa fee payable upon enrolling in RCSI Bahrain is BD230. The cost of renewing the visa is BD106 per year.
Tip: save money at the end of each year for visa renewal
Excluding accommodation costs, around BD 250 per month should be calculated for food, personal items and entertainment costs. However, please note that this amount varies according to the student’s style of living and preferences.
The below table provides a basic reference for prices of standard items:
*Please be aware that all price information above are given based on information collected from various locations and prices can be out of the price range depending on the vendor, product or brand.
|Category||Item||Price BHD*||Range BHD*|
|RESTAURANTS||Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||BHD 2.000||BHD 1.500-4.000|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||BHD 15.000
|Fast-food Combo Meal||BHD 2.300
|Cappuccino (regular)||BHD 1.800
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)||BHD 0.250||BHD 0.200-0.500|
|Water (0.33 litre bottle)||BHD 0.150
|MARKETS||Milk (regular), (1 litre)||BHD 0.550||BHD 0.400-0.950|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||BHD 0.450||BHD 0.200-0.600|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||BHD 0.950||BHD 0.520-1.200|
|Eggs (regular) (12)||BHD 1.100||BHD 0.620-2.000|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||BHD 2.700||BHD 1.400-4.000|
|Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg)||BHD 2.100||BHD 1.500-3.500|
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||BHD 3.500||BHD 2.450-5.000|
|Apples (1kg)||BHD 0.800||BHD 0.520-1.000|
|Banana (1kg)||BHD 0.700||BHD 0.520-1.000|
|Oranges (1kg)||BHD 0.750||BHD 0.500-1.000|
|Tomato (1kg)||BHD 0.600||BHD 0.400-0.830|
|Potato (1kg)||BHD 0.450||BHD 0.310-0.600|
|Onion (1kg)||BHD 0.400||BHD 0.210-0.600|
|Lettuce (1 head)||BHD 0.900||BHD 0.600-1.000|
|Water (1.5 litre bottle)||BHD 0.250||BHD 0.200-0.500|
|TRANSPORTATION||Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||BHD 0.300||BHD 0.200-0.500|
|Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)||BHD 2.000||BHD 1.000-3.000|
|Gasoline (1 litre)||BHD 0.180||BHD 0.150-0.200|
|LEISURE||Cinema Ticket||BHD 3.500||BHD 3.000-4.000|
There are many banks to choose from in Bahrain (National Bank of Bahrain, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, Ahli United Bank, HSBC, City Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and many others), but due to age restrictions on opening bank accounts for students under the age of 21, we recommend the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) for anyone below the minimum age.
NBB does not have a minimum age requirement and therefore offers more flexibility. However, you would still have to wait for your Bahraini Smart Card (CPR) to be issued before opening any bank account.
Some of the other banks do have options for opening bank accounts for those under 21, but only with a guardian present and subject to further restrictions.
For further assistance with opening a bank account, you can contact the student services office after your Bahraini Smart Card has been issued.