Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Daily Cost of Living in Nanjing

Curious about the daily cost of living in Nanjing? Current student Nanfei Yan walks us through a typical day, outlining her average expenses on food and other essentials. Please note that $1USD is about 6.2 RMB.

Hello All,

It’s a frequently asked question for prospective students: what is the cost of living at the HNC? To answer this question, let’s go through a typical day in the life.

8:00 AM – Breakfast is the more affordable meal at the HNC cafeteria. I selected a tea egg, youtiao, meat baozi, and soymilk, costing just 3 RMB. 

Breakfast at the HNC Cafeteria
11:30 AM – Lunch is the most popular meal at the HNC cafeteria. There’s at least a dozen side dishes to choose from, in addition to staples such as rice, sweet potato, and noodles. My lunches usually cost between 7-9 RMB. Doubling on the protein today, I came in at 9 RMB. 
Lunch at the HNC Cafeteria
12:50 PM – The HNC Coffee Shop is student-run and competitively priced. The caffeine needed for me to last through the afternoon cost 6 RMB for a small. 

6:15 PM – My classes ended pretty late today, so I opted to go out for dinner instead of going to the cafeteria. Less than 10 minutes away is a Japanese-style curry shop. The New Orleans Style Chicken & Curry Omurice cost 25 RMB. 

Dinner at a Japanese-style curry shop
7:15 PM – On the way back, I picked up some tangerines and bananas from the street vendor. Today’s selection will last for a few days and cost 8 RMB. 
Fruit from a Nanjing street vendor
Total = 51 RMB or about $8.30 USD

As you can see, eating at the Center is the most economic choice. That being said, eating out can be affordable as well. A breakfast bagel & coffee costs 15 RMB at the cafĂ© across the street. Customizable sandwiches are between 20 and 30 RMB at the local bakery. American cereal is about 40 RMB at import stores. A decent burger or salad runs about 50 RMB on half-off nights. Eating out in malls costs 50-100 RMB depending on the establishment. 

HNC Cafeteria
In terms of other essentials such as shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper, domestic brands are usually cheaper than imported brands. For example, the above three items cost me 23 + 6 + 18 = 47 RMB for one semester. Transportation costs 2 RMB per bus ride, and 2-5 RMB takes me to most places I need to get to via subway. Taxis start at 9 RMB, and usually costs under 25 RMB to get to major locations around Nanjing.

I hope this gives you an idea of the cost of living at the Center. Contact us if you have any questions!