Manage your budget

For details about the cost of student life at EPFL and the various scholarships and grants available, visit Financing your studies.

The biggest expenses are housing, food and insurance. You must be sure to have enough money to cover these basic costs. They may be payable every four or six months, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

Most students – even those on a scholarship or getting financial assistance from their parents – have to watch every penny. Stick to your budget carefully, because not being able to pay your bills can be a major source of stress. The trick here is to be well organized and plan ahead.

To develop a monthly budget, we suggest you make a table with two columns: required expenses on the left and income on the right. You can use this Excel table (in French) as a template. That will tell you how much money you have left over for discretionary items, or if you need to get a part-time job to cover all your costs.

If you find yourself in the second category, try to find a job that fits in well with your studies – one with irregular hours or a long commute would be hard to manage. Since you will have a heavy workload during the school year, this type of job may be more appropriate for the summer or during school holidays. Alternatively, a position as a student assistant would be a good choice.

Another word to the wise: always pay your bills on time, and if you find yourself in debt, take steps to get out of it quickly. Feel free to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at our Student Services Desk for personalized advice.