Budgeting and Banking

Student cost of living 

Below is a rough guide for the 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.

Visa Fee

The student visa is initially issued for five years. The visa fee payable upon enrolling in RCSI Bahrain is BD245. The cost of renewing the visa is BD117.500 after five years.

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.

Useful price guide 

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.

CategoryItemPrice BHD*Range BHD*
RestaurantsMeal, Inexpensive RestaurantBHD 2.000 BHD 1.500-4.000
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-courseBHD 15.000BHD 10.000-25.000
Fast-food Combo Meal BHD 2.300BHD 2.000-3.000
Cappuccino (regular) BHD 1.800 BHD 1.400-2.000
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) BHD 0.250 BHD 0.200-0.500
Water (0.33-litre bottle) BHD 0.150 BHD 0.100-0.500
MarketsMilk (regular), (1 litre)BHD 0.550BHD 0.400-0.950
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)BHD 0.450BHD 0.200-0.600
Rice (white), (1kg)BHD 0.950BHD 0.520-1.200
Eggs (regular) (12)BHD 1.100BHD 0.620-2.000
Local Cheese (1kg)BHD 2.700BHD 1.400-4.000
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg)BHD 2.100BHD 1.500-3.500
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)BHD 3.500BHD 2.450-5.000
Apples (1kg)BHD 0.800BHD 0.520-1.000
Banana (1kg)BHD 0.700BHD 0.520-1.000
Oranges (1kg)BHD 0.750BHD 0.500-1.000
Tomato (1kg)BHD 0.600BHD 0.400-0.830
Potato (1kg)BHD 0.450BHD 0.310-0.600
Onion (1kg)BHD 0.400BHD 0.210-0.600
Lettuce (1 head)BHD 0.900BHD 0.600-1.000
Water (1.5 litre bottle)BHD 0.250BHD 0.200-0.500
TransportationTaxi 1km (Normal Tariff)BHD 0.300BHD 0.200-0.500
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)BHD 2.000BHD 1.000-3.000
Gasoline (1 litre)BHD 0.180BHD 0.150-0.200
LeisureCinema TicketBHD 3.500BHD 3.000-4.000

Opening a bank account

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.