New York City

New York City

Things to do - general

NEW YORK CITY

“………..

In New York!

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,

There’s nothing you can’t do,

Now you’re in New York!

These streets will make you feel brand new,

Big lights will inspire you,

Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York

……………..

When your playlist has Empire State of Mind on loop and you can never get enough of the adrenalin rush, you’re ready to take on NYC. Welcome to New York, the City of Dreams!

New York City has and will always be a symbolic representation of the progressive American way of life where opportunity meets the seeker and prosperity favours the doer. With this comes the sense of individualism, determination and absolute accomplishment.

With 8.5 million people residing in the Big Apple, it is not only the most populated city in the United States but also the most visited city with over 60 million tourists yearning to witness those movie clips for real: the towering skyscrapers, green spread of Central Park, yellow and green fleet of taxis, the verve of the ambitious and the luxury of the rich and not to forget, the people trying to run against time with coffee in their hands. What a sight to watch!  

It’s not unrealistic to dream of New York in this light, but life isn’t always a bed of roses and as a possibl

e future New Yorker, there are several downs before you hit the top of that skyscraper. Student accommodation, finding an internship or even better, landing a job and the like can be quite a task at hand

STUDY IN NEW YORK

For thousands of international students, the New York dreams starts young and early at college and it just doesn’t get more real than that. The city attracts the brightest minds from all across the globe to study in its world class institutions. It boasts of being the only city in America to host two Ivy League Schools namely, Columbia University and Cornell University situated in the Finger Lakes region of NY.

Other than the Ivy League Schools, the State University of New York (SUNY), also known as the City University of New York (CUNY) are highly prioritized by international students. It includes 4 University centers under its umbrella: University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University. Equally reputed are 70 other private universities that the state hosts.

As an international student, other than securing a seat at an University you’d like to call your Alma Mater in the later years, you also have to find a suitable student housing that hosts international students like you. More on that in the section below.

As an international student, other than securing a seat at an University you’d like to call your Alma Mater in the later years, you also have to find a suitable student housing that hosts international students like you. More on that in the section below.

New York City interns

 

THE NEW YORKER STUDENT

You’re in the cultural hub of the States, where people from different walks of life meet to live the American Dream together. For the sports enthusiasts, music lovers, party animals, pizza eaters, theatre goers or dog walkers, there something for everyone in New York. The city buzz is way too high and can get to your nerve if you don’t know how to let it out. It is therefore extremely essential to figure out what you like to do and make sure you make time for it. Basically, balance is the key word.

As an international student, also be sure to sign up to the various International Student Nights hosted by your School or external agencies. They’re a great way to meet new people and expand your network. Staying at various International student accommodation across the city of New York will also help ease your social life.    

COST OF LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY

CBSNews ranked New York City as the 9th most expensive city in the world. This is information enough to know what you can expect out of living there. It’s sure a City of Dreams, but it’s more importantly a city that spends.

Refer to the links below to get a better idea on your monthly, weekly and daily expenditure in New York:

  1. https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/new-york-city
  2. https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/New-York
  3. https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator/city-life/new-york-manhattan

Especially as a student it is extremely crucial that you make and not break your budget. Figure out the smartest way to live by choosing the most efficient plan on your MetroCard, building a makeshift wall in your room making it a 2 person stay or just finding affordable student accommodation.

FINDING STUDENT ACCOMMODATION IN NEW YORK CITY

New York is essentially made up of 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. While the first two are islands, the second two belong to Long Island and the last is connected to the US Mainland. The well connected transport system leaves no New Yorker worried about transferring himself or herself from one borough to the other. While it’s a given that accommodation in New York City is fairly expensive, you can be smart about choosing a neighbourhood that most suits your budget. More on the neighbourhood in New York can be found below:

MANHATTAN

Unless your earnings doesn’t need to you to think twice about spending, you may want to think twice about choosing Manhattan. Home to the first images of NYC that pop up in your mind including Central Park, Times Square, Broadway and the Empire State Building, it comes as absolutely no surprise that it has a booming real estate value.  

STATEN ISLAND

With the aura of a family neighbourhood, accommodation for Staten Island is more for the one who longs for a fairly peaceful evening after a ‘New York’ day of work. Having this said, it still holds good for the NYC tourist who’d like to take the free ferry ride on the Staten Island Ferry to land on the city’s south most borough or who’d like to visit the Staten Island Greenbelt or catch a game at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

THE BRONX

Infamous for being the troubled borough of NYC before the 90’s, The Bronx, with its affordable housing options has welcomed several new New Yorkers into its community. The neighbourhood comes with other great names including being the birthplace of Hip-hop and the New York Yankees.

BROOKLYN

Dreaming of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge? It could be an everyday reality now! Brooklyn was once the the more affordable substitute to Manhattan but now, it poses to be one of the more expensive boroughs.

QUEENS

The largest in size amongst its fellow boroughs, Queens is reputed for being a neighbourhood that has one of the largest ethnic diversity in the world. Statistics dating back to 2014 proves that 48% of its inhabitants belonged to countries overseas, contributing to the diversity. With its large size and ethnic diversity also comes a diverse options of house ranges  to choose from.    

A few tips to keep in mind while choosing your apartment in New York City:

  1. In order to hike up the property value, many owners/agencies would claim their property falls within a particular expensive borough. Make sure to double check, with possible New Yorkers, the exact location of the property and whether or not it falls within the belt of the borough.
  2. Don’t blindly believe in the adjectives used in advertisements. They could mean otherwise, so check out the apartment for yourself.
  3. Even though you earn enough to rent out a place, many a times, landlords demand for a salary to be 40-50 times over and above the rent or even worse, a guarantor whose salary is 80-100 times more than the rent and who is willing to pay your rent if you default.
  4. Catch up with residents in the neighbourhood to find out about safety standards or even better, visit the location at various time slots during the day and night to figure it out for yourself.
  5. If you have a choice on when you can move in, especially if it’s for a shorter duration, you could choose months post summer to reduce your rental costs. Normally, real estates reduce reasonably for the winter months.
  6. Find a roommate who is willing to set up a temporary wall in a one bedroom house to split the rent. This is probably the best way to bring down your cost and make new friends if you’re new to the city.

New York City Fun

TRAVELING AROUND IN NEW YORK CITY

If you’d want to immerse yourself in NYC’s culture, the best mode of transport is definitely by foot. Although, if you’re running short of time, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority takes your around to every corner of New York City in buses and subways. While buses take you through the bustling streets of the city and help you reach destinations not close to a subway stop, subways are the quickest way to get anywhere.  

Your first step before hopping on to them is to get your MetroCard. With an initial transfer of $5.50, you could use the card to travel the length and breadth of the city. A pay-per-ride MetroCard deducts $2.75 for a single ride on a subway or bus. There are various options to minimize your travel costs and that can be found on the website given the Useful links sections below.    

The MTA New York City Transit operates 24/7 and is easily friendly to passengers with visual, hearing and mobility disabilities.

Useful links:

  1. http://web.mta.info/apps/ : A list of other useful apps that you could to ease your commute    
  2. http://web.mta.info/nyct/fare/FaresatAGlance.htm#save: A complete chart of transport costs and various options to minimize it
  3. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority : Keeping the website bookmarked comes in handy to check for travel options and updates on travel delays and alternative routes.
  4. http://web.mta.info/metrocard/: Everything you need to know about the MetroCard

You’ve probably seen more yellow Taxis on the streets than people on Television. It’s a popular mode of transport when you wish to make your way through across the five boroughs. With a base fare of $2.50, it jumps up by 50 cents for every fifth of a mile or every minute, based on the speed of travel. Apart from the basics, a NY State tax of 50 cents is levied on every ride you take and an additional $1 is charged during peak evening hours (from 16:00 – 20:00 PM on weekdays) and 50 cents during night hours (from 20:00 – 06:00).

Useful links:

  1. http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/home/home.shtml: For further information on NYC yellow and green taxis
  2. http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/taxicab_rate.shtml: Rate card for taxis

Apart from these two options, New Yorkers opt to bike around the city, ferry or cruise across the water or even use the helicopter. Cause, duh, it’s NYC!

SAFETY IN NEW YORK CITY

Although there are a certain neighbourhoods that could send some chills down your spine especially at night, generally speaking you’re in the comparatively safe hands of New York. In fact, according to data by the FBI, New York City is the safest in the United States. Having said this, although there is no reason to be apprehensive all the matter, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Just stick to the normal safety norms and you should be just fine!

  • Avoid being the only one walking on the street especially at night.
  • Place money in your inner pockets rather than in visible handbags or clutches. If you do use a bag, carry it across your shoulder. As much as possible, don’t carry a wallet in your back pocket especially in crowded buses or peak hours at touristic locations.
  • Avoid conversations with strangers who look suspicious. Trust your instinct!
  • Look out for ATMs from banks you can trust and avoid the ones on the road and in smaller stores. You never know where information is going. Be sure to withdraw when people are around and put your money away quickly.
  • Don’t fall prey to vendors selling tickets on the road. The odds of it being fake are pretty high.
  • If an unfortunate event of pickpocketing occurs, don’t use your power to stop or hurt them. You bear the risk of being the one who eventually gets hurt.
  • Always remember, in any case of emergency, 911 is just a call away.
  • A more hassle free option is to opt for International Student Accommodation, as in such a case, you are sure to have many people around as company.

It’s always good to read reports on crime statistics in the locality you’re moving into. You could find that information here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_prevention/crime_statistics.shtml

Country United States
Visa requirements

VISA PROCEDURES

Any foreign national who wishes to enter the US must apply for either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay period or an immigrant visa for a permanent residence period. An international student who wants to pursue a full term or short term course and exchange study must obtain a student visa. There are two types of visas for this case: F-1 and M-1. The study field and type of school applied to are factors to determine the type of visa to be applied for. For students who wish to conduct an internship (paid or unpaid) in New York, they will have to apply for a J-1 Exchange visa.

Useful links:

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student.html#overview : Information on Student Visas for full term/short term course in the the United States

http://j1visa.state.gov/programs/intern/ : Information on Visas for International students who wish to intern in the United States.
http://www.io-usa.com/english/J-1+internship+visa.html : Information on the J1 Exchange Visa and Sponsor Organisations in the United States.

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/exchange.html#overview: Information on Student Visas who want to pursue a short term exchange

Languages spokenEnglish
Currency usedUSD
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