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The basics
THE USA: Destination Guides

New York City student guide

New York has a reputation as one of the most dynamic cities in the world. A hub of culture, entertainment, and business it’s an exciting option for international students.

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New York City is arguably one of the most famous cities in the world. With a vibrant culture and energetic urban lifestyle, it is little wonder that New York is often called ‘the city that never sleeps'. It has a reputation as an entrepreneurial and innovative city, perfect for international students looking to make their mark. We take a tour around the city to explore just what you can expect as a student, what not to miss, and where you might study.


Where can you study in New York?


New York is known for its cultural diversity, including the many students that call the city home. There is no shortage of world-renowned and top-ranked institutions to choose from. New York has just over 110 higher and further education institutions. These institutions include an Ivy League institution and one of the most progressive liberal arts universities in the world.


Some of the most well-known and highly regarded universities in New York are:



Another of the plus points of studying in the city is the opportunity for internships and work placements. Programmes like these are a great way to gain experience that will enhance your CV and increase the chances of good graduate opportunities, perhaps even in New York itself.


Find out what the USA has to offer international students.


What’s the weather in New York like?


We know that when studying abroad the weather is always a consideration. New York has a varied climate ranging from humid subtropical in the summer to humid continental in the autumn and winter. This means you can pack your summer wardrobe for May to August. However, you will need some warm winter clothes for the colder months of September through to April.


Summer temperatures in New York range between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, while in winter temperatures can drop to as low as -10 degrees Celsius. It’s not unusual to see snow over the winter months, so a warm jacket is essential. We would also recommend a good waterproof jacket as the city does experience frequent and sometimes heavy rain.


Explore the top postgraduate universities in the USA.


What’s the transport in New York like?


New York is the USA’s largest city and has a high population density. In 2020 the number of people living in the city was estimated at over 8,8 million. That’s a lot of people who need quick and efficient ways of making their way around the city daily. It’s a good thing that the city has an advanced and well-regulated public transport system.


There are several ways of travelling around the city. The two most convenient and budget-friendly options are the subway trains and buses. The cost of either journey is capped at USD 2.75 when using a MetroCard. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can also take a riverboat or cruise to see the city.


You’ll probably also be familiar with the famous New York yellow cabs. Cabs are a great way to see the city and a useful option if you’re in a rush. However, you will pay for the privilege. The average rate per kilometre is USD 1.75 with a starting flat fee of USD 2.65. Familiar ride-hailing apps are also available for use in the city.


If you’re thinking about studying in the USA, you may be interested in some of the best student cities in the country.


What can you do in the city as a student?


Studying in New York does mean that you won’t run out of things to do and places to see. It’s a dynamic city that caters for a wide variety of interests and activities. There are plenty of famous landmarks to visit including:


  • Times square
  • Wall street
  • Central Park
  • The Empire State Building
  • Lincoln Center
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Brooklyn Bridge


If you’re a fan of sport visiting Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium or Citi Field is a must. There is also the world-renowned tennis complex at Flushing Meadow.


If you want to immerse yourself in culture, there is a must-see list of museums and art galleries. These include The Metropolitan Museum of Art; American Museum of Natural History; The Museum of Modern; The New York City Public Library; Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum; and the Hayden Planetarium. Some provide free entry or discounts for students.


The city is known for its many free events including, concerts, festivals, outdoor films, and exhibitions, great for a student budget. New York also boasts a diverse culinary landscape, which means you can try just about any cuisine or food you can think of, from hotdogs to seafood. In addition, New York is a shopper’s paradise, from clothing to tech goods. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it.


When studying in the USA, you’ll have to get used to a new culture. We explore the five distinctive types of American accents.


How much does it cost to live in New York?


Now for the not so good news. New York is not known for being the cheapest city to live in. In addition to your tuition fees is the cost of accommodation and daily living expenses, such as food and transport. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between USD 9,000 and USD 11,000 per year for on-campus accommodation. If you are renting privately, this can vary between USD 15,000 and USD 40,000 per year. Much will depend on the area in which you live.


For your monthly living expenses, you’d need to have a healthy budget of between USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 a year to cover food, transport, utilities, and medical insurance. It is estimated that the cost of living in New York is between 20 and 50 per cent higher than in other cities in the USA. A scholarship application might be an option, including funding programmes like the Fulbright Scholarship Programme.


That’s our quick guide to New York. If you want to continue exploring studying abroad in the USA, we have some interesting guides to help. These include insights into the top subjects in the USAthe top universities in the USA, and top tips for applying to study in the USA.


Study in the USA


'Study in the USA' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in the USA into one handy digital book.

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