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THE USA: Destination Guides

The ultimate student guide to New York City

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

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New York City is one of the most famous places in the world. With a vibrant culture and energetic lifestyle, it is truly the city that never sleeps. It also has a reputation for being entrepreneurial and innovative; perfect for anyone looking to make their mark. In our New York international student guide, we take a tour around the city and explore what you can expect as a student, what not to miss, and which university could be the one for you.


Where can you study in New York?

There is no shortage of world-renowned and top-ranked universities to choose from in New York. The city has over 100 higher and further education institutions, all of which have their own unique qualities. From progressive liberal arts universities to colleges that specialise in science, you are sure to find somewhere to suit you.

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.

Don't forget, however, that there are plenty of opportunities to be had across the whole country. Find out what the USA has to offer international students.


What’s the weather in New York like?

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 from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, while in winter they can drop to as low as -10 degrees Celsius. It’s not unusual to see snow at that time of year, so a warm jacket is essential. We also recommend a good waterproof jacket, as the city does experience frequent and sometimes heavy rain.

If the New York weather isn't appealing, you can always look elsewhere for your further studies. Explore the top postgraduate universities in the USA.


What does New York offer students?

What is the transport in New York like?

New York is the USA’s largest city and has a high population. The number of people living here is estimated at almost nine million. That’s a lot of people who need quick and efficient ways of making their way around every day. It’s a good thing that the city has an advanced and well-regulated public transport system.


New York subway train with two lit red lights and a USA flag on its front end, stationary between two platforms


There are several ways of getting around. The two most convenient and budget-friendly options are the subway trains and buses. The cost of using either is never higher than USD 2.75 when using a MetroCard. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can also see the city on a riverboat or cruise.

You’ll probably also be familiar with New York's famous yellow taxi cabs. These 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 cost per kilometre varies, but every journey carries a starting fee of USD 3. As an alternative, popular ride-hailing apps such as Uber are also available.

Of course, New York isn't the only well-connected city in America. If you’re thinking about studying in the USA, you may be interested in some of the best student cities in the country.


What are the entertainment and food like in New York?

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, the city is a shopper’s paradise, at the cutting edge of clothing and tech goods. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it.

Wherever you study in the USA, you’ll have to get used to a new culture. For an introduction, we explore five distinctive types of American accents.


What about accommodation in New York?

As an international student in New York, you will have the option of living on your university campus, or in privately rented accommodation. When choosing between the two, it is a good idea to think about your preferences. If you want a strong feeling of being part of a student community, campus life may be best. If you are more interested in having a sense of independence, you may prefer private accommodation.


Exterior of several differently sand-coloured brownstone houses in a row on a New York street


Additionally, you should consider cost. 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 range from USD 15,000 to USD 40,000 per year. Much will depend on the area in which you live.


How much does it cost to live in New York?

New York is not known for being a cheap city to live in. On top of your tuition fees is the cost of accommodation and living expenses, such as food and transport.

For your monthly living expenses, you 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. For additional help, a scholarship application might be an option. Awards available to international students include the Fulbright Scholarship.


What are the main attractions in New York City?

Studying in New York means 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. For instance, there are plenty of famous landmarks, including:

  • Times Square
  • Wall Street
  • Central Park


Aerial view of the huge Central Park in New York, with endless green trees beside endless skyscraping buildings


  • The Empire State Building
  • Lincoln Center
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Brooklyn Bridge


To immerse yourself in culture, you can also explore a must-see list of museums and art galleries, some of which provide free entry or discounts for students. The best include:


  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


The striking exterior of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, with its four cream concentric circle roofing elements standing beside pedestrians, vehicles and other tall buildings


  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • The New York City Public Library
  • The Hayden Planetarium


That’s our international student guide to New York. If you want to continue exploring studying abroad in the USA, we have some other helpful guides. These include lists of 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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