Good to know before arriving in NY


"I strongly recommend you to jump into this once in a lifetime experience. I'm enjoying every single minute of it and I am learning like never did before." This is what Paula tells us about her internship in New York. But of course, she has more insider tips for you about living in "Big Apple", that we don't want to withhold from you. Enjoy reading!

1. Finding a budget accommodation in NY

It's hard but not impossible. Interns have a great disadvantage here: You will hear that you don't have a credit history to support your application as a tenant and that your parents, not being American citizens, cannot be your guarantor.

Your best and cheapest option is to look for sublets: You don't need to be on the lease nor deal with the landlord itself but with the person that rents out the room.

Accommodation budget

It is difficult to find a room that is cheaper than $800, or $1,000 in Manhattan, per month excluding utilities, unless you want to live in Queens, Bronx or New Jersey. I currently live in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn and pay $875 for a two bedroom apartment. With that, I'm considered lucky among my friends.

Where to look for a room?

  • Here you can find some websites that might come handy when looking for a room: Craigslist
  • Facebook groups
  • Listing projects

2. Budget planning

Although internships abroad are usually unpaid, I was lucky to get a stipend from my company that allows me to pay for accommodation, food and barely anything else. Here is a list of fix costs you should consider:

  • Rent (plus utilities): Around $900 per month
  • Food: $200 per month (My favorite supermarket is Trader Joe's!)
  • Cell phone: $40 (I recommend T-Mobile or AT&T)

I'd say that you can live comfortably with $2,000 a month. At least, this is my experience.

3. Free things to do

One of the greatest things about New York is that there are many things you can do for free:

  • Concerts in the park (Summer Stage)
  • Movie screenings
  • Museums
  • Sport events
  • Launch parties
  • Premieres
  • and much more
  • But where can you find all the free things that are happening? Check out the following websites to find information on this:Time Out NY
  • Meet up: This is a free website where you can join a group that shares your hobbies. It gives you the opportunity to learn a new language, socialize, experience new adventures and activities
  • Couchsurfing: This is a nice group of people who are constantly organizing cool things

All in all, I strongly recommend you to jump into this once in a lifetime experience. I'm enjoying every single minute of it and I am learning like never did before.