When arriving in a new city, life can be a little overwhelming. This is particularly true when you go to a new city like New York. But little by little, and as students, we have discovered the tips and tricks to get the most out of our experience here. In this article, we want to share all the tricks that we have learnt so far.
After a 8 hours flight, you arrive at the immigration and you will stay there for 2 hours. You finally get back your luggage (if you’re lucky enough) and the only thing you want is to go home to get some sleep.
On the way out of the airport, some guys may come to you saying they are taxi drivers. They may even show you a plastic card and lead you to their big black car. Here comes the problem: they will charge you much more than the real price. Do not trust them and GO to the yellow cab LINE ! A regular cab will be about 40$ for Brooklyn without tips.
Now if you want to take the subway to go around NYC. Here are the main things you should know:
- A single ride will cost you $2.75. But since you’re going to stay in New York for a while, you’ll probably want to get a MetroCard and charge it every week or every month. For one week of unlimited rides, the price is $31, while it’s $116 for one month.
- Another thing, you have to know that sometimes, the subway entrances are different according to your destination. It’s usually written at the entrance whether it’s going uptown or downtown, and the metro tracks are not connected.
- A good way to get around the city when you have just arrived is to get the CityMapper app. It is a great app giving all the possibilities to get to your destination.
- The last important thing is the local/express subway system. The local trains stop at every station, while the express ones only make stops at the main stations. The same track can be used by several lines, so always check for the number or letter before jumping on board of any train.
Taxes in US
Another expensive thing is tax! Actually, you need to know;
when you buy something (prepared food, drinks etc), you will additionally be charged 8,875%.
Clothing which cost less than $110 are exempted of the tax and unprepared food also. You should take into account taxes in your budget.
New York counts many interesting museums. The question is, how can you visit many of them without spending too much?
Well a lot of museums in New York have special “Pay what you want” days or evening, while for others, you can pay what you want all the time. On the board you’ll probably find “suggested admission : $13 or more”. You are not entitled to pay such amount, and you can actually pay whatever you feel like giving, but always give something because it can be considered rude not to.
Among the museums in which you can always pay what you want: The MET, the Brooklyn Museum, the American Museum of National History.
Now let’s talk about groceries. When we arrived in New York, our first groceries were really expensive, but with time we got to discover a great place known as the best place to buy the essential of groceries of good quality at an affordable price. This place is called Traders Joe’s and can be found in Brooklyn and in Manhattan. They have their own brands for most of their products and have a big assortment of items, which are organic for a lot of them. Sometimes the line can be really long since the place is extremely popular.
The last thing you need to know is how to get your phone contract cheaper than anyone else ! When you are an international student you are entitled to get J1 Sim. It is very simple to get your sim card, go to the website: https://www.j1simcards.com and order it (you won’t be charged of anything till you receive it). It is $25 for a month ( for 2GB internet and unlimited calls and texts to US cell phones) and you can pay it on internet without commitment and it is cheaper than every telephone company in New York. The good thing is that you can order it and have it delivered to your address in France and activate it once in New York.
By Sahar Berrada and Carla Leroy.