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Cost of Living in the US
California or New York, Minnesota or Michigan - if you want to spend a semester abroad in the USA or complete a degree in the USA, you have a variety of study locations to choose from. A comparison of the cost of living in the United States can help you make a decision. Indeed differ the cost of food, lodging, and other everyday necessities in the United States from state to state.
From a purely statistical point of view, according to a study by the World Bank, Americans live cheaper than in Germany (-12%, based on price levels). However, the actual cost of living in the US depends on where you study, where you live, where you live, and your individual lifestyle. It is advisable at least US $ 1200 - US $ 1500 per month budget for living expenses.
Living in the US - Cost of Rent and Housing
How expensive is life in America? The actual cost of living in the US depends on where you live, where you live, and your lifestyle.
A room in a student residence, a private flat share or a room with a host family? Students have a choice of different types of housing when they want to study in the United States.
Living in a student dormitory on the US campus
Many US universities have the option to do a Room in student hall (Dormitory) to rent. The following applies: The closer the dormitory is to the campus, the higher the rent is usually. The cost of a room in Dorm look high at first glance. However, when calculating the cost of living in the USA, students should keep in mind that students in the dormitory usually do not incur any additional costs for electricity, gas or Internet access.
In addition, many universities offer so-called Meal plans at. This means that some students can eat as often as they want on campus. The costs are often included in the semester fee. This means that living in a shared apartment is not necessarily cheaper and the bottom line is that it can even result in higher costs of living in the USA.
Some universities oblige freshmen in the undergraduate area to live on-campus and to use the food options on campus. Graduate students, on the other hand, are often free to choose where they live and eat.
Living in a shared apartment
Many students see a flat share as a comfortable and inexpensive alternative to a room in a student residence. In fact, the cost of living in a shared apartment can vary, as the Rent after the local events judge.
For example, students pay around US $ 700 - US $ 900 per month for a room in a shared apartment in San Francisco. In contrast, US $ 900 - US $ 1500 monthly rent for a room in downtown New York is not uncommon. However, the same applies to New York as to all other large cities: If you are willing to live outside, you can save a lot of money on the cost of living in the USA.
In the case of a room in a shared apartment, students should also consider that in addition to the rent Additional costs for electricity and gas and possibly costs for the Internet access attack. There are also costs for the daily Cateringwhich are often included in the total price in the student residence hall and with a host family.
Tenants usually register electricity and gas themselves with the local electricity and gas supplier. The meter readings are usually read once a month, with payments made every two months or quarterly.
Homestay: Living with a host family
Students who spend a semester abroad in the USA and value the Real American Way of Life get to know each other are in good hands with a host family. HomestayPrograms will be often in combination with Meal plans offered, so that living costs can be saved even with this type of living:
- Homestay including two meals
- Homestay with breakfast or dinner
- Homestay without food. Students can prepare their own meals in the kitchen.
Also at HomestayPrograms the costs vary depending on where you live and where you live. In Seattle, students pay for Homestay with meals for example around US $ 800 per month, in San Diego around US $ 900 per month and in New York from US $ 1500 per month. If you live with a host family, you are usually not required to pay additional fees for electricity, gas or internet use. So it can be worthwhile to compare the different types of housing and the cost of living.
|Average monthly rental costs||Average monthly electricity and gas costs||Average monthly internet costs (flat rate)|
|Student residence (1 room on campus)||US $ 900-1100||Usually included||Usually included|
|Shared apartment (3-room apartment)||US $ 450-600||Part of the total amount of US $ 100-175||Part of the total amount of US $ 30-50|
|host family||US $ 550-1000||Usually included||Usually included|
Transportation costs in the USA
Any transport costs that may arise should also be taken into account when calculating the cost of living in the USA. In large cities, students can usually get from A to B without any problems using public transport Monthly pass costs average $ US 50-70. In some cases there is also a discount for students.
Due to the fact that many suburbs and smaller cities in the US have poor transportation networks, this is it Car the most popular means of transport. Many international students therefore buy a used car from other students in order to sell it again before the end of their studies. At an average of US $ 0.70 - 0.90 per liter, fuel costs in the USA are lower than in Germany.
Also Taxis are a common mode of transportation in the United States, especially in major cities. They are known worldwide Yellow cabs from New York. There is usually a fixed base amount of around US $ 2.50 for a taxi ride. Add to that US $ 1.50 - 2 per mile. There is a surcharge for luggage. A tip of 10% to 15% is also common.
For students who want to cover longer distances in the USA, domestic flights are available due to time constraints. But buying one can also be financially beneficial flight tickets worth it. Good offers are regularly available from airlines such as Delta Air Lines or JetBlue Airways.
Food costs in the US
When it comes to the cost of food in the United States, there are also big differences between states. For example, 12 eggs in Miami cost around US $ 2, whereas in San Diego you have to reckon with a good dollar more.
In general, fruit and vegetables are more expensive in the USA than in Germany. However, you can also save money here, for example, by shopping at an Asian fruit and vegetable dealer. Of the total cost of living in the US should be around US $ 50 and up per week for grocery purchases be estimated.
The following shopping cart contains common foods and their average price in the USA.
|1L water||US $ 1.20|
|1L milk||US $ 1|
|6 eggs||US $ 1.30|
|1 white bread (500 g)||US $ 2.50|
|1kg of bananas||US $ 1.70|
|1 pack of muesli / corn flakes||US $ 3.60|
|1 American beer (0.5L)||US $ 4|
|1 Big Mac||US $ 3.50|
|1L cola||US $ 1.30|
Costs for activities in the USA
Anyone studying in the USA for a semester or a longer period of time would like to experience as much as possible and explore the “land of unlimited possibilities”. It is therefore advisable to set aside money from the planned cost of living for dining out, concerts or cinema tickets.
|Type of undertaking||average price|
|1 pizza in the restaurant||US $ 13|
|1 cinema ticket||US $ 10.50|
|1 concert ticket||US $ 47|
|1 ticket to an NBA game||US $ 54|
Communication costs in the US
The Telecommunication costs are common in the United States lower than in Germany. There are a number of cell phone providers with a wide variety of pricing models.
When choosing a cell phone tariff, your place of residence in the USA plays an important role. The network coverage differs greatly from region to region and varies depending on the provider. It is therefore advisable to use the Network coverage to checkin order to determine the best possible tariff for your own location and thus avoid dead spots in the best possible way. In addition, it makes sense to clarify which provider friends and acquaintances are with. Calls to other networks are usually more expensive than within your own network.
Important to know: Students from Germany can only use their own cell phone in the USA under certain circumstances: On the one hand, it is necessary that a roaming agreement exists between the network operator in Germany and the USA. On the other hand, it has to be a tri-band or quad-band mobile phone or a GSM-1900 device.
USA SIM card as a cheap alternative
If you make calls with your own cell phone in the USA, you have to reckon with high costs. For this reason, many students use prepaid SIM cards specifically for the USA, for example from AT&T or Cingular. You will get one local phone number and can load call credit onto their mobile phone.
A SIM card in the USA often costs around US $ 20. Depending on requirements, various packages can be booked that contain, for example, a certain data volume or the free sending of SMS at home and abroad. It should also be noted that prepaid cards can only be used for a limited region. For international calls are special international calling cards offered.
In the event that your home cell phone doesn't work in the US, there is cheap prepaid cell phones. Cell phones start at US $ 15 from providers such as T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile and AT&T. For around US $ 40, customers receive a package with 400 free minutes.
It's even cheaper Voice over IP (VoIP). Many students resort to programs like Skype back to call home for free.
Costs in the USA in the event of illness
While it cannot be assumed, it cannot be ruled out that students will fall ill while studying abroad in the USA. The range of services offered by US universities usually includes a Health center. There are no costs for students for basic medical treatment at some universities. Even so, it is important when estimating the cost of living in the United States that you have enough cash in reserve for medical expenses.
Over-the-counter drugs is there in the pharmacy (pharmacy) - often part of a Drug stores - or in the supermarket. Generally speaking, non-prescription drugs such as pain pills are cheaper in the US than in Germany. Even so, the cost of drugs in the United States varies significantly. Many pharmacies and supermarkets offer cheaper counterfeit drugs. For example, Wal-Mart or Target have generics for US $ 4 (30-day pack) or US $ 10 (90-day pack). A prescription is required for prescription drugs (prescription) required by the doctor.
Many universities in the USA require international students to take out health insurance in the USA through the university. In some cases it is possible to use the Compulsory insurance to be liberated. The prerequisite is that your own insurance covers all insurance benefits required by the US university.
It is always advisable to take out private international health insurance, as buying prescription drugs and visiting a doctor in the US can be expensive.
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