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Living in New York City

New York City (NYC) is the largest city in the United States, with a population of almost nine million residents.

NYC also hosts the most international students, with almost 100,000 international students studying within the metro area. These statistics make NYC the most diverse city in the country and we are so happy that you have chosen to study at St. Francis College. If you have never been to NYC before, you might feel overwhelmed by everything from the subway system to the different boroughs to crowded streets. We have provided you with some resources to better adjust to living in this great city.

Join SFC Student Activities
Student Activities is very active at SFC. There is always something to do and we encourage you to take part in the many different activities throughout the academic year. Student Government Association (SGA) is one organization that international students past and present have participated in.

Join Community Groups and Events
Everything from Wall St. to the U.N. to multiple Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here. This means that there are more different types of people and more languages spoken than anywhere in the world.

Just like SFC, the New York Public Library wants to support you during your time here in the U.S. They offer free English classes for students who already speak English but want to improve their reading and writing. If you are struggling with your English, Google Translate offers free, basic translation services. Download the app!

One To World, a St. Francis College partner, fosters intercultural understanding by creating face-to-face experiences among local communities, international students, and Fulbright scholars. They offer many events in the New York community for international students to get involved in. If you are interested in participating in these events, register for a One To World student account.

Banking
There are many banks to choose from when you arrive in New York. It is recommended that you open a U.S. account so that you have your finances local. If you need help understanding financial terms, NerdWallet is a great resource.

How to choose a bank

  • Location: Do they have ATMs and service centers close to places you frequent the most?
  • Services needed: online banking
  • Accessibility: service center hours, ATM locations
  • Interest rates: Each bank has different interest rates
  • Monthly fees: Do they have monthly fees?

Types of bank accounts
Checking account
   ○ Usually no minimum balance
   ○ Good for paying bills on a regular basis
   ○ A monthly fee may be charged
   ○ Usually unlimited deposits and withdrawals

Saving account
   ○ Accrues interest
   ○ Cannot pay bills with this type of account
   ○ Limited number of transactions

Documents you’ll need to open an account
● Passport
● Proof of address (lease, utility bill, tuition statement, etc.)
I-94
Form I-20

Some banks may ask for:
● Taxpayer Identification Number--Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Enrollment verification
● Foreign driver’s license
● Foreign credit card

A simple Google search will yield many, many banks from which you can choose.

Phone
Your cell phone from home will most likely work the United States. While you may keep your number from home, you may also elect to get a new, U.S. phone number. Check out the companies below that all have plans varying in price. At the minimum, the monthly plans should offer unlimited talk and text with the amount of data you receive differing.

Subway
On any given weekday, over five million people ride the subway. The New York City subway has 472 stations serving 27 lines throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. The Staten Island Railway serves Staten Island.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates the subway. They also operate the New York City bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and certain bridges and tunnels.

The system that made the font Helvetica famous has one of the easiest transportation maps to read. If you need help understanding the basics, the unofficial NYC Subway Guide offers detailed explanations and guides to get you on your way.

Additional tips for living in NYC