World, Travel

Accommodation and healthcare in the United States

Accommodation and healthcare in the United States

Life in the United States is generally more expensive than in France. Especially in certain areas such as in the medical field or in real estate. Fortunately, special solutions for students have been put in place.


There are several ways to find accommodation. Two categories can be distinguished : on-campus or off-campus housing :

on campus : The university offer mostly (except for community college ) the student residences (called dorms or residence halls). In these residences, each student has a room that he must share with a roommate (of the same sex). Showers, kitchen and toilets are shared. For a university residence, you have to do it early because they are very popular. It is advisable to apply to the housing office as soon as you have received your letter of admission .            

Off campus : There are universities in a housing office off-campus off-campus housing office ). There you will find a lot of classifieds. Off-campus housing is often more expensive. There are, however, off-campus residences managed by private companies. You can also find a host family .
To find cheap accommodation, you better get a roommate if you want to be flat. There are a lot of websites like easyroomates , housepals or airbnb (which is still expensive) that list them.

Don’t hesitate to use Facebook ! French communities abroad often meet there ! Groups exist to help each other find accommodation, good deals… (For example “ Housing in New York ” or “ Frenchies in NY ”.) This type of group is available for many cities in the United States.

The owner of an apartment you want to rent will most often ask for : a scholarship certificate / bank statement ; several letters of reference ; and a financial guarantor if your file is not very solid. It is also strongly recommended that you take out home insurance (between $ 150 and $ 300) and do an inventory to avoid any misunderstanding.


In America, there is no national social security. There are, however, a lot of private insurance. The cost of consultations or interventions being much higher than in France, it is advisable to take out private insurance.

Some universities require international students to purchase U.S. insurance approved by the Office of International Students.
The cost of some products (such as glasses) is very expensive even after the intervention of health insurance. So plan a second pair of glasses ! If you have any medicines to take, buy them in France. A prescription issued in France is not valid in the United States.

In America there is the Social Security Number (SNN). It is a number that is widely used by Americans, it allows you to declare your salary for example. It is given to those who work in the United States. But as a foreign student you won’t have to work on campus or do an internship. If you do not have it, the international student office will provide you with another one which will help you with your administrative procedures.