Cost of Living in the USA Part II

Food costs in the US

There are also big differences between states when it comes to the cost of food in the US. 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 United States, groceries should be estimated at about US $ 50 and up per week.

The following shopping cart contains common groceries and their average price in the US.

Product Average price
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 cost of telecommunications are generally in the US is lower than in Germany. There are a number of cell phone providers with a wide variety of pricing models.

When choosing the cell phone tariff, the 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 check the network coverage in advance in order to determine the best possible tariff for your own location and thus avoid dead spots as well as possible. It also makes sense to find out which provider is with friends and acquaintances. 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 receive a local telephone number and can load credit onto your 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. Special international calling cards are offered for international calls.

In the event that your home cell phone does not work in the US, there are inexpensive 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 with Voice over IP (VoIP). Many students use programs like Skype to call home for free.

Cost 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. Learn more about USA and North America on payhelpcenter. 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 to estimate the cost of living in the United States with a sufficient cash buffer for medical expenses.

Non-prescription drugs there in the pharmacy (pharmacy) – often part of drugstores – or supermarket. In general, 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). For prescription medications a prescription (is prescription) from a doctor is required.

Many universities in the United States require international students to take out health insurance in the United States through the university. In some cases it is possible to be exempt from compulsory insurance. 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.

Cost of Living in the USA Part II