NYC: My Journey and Tips for Settling in

In my first week in New York City, I navigated coliving accommodation, essential setups like a local phone number, and explored diverse neighborhoods, gearing up for future tasks such as finding a permanent residence and handling bureaucratic procedures.

Hello again! If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve considered embarking on a journey to the architectural epicenter of the world: New York City. It’s been already a week since I arrived and I still don’t believe it, it feels like a dream!

I will share with you my own experience once I arrived here:

Finding an Apartment

My advice? Start early. While the city offers a lot of options, competition is fierce. Be prepared for a fast-paced market and consider sublets if you’re staying for a shorter duration. Additionally, try to avoid broker fees and look for listings that don’t require this additional expense to save yourself some cash.

I found some reliable websites to rent safely from your country like Outpust club, Alohause, Cohabs, Nestpick, Roomrs, Common and Streeteasy. Most of them are colivings that make it very easy for international people to rent.
I decided to rent with Alohause and my experience so far has been very good.

Getting a US Phone number

I highy recommend Mint Mobile for your US phone number due to its simplicity, affordability, and allowing you to have a virtual SIM card. With easy setup, customizable prepaid plans and no-contract options, it offers a convenient solution for newcomers and residents alike.

Creating a Bank Account

Opening a bank account is relatively straightforward. I opted for Wells Fargo, where I simply walked in with my Passport, Spanish credit card and a bit of cash to kick-start the process. Some banks may require a social security number, so be sure to inquire beforehand. Alternatively, there are institutions that cater to newcomers without an SSN, so explore your options.

Getting Your SSN Number

Securing this vital piece of identification is crucial for navigating life in the US. The process involves filling out an application online and then presenting the necessary documents in person. Pro tip: visit the Social Security Card Center early to beat the crowds, and don’t get an appointment for the social security center located in NJ if you are living in Manhattan, as they won’t be able to send your SSN number to your address. Make sure to bring along your passport, DS-2019, and a printed copy of your I-94 form. This ensures a smooth and efficient experience.

Final Recommendations

Be Proactive: Start your preparations well in advance to avoid last-minute stress.
Do Your Research: Familiarize yourself with the various options available for apartments, banks, and SSN application centers.
Stay Flexible: Flexibility is key when navigating the dynamic NYC rental market. Consider alternatives like sublets or shared accommodations.

As I wrap up my first week in the city that never sleeps, I’m filled with excitement for the adventures that lie ahead. Remember, take it one step at a time, and soon enough, you’ll feel right at home in this dynamic urban landscape.

Teresa Rodríguez


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