Being an Exchange Student in New York City

“I am a student from Manhattan Institute of Management in New York City, and currently an exchange student from IDRAC Business School in Sophia-Antipolis, France for my final year to get my Bachelor Degree in Business Marketing.

I was asked to make a testimony about my experience here and to make a guide for the future students who wants to come here, so here’s everything that you need to know :

The Visa

Most of the exchange students that comes to the United State have these visa :

Here’s a link to help you out:

  • F1 Visa
  • M1 Visa
  • J1 Visa

For my case, I have the J1 Visa, the school is the one who chooses what type of Visa will be delivered to you. It depends on the program that you are in.

Everything you need to know  – J1 Visa

  1. The DS 2019 or DS-7002 is going to be delivered by the school, but you’ll need one of these papers in order to do all the steps below
  2. Apply for the form DS 160  : 160$ 
  3. SEVIS form : 180$
  4. Prepare an ID picture, be careful about all the requirements : Requirements
  5. Request for an appointment at the Embassy of the USA, once you have completed all the requirements above. Here’s also a link to help you out.


Let me get this straight : NYC is expensive. Here’s my advice to all future New Yorkers or New Jerseyan.

Here’s some link to help you out:

Just a reminder, don’t be fooled. If you find something really cheap in Downtown Manhattan, that’s a scam.

I chose to live in Jersey City, I lived 5 minutes from the PATH Station and it will take me 10 to 15 minutes to go Downtown Manhattan.

Health Insurance

For me I had an amazing insurance named “April International Studies – Crystal Studies“. Having lots of come and go to the hospital, I didn’t have to pay extra money even for the ultrasounds, CT Scan etc. You can apply online or via to your bank.

School and Academic Training

School here in the US is completely different from France. I had 2,5 days to go on my Academic Training (MGTO : Monaco Government Tourist Office), and 2,5 days to go to school. I had 10 classes in total for 2 quarters, for some reasons I feel like studying here is more relaxed and easy than in France. Back there we would have classes from 8 am to 6 pm 5 days a week.


New York City is expensive, super expensive.

The MTA (Subway) costs 120$/month if you want the unlimited ride, but if you live in Jersey you’ll have to take the PATH and the unlimited ride costs 89$/month.

If you love and have the time to cook, it’s good but it will cost you the same amount if you buy ready-made food with less stress and effort.

What I like to do is to buy food for breakfast, fruits/vegetables, yogurt at Whole Food, Duane Reade, Rite Aid and Target. Also, get a card to all of them, it’s free and the more you buy, the more you’ll have points and the more you’ll get good deals.

Buy more for less!

Quick fact: it’s cheaper in New Jersey!

To wrap it all up,

I had an amazing experience coming here! The people are amazing, even though I had a hard time at first adjusting to their accent. The food, is, love. The city is indeed the city that never sleeps.

One thing I really loved, is that you will encounter people with beautiful stories with different dreams and different goals.

To end this, here’s a quick glimpse of my exchange year.


PS : My degree depends on this post haha, so share it guys. Thanks!



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