I am wondering if anyone can help. I am thinking of moving to Boston to study at Havard for 6 months next year. I have heard it is quite an expensive city - is this true? How much should I budget ? I do not plan to live lavishly but I do enjoy eating out and socialising with friends.
Also, I know most American's drive around but do you think I'll really need to get myself a car for 6 months. How good is the public transport network and is it safe at night ?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Boston is much smaller than other US cities like New York and LA, because there is less competition for business prices to tend to be higher. Rent will be your biggest expense and a one-bedroom apartment will set you back around USD 2,000 per month. Take a look the recently updated Cost of Living in Boston for more details that can help you draw up a budget :)
Yes, it is true that a lot of Americans drive but you really won't need a car in Boston. Boston is a really compact city with a great public transport network. Get yourself a Charliecard and save money on your commute. Read more about the different modes of transport on the Expat Arrivals page on Transport and Driving in Boston. Boston is also a pretty safe city and public transport runs late into the night.
Best of luck with the move.