- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Washington DC Guide (PDF)
People moving to Washington DC are sure to have queries and concerns about their soon-to-be new home. That's why we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about life in the US capital.
How do I find cheap accommodation in Washingon DC?
Although the cost of renting property is very high in DC, it can also be easier to find affordable short-term rentals at certain times of the year. There's a large student population in DC that usually vacates for the summer. Sub-letting apartments over university holidays is a cheap means of first renting apartments in the city. Universities also often rent out unused student housing during the summer months.
Alternatively, choosing to live outside of the city centre will decrease accommodation prices. Towns on the border of Virginia and Maryland are also an option for those working in DC but looking for cheaper rentals and don't mind a lengthy commute.
What is the job market like in DC?
The largest employer in Washington DC is the US government, but there are also opportunities in sectors like defence contracting, lobbying, non-profit organisations and publishing. The service industry is also thriving, and new arrivals may be able to find a job in education, hospitality, healthcare, or finance.
Is Washington DC safe?
Unfortunately, more crime occurs in Washington DC than might be expected of the capital of the US. This is largely due to the unequal distribution of wealth in the city. Safety precautions, as taken in any cosmopolitan centre, should be used to minimise risks. Newcomers should be vigilant taking the metro late at night.
What is the weather like in DC?
The summer months of July and August get extremely humid with temperatures hovering around 86°F (30°C). Winters are coldest during December and January when temperatures can drop to freezing. There's also occasional snowfall during this time. Spring and autumn, on the other hand, bring lovely, warm weather to Washington DC and are favourite times of the year for visitors to the city.
►Learn more about living in the US capital in Lifestyle in Washington DC
Are you an expat living in Washington DC?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Washington DC. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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