It is doubtful that you will be able to work in the US during your time studying abroad, but many of your fellow students will, in various capacities around the University, as well as in retail and hospitality – exactly as it is back home. But you, Mr or Ms International Exchange, will need to budget and budget you shall. Now some of these may seem obvious, but I’m just trying to help. I have covered some of these free activities in other sections of the site, click the link to check them out in more detail.
Budget food shopping: New Haven has so many places to eat that it would be fully feasible to only eat at restaurants for 4 months without getting sick of anything (apart from, just maybe, the idea of any kind of pizza…But I’m not sure that’s even a reality I can bear to think about). Taxis to the big supermarkets will cost you about ten dollars each way from campus – the bus will be considerably cheaper. Here’s hoping, however, that you meet some lovely friends to drive you to the store once a week to stock up on beans.
Walmart – 2300 Dixwell Avenue. About 10 minutes from campus depending on traffic. They own Asda and thus sell all kinds of clothes (George) and food. Convenient for doing a big shop, though not necessarily the cheapest.Hot tip on Walmart is that they have free wi-fi store wide, so if you end up there by yourself you can Uber your way out. But also, free wifi is great when you’re shopping, you can post pictures of funny coloured drinks onto your social media accounts.
Shop Rite – Close to Walmart, so just a short drive from campus. And supposed to be cheaper.
Shop ’n’ Save – Home of ‘tender flavourful meat’. If that doesn’t pique your interest, I’m not sure what will. Only a 5 minute drive from campus depending on traffic, easily accessible by bus or just walk down Whalley in the day time – probably 15 minutes stroll. Reliably informed to be one of the cheaper options as long as you stay away from the organic section.
Everywhere sells everything, so it’s more about convenience then your allegiance, but maybe it’s a classic Aldi vs Lidl debate waiting to happen.
Free entertainment – I’ve written in depth about the opportunities of free Yale-based activities including the free Yale tour, the Yale British Art Gallery and the Yale World Art Gallery: have a look at my piece ‘The Other University’ elsewhere on the site. Whether you love, hate or are completely indifferent to art, if you’re a guest in this city, the people want you to be interested. No pressure, but why not take the opportunity to expand your horizons and learn some New Haven history – for free!
There is a wonderful music venue called Cafe 9, which is over 21s in the evening but more accepting (for soft drinks and pizza) early on. If you are over 21 they are a tiny intimate venue with a pretty mad range of different music on (One Saturday they had Ronnie Ramone, next Thursday a 3 piece psych-folk band). If you are not, hit it up for some Jazz on a Saturday between 4-7pm, grab a snack and, if you’re lucky, catch the best bass player you’re likely to see on a stage no bigger than a table.
Go Hiking! I’m going to keep saying it until you do. Free and easy, bring you boots and stroll up the Sleeping Giant in Hamden. Or closer to your new home, West Rock or East Rock. Read more about the trails on my post ‘Hiking in New Haven’ elsewhere on the site. I recommend hiking because A.) it’s financially viable for a begging wallet. B.) It’s good for you. C.) Nature, man. D.) Going as much as possible to stretch your legs before the inevitable 4ft of snow in December means you just shuffle everywhere with a red nose for 2 months.
Get the Bus: Uber is great and everything but they really start to rack up, plus you have to tip your Uber man in cash, don’t forget! Isobel has more on transport in her post ‘Getting Around New Haven’.
Yale Library: Yes, your first US allegiance is, and always will be, to SCSU. But Yale offers so much in free access you really must take advantage of it. They offer free entry to their old library which is worth a look around, as much as a sit about. Head down for a quiet space to work, smash them on the free wifi (your phone should log on to eduroam automatically, as is what LJMU use).