Living in Boston

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Boston, one of the oldest cities in the United States, is distinguished as a center of education, trade, art and culture.  Many visitors come to explore Boston’s rich history by taking a walk on the Freedom Trail, or visiting one of its many museums.

Boston is also famed for its vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own personality. Harvard Square is home to many unique shops attracting eclectic groups of people. Newbury Street offers its own selection of boutiques, salons and trendy restaurants. Historic Faneuil Hall entertains its visitors with street performers, shopping, restaurants and pubs. The nearby North End, Boston’s little Italy, is famed for its Italian restaurants and lined with pastry shops serving cannolis. The Public Garden, the first public botanical garden in the United States, is home to the swan boats, where visitors can take a short boat tour of the garden. Wandering around any of these neighborhoods is sure to provide a unique experience.

Though Boston earned the title “America’s Walking City”, there’s a lot more to do than walk around. The Boston Harbor offers Whale Watches and dinner cruises. Sports fans can watch the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park, or the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics play at the TD Banknorth Garden.  The Improper Bostonian, and the Boston Globe Calendar contain information about events going on in Boston. Whatever your interest, Boston is sure to have something for you.


This old saying is often used to describe the weather in New England: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Here are the average temperatures in the Boston area throughout the year:

Fall (mid-September to November)
38 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit
4 to 22 degrees Celsius
Comfortable; leaves change/fall

Winter (December to mid-March)
0 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit
-17 to 3 degrees Celsius
Cold temperatures; snow and ice

Spring (mid-March to May)
40 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit
5 to 20 degrees Celsius
Comfortable; flowers bloom

Summer (June to mid-September)
60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
16 to 35 degrees Celsius
Hot and humid

Cost of Living

Students generally estimate $2,000 – $2,300 per month for rent, food, utilities and transportation (this does not include tuition). However, each individual’s circumstances are different. This estimate is based on having no dependents (husband, wife or children) and shared housing with another person(s).

Housing Resources

The BGSP does not provide housing. Below are some websites you may find helpful while looking for an apartment and/or a roommate. Please note: BGSP has no affiliation with the listed groups and their presence on this page should not be considered an endorsement. Users do so at their own risk.

A note on payment:
It is common practice for landlords to ask for the first and last month’s rent in advance, as well as a deposit that can equal one month of rent. Roommate matching services and realtors may also charge a fee for their services. It may be possible to negotiate this realtor’s fee.

Online Apartment Search Services:

Roommate Matching Services:

  • Craigslist.com

Contains ads for roommates; you may also post an ad here http://boston.craigslist.org/

  • Bostonapartments.com

8 Alton Place
Brookline, MA 02246
Phone: (617) 232-2600; Fax: (617) 232-9984

  • Roommate Connection

316 Newbury St., 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02115
Automated Phone: (617) 876-2955
To make an appointment: (617) 262-5712
Email: trc@roommateconnection.com

Real Estate Agencies:

Short Term Solutions
247 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 247-1199
Fax: (617) 536-2464

Century 21 Fidelity Group
477 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446
Phone: (617)734-4141 (rental)
Fax: (617) 566-2148

Prudential Unlimited Realty
1290A Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02446
Phone: 617-264-790
Fax: 617-232-9984


There are many banks to choose from in the local Brookline area.  You can choose between small to mid-sized banks, or a local branch of a large, national bank.  Here are some branch locations close to BGSP:

Bank of America
Brookline – Coolidge Corner
1319 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02446

Citizens Bank
Brookline – Coolidge Corner South
315 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446

Sandander Bank
Brookline – Coolidge Corner
1341 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446

TD Bank
Brookline – Washington Square
1641 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02445

When you are choosing your bank, consider the services provided, monthly fees, branch hours, and customer service when making your decision.  We do recommend opening an account at a local bank as soon as possible after your arrival.  You will need your passport when opening an account.

The transfer of international currency may be time-consuming. Students may wish to bring enough money in traveler’s checks to cover their expenses for two weeks.  Additionally, students may wish to bring a major credit card (Master Card, Visa, American Express) and some cash.

For personal security reasons, it is not common to carry large amounts of cash. US currency comes in two forms: paper and coin. US paper money, known as dollars, comes in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Common US coins are the penny (1 cent), nickel (5 cents), dime (10 cents) and the quarter (25 cents). One hundred (100) cents is equivalent to 1 dollar.