Cost of living

Boston, a city with a rich past and vital present, has one of the highest costs of living in the USA. Northeastern University Student Financial Services supplies calculators to estimate the annual cost of living as a student. While housing and food costs may be higher than other parts of the USA, inexpensive and free cultural and recreational activities are also widely available.


Boston is famous for its chowder, lobster, cranberries, and baked beans, but the city also offers an abundance of world cuisine, including Chinese, Ethiopian, French, Indian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and Thai — almost every cuisine you could want to eat. Boston is home to some of the world’s elite chefs, but also has lots of casual restaurants. There are options for every budget: you can dine at a restaurant, bring home take-out food, or eat on campus.

There are a number of university dining spots that serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, fast food, coffee, and snacks. If you like to cook at home, try one of Boston’s supermarkets, ethnic food shops, or farmer’s markets.

Brazilian markets:
Chinese markets:
  • C Mart Supermarket, 692 Washington St, Boston 02111
  • Super 88, 1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston 02215
Indian markets:
  • Punjab Mini Mart Incorporated, 1576 Tremont St, Roxbury Crossing 02120
  • Patel Brothers, 425 Moody St, Waltham 02453
Italian markets:
  • Deluca’s Market, 11 Charles St # 1, Boston 02114 and­ 239 Newbury St, Boston 02116
  • South End Formaggio, 268 Shawmut Ave, Boston 02118
Mexican markets:

Weather and clothing

Boston has four seasons with three distinct weather periods:

  • In summer, June through mid-September, temperatures range from over 60° Fahrenheit/15.5° Celsius in the evening and over 80° F/26.7° C during the day. (Sea breezes and thunderstorms can refresh the city during this time of year)
  • In fall — late September through early November — and spring — April through June, high temperatures can be 60° Fahrenheit/15.5° C and as low as 35° F/1.6° C
  • Winter, late November through March, temperatures can be as high as 46° F/7.7° C to as low as 31° F/-0.5° C with frequent freezing rain and snow

For a successful experience in Boston, it’s important to go outside in all weather except when weather services publish alerts. Clothes make the difference. Be prepared to live in layers and take more time to get ready to go anywhere during the late fall through early spring months. A few minutes to review the weather, prepare the necessary clothing, and enjoy all that nature offers will help your study and sleep habits, so you can make the most of your time in Boston.

Postal services

Most USA post offices are open on weekdays and Saturday mornings. Near Northeastern University, you’ll find a full-service post office at 207 Massachusetts Avenue and a United Parcel Service Store on Huntington. In Boston, the Fort Point Post Office, 25 Dorchester Avenue, near South Station is the local postal branch that remains open all days of the week.

On campus, your mail will be handled by the Northeastern Office of University Mail Services. If you live off campus, the USA Postal Service delivers mail once a day with the exception of special delivery mail, which can arrive outside of normal delivery hours. Registered mail allows tracing of important documents. Letters and postcards may be deposited in blue mailboxes found on street corners or at mail-drop boxes on campus.

Northeastern University Mail Services has guidelines for mail preparation. All letters and packages require a zip code. The USA Postal Service website has a search tool for finding zip codes by address.

You can also ship by carriers like DHL and FedEx from locations near campus.