Purchasing a car? by Matias

Are you wondering about the processes of purchasing a car in California? If so you are in the right place because I will explain to you my personal journey of getting my first car in California, with the help of my father.

Me and my Dad went to nearly every dealership in the area (Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido) and finally ended up getting the best deal in a dealership in Oceanside called “5 Grand Autoland” (which I liked).

Finding the right car is the hardest step of all, as it depends on your personal budget and your style of car you’re looking for. The reasons why I liked this particular dealership is because first of all, they were super nice and sincere people to do business with and they also helped me with the process of getting a well trusted insurance company for the right price.

To help you get a better grasp:

  • Used car ranges from $5,000 to $10,000
  • Gas per month (depends on car) is from $50 to $100
  • Car insurance is required in the USA, and it can range from $50 to $90 per month

Something important to know is that the minimum insurance covers other people’s car, not your own. To get a comprehensive insurance to cover other people and yourself is a bit more more expensive but in my opinion it is definitely worth it.

I highly recommend, if possible, going through the process of doing all the steps because having a car in California definitely makes life a lot easier.


Budgeting for college

Fall semester is almost over and it’s time to think about applying for Spring. Are you ready? I’m sure you’re wondering how much it’s going to cost you, what sort of documents you need to provide, etc. Don’t worry. I’m here to help you out.

First, you have to take into consideration all sort of flat fees you will have, such as tuition and health insurance. International students are required do be enrolled in at least 12  units each semester, and health insurance is mandatory. Then, move to all ongoing expenses such as rent, transportation, groceries, books, and unexpected expenses. Make a list of everything you can think of that it will cost you money, and start your budget. An estimated cost of your expenses for an academic year (August – May) should look something like this:

  • Tuition and fees: $6,000 (this is the cost for 12 units both semester);
  • Health insurance: $1,350;
  • Public transportation: $400 (this is the cost of a bus pass for 9 months);
  • Rent: $700 (estimate cost to share an apartment with 1-2 other people);
  • Textbooks: $1,000;
  • Ongoing expenses (groceries, etc): $9,350.
  • Total: $18,800

You need to provide MiraCosta College a bank statement – or multiple ones, as long as they have been issued on the same day – proving that you (or your sponsor) have $18,800 available and accessible to you any time while you’re in the United States.

Remember, this is an estimate cost of expenses! If you want to purchase a car, you’ll have to add all the expenses that come along with it (insurance, gas, registration, etc) to your budget; furthermore, you will have to budget for more. Be wise, take your time budgeting, and make sure you’re coming here for a great experience and that you won’t be in financial trouble! =)


Saving up the money

Hi guys,

Let’s talk about the budget of your studying.

I’m going to give you some tips to save up your money, as you prepare your trip to the United States.

The first and probably the easiest way to earn money are by scholarships. Fortunately for you, MiraCosta College offers a lot of scholarships which are available every semester. However, the best part of it is that it is very easy to apply for it.

* Have to mention that scholarship available for currently enrolled students only.

The second way to reduce your expenses is by getting a job on campus.

  • I was personally lucky to get two jobs on campus. My first was to be blogger for the international student’s office and the second one was to work at the library at the circulation desk.

* The application process and job I will describe in my next blog.

The other following tips might help you to cover a few of your expenses.

  • The “Textbook Loan Program” can help you to get one free book per semester which can be huge money saving. (One book can be more than $300.)
  • Renting books instead of buying them. You can try to rent your books from “amazon”, “chegg” or even the bookstore at MiraCosta College.
  • Another tips for books would be to check at the beginning of the semester, the book your teacher is asking you to buy and check at the library if they have it on reserve so you can borrow them for their and save money.
  • As international student you are offered to use the college insurance. However, it is just an offer but not an obligation to purchase this insurance.  You can research options for health insurance to meet your need.

See you soon.