Personal financial requirements will vary from person to person. There are, however, several aspects that will be of interest to everyone, such as transfer of funds to a Newport or Middletown bank. Before you leave your home country you should make arrangements with your navy and with your local bank to transfer your money to a bank in Newport or Middletown.

Each country handles this transfer in a different manner, so it is not possible to state the best method. In some cases the home government deposits the pay in a local bank that makes a Telex transfer to a bank in the Newport area. In other cases the pay comes from your embassy in Washington, D.C., where it is converted to dollars and a check is mailed to you in Newport. If your bank has a branch in New York, you may want to have your pay deposited in your home country and write checks against the New York branch.

Again, all students are strongly recommended to obtain a major credit card before departing home, or carry adequate funds to meet their needs.

Typical Monthly Off-Base Living Expenses

Rent with utilities (electric/heat/water)*


Telephone (monthly charge plus long
distance and overseas calls); one-time
installation charge 






Miscellaneous (cable TV, wardroom dues,
postage, photo development, haircuts)


Totals **

 $2849 to $5765

* We strongly encourage leases with utilities and have had little problem enforcing that.

** Costs of personal shopping and in-home entertainment that you may host are not
included. These costs will vary greatly with your financial circumstance.

These figures do not include auto insurance payments or car payments.

Living Allowances

The cost of living in the Newport area may require special living allowances from your government. For most FMS case students these allowances are paid by the home government. For some IMET students a living allowance is paid by the U.S. government. This allowance is a supplement to the student’s regular pay and allowances. The IMET living allowance is not a substitute for regular pay and allowances. Either way, make sure you know the facts from your own government as you make your plans.

Currency Exchange

There are several banks in the Newport area that will exchange international currency for a nominal fee.

Checking Accounts

Checking accounts can be opened at any of several local banks. Your home country bank may have contact with one of the local banks, or you may choose to wait until you arrive in Newport to select your bank.

Permanent Housing 

Local Rentals:
Permanent housing is generally available after a U.S. national holiday, Labor Day, in early September for about $1,800 to more than $2,900 per month, including utilities. Almost all families have been able to find a furnished home in the rental range of $1,800 to $2,900. The meaning of “furnished” may vary from owner to owner. In many cases it includes everything needed, but sometimes only includes basic furniture. In those cases the tenant is responsible for providing linens and kitchen utensils, which are available in local stores.

The cost of utilities, including electricity, heat, water, and basic telephone, should be included in the lease.  (No balloon payments at the end of your lease)

A lease (written contract) should be signed by the tenant (you) and the rental agent or owner. The lease will specify the amount to be paid, the occupancy dates, and all special arrangements that are covered by the rental fee (yard care, snow removal, repairs, etc.).

Most leases are written for the entire period of the rental rather than month to month. This means that your obligation is for the entire period and you may not “break” the lease without paying the full amount. For this reason you must be very sure that you have chosen the house you will want for the entire year. Sign the lease only after you have thoroughly inspected the house.

Your sponsor can give you advice and assistance with this part of the rental process, and if need be, you can consult with the staff legal advisor. A damage deposit not to exceed one month’s rent will be required. If there is no damage to the house when you leave, the deposit will be returned to you.

Students, either with or without family members, may use the Combined Bachelor Quarters (CBQ). Students may only book one room in the CBQ. Rooms cost $56 per day. These rooms can accommodate a husband and wife plus one small child. There are no cooking facilities except for a small microwave in each room.

Government Base Housing:
The government housing is located in the Coddington Cove complex in Middletown (a ten-minute drive to the Naval War College). The houses are three- or four-bedroom units of approximately 1,200 square feet. They are ideally suited for NSC O3/O4 officers with families. Through advance coordination with your sponsor and the Naval War College the house can be made available shortly after your arrival, usually within three weeks.

All utility bills with the exception of your phone and cable television bill are included in your rent. The kitchen is equipped with a stove, refrigerator, cooking and eating utensils, and a clothes washer and dryer. Linens are at the expense of the officer. The cost of Government Housing is based on your rank. For NCC (senior international officers), the local rental market may provide a more suitable selection. Please seek further guidance from the NCC Director/Deputy Director and your sponsor.

Another housing option for unaccompanied and single students is the Student Living Program.The Housing Office provides furnished homes in base housing for two or three single or unaccompanied students at reasonable rates. This housing option is not available for students whose families accompany them to Newport or join them in Newport during the year.



Purchase Cost:
An automobile is generally considered to be essential for your year in Newport. Bus transportation is very limited and distances make walking impractical. Most students buy a used car for their year in Newport, and some have found it necessary to buy two cars. There are many used cars available between $2,000 and $5,000. Cars in that price range are usually about five years old with more than 50,000 miles. It all depends on what you are comfortable spending for the quality of car you need.

Finding a car to best meet your needs for the year is one of the many things that your sponsor may be able to assist you with when you arrive in Newport. Websites like provide a good estimate of market value for buying and selling of a vehicle in the United States.

Insurance and Registration Fee:
There are two additional expenses that you will have after the purchase of your car. The first is insurance and the second is state registration. Rhode Island has a compulsory automobile insurance law. A minimum requirement for “liability” coverage is imposed by the Naval Station to drive the car on base. In addition, many drivers include “comprehensive and collision” coverage to insure against the costs of damage to the vehicle itself.

The semi-annual premium for automobile insurance is about $400 to $800. Again, your sponsor can assist you in getting the best insurance available at the lowest cost. State registration is required for all vehicles bought in the United States. In Rhode Island the cost of registration will be roughly $60, depending on the size of the car. This fee is normally paid at the time you purchase the car.

Driver’s License:
Each driver is required to have a valid driver’s license at all times when driving. The easiest way to meet this requirement is to bring your valid drivers license from your home country. Getting a Rhode Island drivers license is a lengthy and costly process.

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