Local Atmosphere

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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Philly is close, and our campus is beautiful. Really close to other colleges.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It is a very nice and beautiful town to live in but there isn't a whole lot of thing to do around the town accept for grocery shopping, a few restaurants and Starbucks. Good thing is Philly is only 25 minutes train away so there's always a getaway option.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Bryn Mawr is a very quiet and beautiful town, but unlike a normal college town, everything is pretty much closed after 8pm. It is definitely inconvenient if you get sick or if you can't sleep and want to walk into town for a coffee. I think Starbucks stays open until ten or eleven sometimes but that is really all that will be open, aside from the gas station. It is generally a family oriented town with random Villanova students living in some of the apartments (but they all have cars). There are many fancy private elementary, middle and high schools around and the homes around campus are massive and gorgeous. It is the ideal suburb if you are 45 and a stay at home Mom with a BMW and 2 kids who play soccer. However, as a 20 year old, it can really suck to feel like the only person alive walking around at night.

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4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Bryn Mawr is in a charming town with lots of stone buildings. It is in a rich town, so the stores are on the more expensive side, but many of the stores cater to college students since Haverford, Harcum, and Villanova are in the vicinity. The town is very safe, but if there is any insecurity, Public Safety at Bryn Mawr will come and pick you up, no questions asked. There is not a lot to do in Bryn Mawr itself, but there is lots in the surrounding towns, easily accessible by train.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kaitlin Menza
New Brunswick, NJ
View all previous student authors

Some students feel that the “little bit of everything” aspect of Bryn Mawr’s location results in a whole lot of nothing. Philly is too far, Bryn Mawr and the Main Line too suburban, and all the colleges in the area are too wrapped up in their own scenes, making them available but not welcoming. When students overcome the shortcomings, they find that what the area does offer can make for some good diversion from the work and stress that goes along with being a college student. Bryn Mawr has the essentials, including Acme for grocery shopping and TLA for a better-than-Blockbuster selection of DVDs and videos. Students love Milkboy Café for coffee and music, and some students perform during open-mic nights.

The Tri-College Community easily offers enough entertainment and social events for every night of the week, but some students have trouble finding the time to take advantage, especially when social interactions between the schools are said to be strained. Mawrters tend to look towards Philly for art, food, and drink, with a common daytime excursion including a trip to the art museum, a walk through downtown Philly, a little shopping at the Center City Mall, and dinner at Penang, a favorite restaurant in China Town. Evening trips might include First Friday, when old city galleries open late and street performers abound, or a visit to Penn’s campus for a party. Most freshmen spend at least one Saturday night wandering South Street.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. It's the City of Brotherly Love.
  2. The nation's first capital was located here.
  3. It's the home of the cheesesteak, the soft pretzel, and water ice.
  4. Three of the most famous movies set here: Rocky, Philadelphia, and The Philadelphia Story.
  5. Philadelphia's city hall, set on 4 city blocks, is the largest municipal building in the U.S.
Notable Natives
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Boyz II Men
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Bill Cosby
  • Eve
  • Kevin Eubanks
  • Richard Gere
  • Ben Franklin
  • Allen Iverson
  • Grace Kelly
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Margaret Meade
  • Frank Rizzo
  • Will Smith
Local Slang
  • The Church: A cheap venue to see and hear great music in Philly (See Nightlife)
  • School-kill punch: Wooder from the Schuylkill River
  • Scrapple: A pork dish popular in Eastern PA
  • Wooder: Philadelphian for water
Points of Interest
  • Amish Country
  • The Barnes Foundation
  • City Hall
  • The Franklin
  • The Free Library
  • Historical Philly
  • Newbury Street
  • Penn’s Landing
  • Philadelphia Art Museum
  • The Rodin Museum
  • South Street
  • Valley Forge
  • Wissahickon Park
  • The Zoo
Shopping Centers
  • Center City Mall
  • King of Prussia
  • Suburban Square
Movie Theaters
Bryn Mawr Film Institute
824 W Lancaster Ave.
Bryn Mawr
(610) 527-9898
Movie Theaters
Clearview Cinemas
109 W Lancaster Ave.
(610) 225-0980
Movie Theaters
Imax Theatres
300 Goddard Blvd.
King of Prussia
(610) 265-4629
Major Sports Teams
  • Philadelphia 76ers: basketball
  • Philadelphia Eagles: football
  • Philadelphia Flyers: hockey
  • Philadelphia Phillies: baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
New York City: NY: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 17 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 23 responses

  • 4% Painfully remote.
  • 35% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 39% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 4% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 17% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 23 responses

  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 9% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 91% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 22 responses

  • 41% No way.
  • 32% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 27% Totally.


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