Local Atmosphere

New York, NY
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Coming from a very small town, New York City is nearly too much to ask for. The subway connects you to every attraction in the city but there is never a shortage of events on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It's nice and people are generally polite and friendly.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Local atmosphere of medical campus/Washington Heights neighborhood is not ideal. There is a lack of shopping and nice restaurants which have been dominated by the local population. It is dirty and dangerous in parts.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Living in Manhattan is the best. Morningside Heights might not be the best neighborhood for outings but everything you could ever need is just a subway ride away!

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Columbia university is located in NYC thus the lifestyle is amazing

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sara Cervantes
Austin, TX
English and American Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

One of the biggest draws of Columbia University is definitely its location in New York City. The city has something for everyone, as long as you're willing to look. This is often an issue for students, as they get so comfortable in the "Columbia Bubble" that they forget to venture outside of Morningside Heights. While the area immediately surrounding campus does have its fair share of bars, restaurants, and cafés, there is so much more to be explored a subway ride away.

While the city does house several colleges, it is nowhere near a "college town," and most residents could care less that you are a student (hey, it's New York after all). Living in New York requires a certain comfort level with independence, as it is easy to feel lost in such a huge city amongst so many people. Rather than letting this scare you, students should embrace the freedom of the city, and go out and explore it. If you like art, go explore the Museum Mile or galleries in Chelsea. If music is your thing, check out dingy venues downtown or in Brooklyn. If you miss the outdoors, go frolic in Central Park for a few hours on a spring day. There's a place for everyone in New York, and you'll find yours if you actively seek it.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. George Washington was sworn in to the presidency in New York City. Back then, it was the capital of the United States of America.
  2. New York City used to be called New Amsterdam.
  3. New York City has 722 miles of subway track.
  4. The New York Post was founded in 1803 by Alexander Hamilton and is the oldest newspaper in the United States.
  5. Two of its many nicknames are "The Big Apple" and "The City that Never Sleeps."
Notable Natives
  • Woody Allen - writer, actor, director
  • Humphrey Bogart - actor
  • Jimmy Fallon - comedian, late-night talk show host
  • Lady Gaga - pop star
  • Jay-Z - rapper, entrepreneur
  • Theodore Roosevelt - 26th President of the United States
  • Barbra Streisand - actress, singer
Local Slang
  • SoHo, Nolita, TriBeCa, DUMBO: Many neighborhoods have abbreviated names which many New Yorkers use either in speech or writing. The names above are South of Houston Street, North of Little Italy, Triangle Below Canal Street, and Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Now you see why we need abbreviations!
  • Train: The subway is referred to as a "train" by New Yorkers.
Points of Interest
  • Broadway
  • Central Park
  • Harlem
  • SoHo
  • Times Square
  • Wall Street
Shopping Centers
  • Lincoln Center
  • Macy's on 34th Street
  • SoHo
Movie Theaters
AMC Loews Village 7
66 Third Ave.
New York
(888) 262-4386
Movie Theaters
AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9
2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
(888) 262-4386
Movie Theaters
IFC Center
323 Sixth Ave.
Greenwich Village
(212) 924-7771
Movie Theaters
Landmark Sunshine Cinema
143 E. Houston St.
Lower East Side
(212) 260-7289
Movie Theaters
Loews Lincoln Square 13
1998 Broadway
New York
(212) 336-5020
Major Sports Teams
  • New York Giants: NFL
  • New York Islanders: NHL
  • New York Jets: NFL
  • New York Knicks: NBA
  • New York Mets: MLB
  • New York Rangers: NHL
  • New York Yankees: MLB
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Philadelphia: : 2 hours
  • Washington, D.C.: : 3 hours, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 60 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 61 responses

  • 2% Painfully remote.
  • 0% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 0% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 98% 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 60 responses

  • 5% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 38% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 57% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 60 responses

  • 5% No way.
  • 43% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 52% Totally.



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