Local Atmosphere

Cambridge, MA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Cambridge is a wonderful place to go to school in. There are tons of options for food and shopping, as well as different events year-round like the Head of the Charles. Plus, Boston is a short T ride away for when you want to venture out of the "bubble."

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Cambridge is a great college town, and if you ever aren't satisfied then Boston is about 10 minutes away.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: You get the calm nature of the yard if you need it, or just the little bit busier Cambridge, or you can go into Boston. Three different atmospheres five minutes from each other.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Anything I could every want or need can be found in Cambridge, and Boston is only a subway stop or a short taxi ride away. There are 80 colleges in Boston, so its definitely a college city. Safe and fun!

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The cost of living is high and parking is scarce, but it is a great area to live in.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Dominic Hood
New Orleans, La.
View all previous student authors

As the quintessential college area, Cambridge (along with Boston) provides Harvard undergraduates with a variety of outlets for their creative, cultural, and social needs. Students laud the art museums and theatricals found throughout the city. Those less culturally inclined find that Boston's four major sports teams make the city a haven for sports nuts. For the social animals in all college students, Boston serves as a venue for a number of clubs and bars. Night owls—beware of the 2 a.m. closing time at all bars.

In addition to the excitement and variety of activities of Cambridge and Boston, Harvard undergraduates have the opportunity to socialize with college-age students from the numerous universities surrounding the city. Most students find nothing wrong with the local atmosphere, but all of Boston's vivacity does come at a price. And most students will find it at the cash register because the city does tend to carry a slightly hefty cost of living.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Boston boasts the nation's first subway, built in 1897.
  2. Boston is home to 50 schools within 50 square miles.
  3. Founded in 1630, Boston is the country's oldest major city.
Notable Natives
  • Matt Damon – actor
  • Benjamin Franklin – signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Robert Frost – poet
  • John F. Kennedy – 35th President of the United States
Local Slang
  • Frappe: A milkshake
  • Wicked: Colloquial adjective used to mean "very"
  • Yankees: Refers to the New York Yankees; Bostonians exhibit a venomous hatred for anything involving this team.
Points of Interest
  • Boston Common
  • Faneuil Hall
  • Fenway Park
  • Quincy Market
Shopping Centers
  • Cambridgeside Galleria
  • Newbury Street
Movie Theaters
Loews Boston Common
75 Tremont St.
(617) 423-5801
Movie Theaters
Loews Harvard Square
10 Church St.
(617) 864-4581
Major Sports Teams
  • Boston Bruins: NHL
  • Boston Celtics: NBA
  • Boston Red Sox: MLB
  • New England Patriots: NFL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • New York City: : 4 hours
  • Providence, R.I.: : 1 hour

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 38 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 38 responses

  • 5% Painfully remote.
  • 16% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 16% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 63% 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 38 responses

  • 5% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 18% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 76% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 37 responses

  • 19% No way.
  • 46% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 35% Totally.



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