Local Atmosphere

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5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Boston is a fantastic college city. There are concerts, clubs, restaurants, and tons of college students to mingle with.

5 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Cambridge and Boston are vibrant college areas, with tons of students. That being the case, there are always parties everywhere. If you're not a partier, there's plenty of stuff to do around Boston, especially museums and things related to American History (e.g. the Freedom Trail). Aside from that, the Boston area is extremely diverse and you will find food and cultural events of all kinds. I've lived in Boston essentially all my life and I feel that people are very used to all the students around the city.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Cambridge, MA is a charming college town in a great area.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Boston is a great city, it's not horribly big and you can walk around and have fun.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Cambridge's pretty safe and student-friendly neighborhood.
It is also pretty easy to get to interesting places as well. Boston is a city where you can actually get around without a car, if you are familiar with the local transit. MIT students frequent Back Bay just across the river and Central Square&Harvard Square to the North as well.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sun Kim
Duluth, GA
Mechanical Engineering
View all previous student authors

MIT is in Cambridge, about a 10-minute walk from Boston. In fact, a large percentage of students actually live in Boston in the various MIT-sponsored FSILGs (Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups). Boston is the perfect college town, and sandwiched between Harvard and Boston University, MIT is in the hub of the ultimate college city. With so many high-quality schools in the area, Boston is a city that is driven by young, hip, and ambitious students. And because of the thousands of college students wandering the streets, many Boston businesses cater to this population. Concerts, clubs, restaurants, and malls are everywhere. One of the great things about Boston is that nearly all big music names will make a stop here while they’re on tour. Also, be sure to check out some of the local bands—they can be incredible.

In addition, public transportation is fairly reliable and convenient, but if you’re feeling cheap, you can walk wherever you want to go. Boston is small relative to places like New York City, and walking is an integral part of life here. And every now and then, you may see some famous people walking around or hanging out on Newbury Street and Boylston Street. Don’t forget to go see some of the landmarks, walk the Freedom Trail, and go to a Red Sox game in Fenway Park. Going to college in Boston is an experience unlike any other. Unfortunately, some students at MIT get so wrapped up in their schoolwork that the only problem with living in Boston is finding the time to enjoy it.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. There are "boat-cars" touring the city at all hours of the day called the Boston Duck Tours. If you make eye contact with the travelers atop this vehicle and shout, "Quack!" they will turn to you and simultaneously reply, "Quack, Quack!"
  2. Boston is home to the nation's first public park (Boston Common, 1640), the first public library (1653), and the first subway (1897).
  3. The Longfellow Bridge is the only place in the nation where a plane can fly over a car, traveling over a train, going over a boat (or submarine or hovercraft, etc.).
  4. Blue Man Group originated here. Student rush tickets cost only $25 and can be picked up an hour before the show.
  5. Kurt Vonnegut wrote the majority of his autobiography, Slapstick, set just outside of the Boston Public Gardens, where he grew up.
Notable Natives
  • Aerosmith (all band members)
  • Ben Affleck
  • Matt Damon
  • Conan O'Brien
  • Mark Wahlberg
Local Slang
Drop your R's-they have no business in this city. For way more than you ever wanted to know about Boston slang, visit the Wicked Good Guide to Boston English at www.boston-online.com/glossary.html.:
Points of Interest
  • Boston Common
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Fenway Park
  • Freedom Trail and related Historical Boston sites
  • MIT Museum
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Museum of Science
  • Public Gardens
  • TD Banknorth Garden
Shopping Centers
  • Cambridge Galleria
  • Newbury Street
  • Prudential Center
  • South Shore Plaza in Braintree
Movie Theaters
AMC Fenway 13
401 Park Drive Ste. 7
(617) 424-6266
Movie Theaters
Copley Theatre
100 Huntington Ave.
(617) 266-1300
Movie Theaters
Kendall Square Cinema
1 Kendall Square
(617) 494-9800
Movie Theaters
Loews Boston Commons
175 Tremont St.
(617) 423-3499
Major Sports Teams
  • Boston Bruins: hockey
  • Boston Celtics: basketball
  • Boston Red Sox: baseball
  • New England Patriots: football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
New York City: NY: 4 hours
Did You Know?
John Steinbeck's famous novel, The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is makes a good point: "'Everybody says words different,' said Ivy. 'Arkansas folks says 'em different, and Oklahomy folks says 'em different. And we seen a lady from Massachusetts, an' she said 'em different of all. Couldn't hardly make out what she was sayin'!'"

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 22 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.
  • 0% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 13% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 83% 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.
  • 13% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 87% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

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

  • 0% No way.
  • 55% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 45% Totally.


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