Local Atmosphere

Providence, RI
Admission Difficulty
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2 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The locals seem to generally dislike the students and often prey on their obliviousness. However, the local transportation is easily maneuverable and the dining, nightlife, and shopping is good.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The city of Providence is a great city for college students due to the great nightlife and proximity to other school campuses.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: We live right near the downtown area where there is a mall, near "Thayer St" which is a strip of shops and restaurant on Brown campus which is a short drive away. Also, federal hill which houses over 20 gourmet authentic Italian restaurants. Also, PC is surrounded by RIC, Johnson & Wales, and Brown, with Boston College only approximately a 45 min drive away.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The local atmosphere is almost always vibrant. There are always things to do whether you drink or not. There are bars, clubs, and restaurants in walking distance and a quick and free bus ride will take you downtown to the Providence Place Mall. There are many things to do downtown including watching Friars basketball games.

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3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Providence is a great city with plenty to offer. The mall is always a fun place to go, or if you're hungry there's Federal Hill, where you can find great Italian food. The Providence Bruins play a five minute drive away at the Dunkin Donuts Center, if you're a hockey fan. In the late summer and fall there is also Waterfire, where the Providence River is all lit up nicely. It sounds dumb, but it is very pretty and relaxing. Everyone should try to make it there once. PC offers transportation to many of these places, but if not there is a city bus stop on campus. That being said, the local area in which PC is situated is a little sketchy... it's recommended that students do not leave campus alone, which sort of limits the possibilities in a sense.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Amanda Mathieu
Groton, CT
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Pop! You have stepped off Huxley Avenue, popping the “PC Bubble.” The small, private, Catholic campus is precariously encircled by poverty-stricken North Providence. While the area directly surrounding campus is one that anyone with presence of mind avoids, PC is minutes away from downtown Providence. The heart of this cleaner, smaller version of Boston is home to numerous hot spots for college students. The Providence Place Mall is five floors of carpeted consumer bliss, and it houses such eateries as the Cheesecake Factory, Joe’s American Bar and Grille, Napa Valley, Uno’s, and Fire and Ice. An eclectic mix of shops and restaurants can be found on Thayer Street, near Brown University. With numerous entertainment venues from the Providence Performing Arts Center to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence has something for everyone.

Providence College has all the benefits of a small, close-knit school in an urban setting. For students who don't enjoy the drinking scene, there are countless options to keep you busy around town. Walking places is not the best idea in the vicinity of the school, which can be unsafe, but biking, cabs, the PC Shuttle, and free RIPTA buses are always an option. Overall, Providence is a city irradiating a vivacity and youthfulness that can only be attributed to the several nearby colleges and universities.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Providence has more coffee and doughnut shops per capita than any other city in the country.
  2. The Rhode Island State House was depicted as the U.S. Capitol building in the movie Amistad. The city was also utilized in There's Something About Mary, Outside Providence, and NBC's TV show, Providence.
  3. A state referendum exempts artists living in Downcity (downtown) from state income taxes.
  4. The Dunkin' Donuts Center (the Dunk) is an indoor sports and entertainment venue that seats 14,500 people and is home to PC's men's basketball team, as well as the Providence Bruins.
  5. The plans drawn up by the architects of the State House originally called for a female figure to sit atop the dome. The Independence Man now residing there is 11 feet tall and stands 278 feet off the ground.
Notable Natives
  • George M. Cohan - America's first acting superstar
  • Nelson Eddy - actor, singer
  • Bobby Hackett - jazz artist
  • Ruth Hussey - actress
  • Galway Kinnell - poet
  • H.P. Lovecraft - fiction writer
Local Slang
  • Bubbler: What a Providence native calls a water fountain
  • Cab'nit: Milkshake
  • Downcity: Downtown Providence
  • ProJo: The Providence Journal
  • Soggie: Hot dog
  • Sub: A hot sandwich known elsewhere as a hero
  • Wicked: An adjective used instead of the word "very"
Points of Interest
  • Federal Hill
  • Fleet Skating Center
  • Providence Place Mall
  • The RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Museum
  • Roger Williams Park Botanical Gardens
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Thayer Street
  • WaterFire
Shopping Centers
  • Providence Place Mall
  • Thayer Street
  • White City Shopping Center
Movie Theaters
Avon Cinema
260 Thayer St.
(401) 421-3315
Movie Theaters
Providence Place Cinemas 16 & IMAX
10 Providence Pl.
(401) 270-4646
Major Sports Teams
  • Boston Bruins: hockey
  • Boston Red Sox: baseball
  • New England Patriots: football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Boston: MA: 1 hour
  • New York City: NY: 3 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 39 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

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 32% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 3% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 11% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 55% 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

  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 45% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 55% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 38 responses

  • 29% No way.
  • 53% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 18% Totally.


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