Local Atmosphere

Buffalo, NY
Tuition (in-state)
$16,190 ($5,570)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: UB always has some kind of event going on and if it's not something you are interested in, there are plenty of activities to do off campus.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The location of the campus makes it difficult to fully experience everything Buffalo has to offer.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The location is in a suburban area where the majority of activities in close proximity are only shopping and dining.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There are things to do when you leave south campus but north campus is sort of its own world. There are mall and market buses that take you to Wegmans and the mall and thats nice because you can escape to where ever you please.

2 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: the weather is awful but the people are nice


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Christina Reisenauer
Amherst, N.Y.
View all previous student authors

Depending on the student, “Buffalo” means one of three very different parts of town. There’s Amherst, a bland, pancake-flat, upper-middle-class suburb where North Campus is itself isolated by rings of fields and highways. There’s the Heights, a vibrant area around South Campus chock-full of bars and shops where students pack into big brick houses and bursting bungalows. And there’s the rest of Buffalo, equal parts decaying industrial city and friendly, liberal college town, where many students party, study, and make their homes.

Most students are immediately bored by Amherst. It is peaceful, safe, and even verdant in the fall—before winter comes and dirty piles of plowed snow line its highways. But after a few months, students realize that there’s not much to do other than run on the bike path, or drive to Duff’s and Wegmans. The Heights has a completely different atmosphere—it’s the peanut butter sundae to Amherst’s vanilla soft-serve. There are bars, diners, ethnic restaurants, stores, and coffee shops. At night, you can walk from parties to bars. But the extent to which students enjoy UB often depends on how well they get to know the “real” Buffalo. From South Campus, the city stretches west to the Niagara River and south to Lake Erie. It’s a shabby, friendly, yet surprisingly sophisticated town. Buffalo has a dynamic arts community, excellent museums, a fine orchestra, and the beloved Bills and Sabres, whose games most students go to see at least once. With the bars open until 4 a.m. and Canada’s side of Niagara Falls just miles away, many students find Buffalo’s atmosphere to be its best quality.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Buffalo has one of the nation's most vibrant art scenes. Albright-Knox Art Gallery boasts one of the best collections of modern art in the world, including major paintings and sculptures by artists from Picasso to Warhol. American Style magazine has consistently ranked Buffalo among the top 10 American cities for the arts.
  2. Many of the most important American architects, including Stanford White, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen, Gordon Bunshaft, and Max Abramovitz, have major buildings in Buffalo.
  3. At its heart, Buffalo is an industrial city. The first concrete grain elevator was built along the Buffalo River, and the first supersonic aircraft was built at the Curtiss-Wright factory on Elmwood Avenue. Today, because of its proximity to Canada, Buffalo is ranked among the United States' 10 most important cities for international commerce.
  4. While Buffalo has suffered through many epic blizzards, including a week-long storm in 2001 that dumped 12 feet of snow on the city, the average annual snowfall is lower than Rochester and Syracuse. Buffalo has a higher percentage of summer sunshine than any Northeast city.
  5. Niagara Falls, one of the world's most popular tourist destinations and a favorite nightlife destination for UB students, is located within the Buffalo metropolitan area-about 30 minutes from campus.
Notable Natives
  • Harold Arlen - Broadway composer
  • Lucille Ball - actress
  • Wolf Blitzer - CNN anchor
  • Samuel Clemens - author also known as Mark Twain
  • Grover Cleveland - former president of the United States
  • Ani DiFranco - recording artist
  • Millard Fillmore - former president of the United States
  • Rick James - funk singer
  • Milton Rogovin - famous photographer
  • Mark Russell - political satirist
  • Tim Russert - former host of "Meet the Press"
  • Johnny Rzeznik - lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls
  • Warren Spahn - Hall of Fame pitcher
  • Martha Stewart - former host of "Martha Stewart Living"
  • Grover Washington Jr. - jazz composer
Local Slang
  • The _____ (insert expressway name): Many locals to insert "the" before the name of an expressway; instead of saying "take I-90 and get off at Rt. 33 east" it's often "take the I-90 and get off at the 33 east."
  • Blue: Labatt Blue
  • Dere/Dah/Dat: "There," "the," and "that" in the famous Buffalo accent, much like the Chicago accent in the old "Da Bears" skit on Saturday Night Live
  • Genny: Genesee beer
  • GST: Goods and services tax, charged on items bought in Canada
  • The Heights: The run-down but well-loved student neighborhood around South Campus
  • The Main Line: What locals call Interstate 90 (the New York State Thruway) as it passes through town
  • The Northtowns: The northern suburbs, including Amherst, where North Campus is located
  • Pop: What Buffalo residents call soda (and New York City natives find themselves using grudgingly after four years at UB)
  • The Queen City: Buffalo's most popular nickname, which has a double meaning because of the city's close-knit and visible gay community
  • The Southtowns: The southern suburbs and small towns, including Orchard Park (where the Bills play) and Ellicottville (where the ski resorts are)
  • Weck: A kimmelweck roll, on which Buffalo's famous hot roast beef sandwiches are served
  • You'se: What old people around Buffalo say instead of "you" (as in "You'se college kids over dere better keep dat racket down!")
Points of Interest
  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Buffalo Historical Society
  • Buffalo Zoo
  • Casino Niagara
  • Darwin D. Martin House
  • Elmwood Village
  • Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center
  • HSBC Arena
  • Kleinhans Music Hall
  • Niagara Falls
  • Our Lady of Victory Basilica
  • Ralph Wilson Stadium
  • Shea’s Performing Arts Center
  • Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site at the Wilcox Mansion
Shopping Centers
  • Boulevard Mall
  • Walden Galleria
Movie Theaters
Dipson Amherst Theater
3500 Main St.
University Heights
(716) 834-7655
Movie Theaters
Maple Ridge 8
4276 Maple Rd.
(716) 833-9545
Movie Theaters
North Park Theater
1428 Hertel Ave.
(716) 836-7411
Movie Theaters
Transit Center Stadium 18
6707 Transit Rd.
(716) 633-8918
Major Sports Teams
  • Buffalo Bills: football
  • Buffalo Bisons: minor league baseball
  • Buffalo Sabres: hockey
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Boston: MA: 7 hours
  • New York City: NY: 7 hours
  • Niagara Falls: NY: 30 minutes
  • Toronto: ON: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 99 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 100 responses

  • 3% Painfully remote.
  • 35% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 4% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 21% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 37% 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 99 responses

  • 7% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 45% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 47% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 100 responses

  • 21% No way.
  • 60% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 19% Totally.



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