Local Atmosphere

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4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Downtown Philadelphia is only a train ride away, and once you're in Philly there is an abundance of culture and activities to partake in.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The mainline is great, because there are a lot of great restaurants and shops for students, such as in Suburban Square in Ardmore.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: We're about 20 minutes away from Philadelphia, so it's easy to go to the city for different events or just to go out.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Local can sometimes not enjoy the college student but for the most time the students are welcomed.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Nova is located in suburban Philadelphia right on the main line. It's a very safe, very wealthy area. It is also very, very boring. It's a 20 minute train to center city Philadelphia though which is nice.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Margaret Rigas
Lancaster, PA
View all previous student authors

Although Philadelphia is a good time for any college student—whether you like to party on the weekends or grab a cup of coffee and tour various art museums—as an underclassman, you are often restricted to areas closer to the campus. The surrounding towns vary in how they treat college students, but none represent a true college atmosphere. But don’t let that stop you from having a good time. For a few bucks and a short train ride, you can land yourself almost anywhere in the greater Philly area. Your best bet would be South Street, dubbed by many as the “hippest street in America,” as it is a wealth of entertainment and Philly culture. Whether you’re up for a night of clubbing, savoring Philly’s cheesesteak rivals, or feasting on Jamaican jerky, South Street has endless opportunities for students restricted to mass transit.

If the bustle of city life is not your thing, Villanova’s suburban communities also have a good deal to offer. Almost every town up and down the Mainline has a quaint small-town feel, with higher-end stores and restaurants. The closer you get to the city, the more likely you are to get a bigger bang for your buck. Since there is so much to do, it is difficult for students without cars to rely on mass transit to tap into all the activities out there.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Philly has a long and interesting past. Founded in 1682, the city brims with its own history, culture, and atmosphere distinct to Philadelphia. As the birthplace of American democracy, Philly boasts Independence Hall, where patriots signed both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
  2. With nearly 50 major universities and colleges in and around Philly, you never get tired of seeing the same old people, and the rivalries are for more than school pride.
  3. Philadelphia's silver screen hero, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), trained and filmed in South Philly's Italian neighborhood and hit the bags in North Philly's Blue Horizon Boxing Club. Other movies filmed here are The Sixth Sense, Fallen, Twelve Monkeys, Trading Spaces, and Blow Out to name a few.
  4. Every New Year's Day, native Philadelphians celebrate Mummermania, something resembling Mardi Gras without the excuse of Lent. Having survived medieval folklore, court orders, and strict Puritan regulations, it still is celebrated in its entire historic splendor without much change from decades ago. A must see if you are in the city.
  5. The modern Uilleann, a traditional Irish instrument that is in the same family as the bagpipe, was ironically not developed in Ireland, but rather Philadelphia.
Notable Natives
  • Edmund Bacon
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Bill Cosby
  • Brian de Palma
  • Tinay Fey (Upper Darby, Pa.)
  • W.C. Fields
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Grace Kelly
  • Jack Kelly
  • M. Night Shyamalan
  • Will Smith
Local Slang
  • Blue Route: I-476
  • The Mainline: Lancaster Avenue, which can take you directly in and out of the city
  • Whiz-wit: Requesting Cheese-Whiz with onions on your Philly cheesesteak
  • Whiz-witout: Requesting Cheese-Whiz without onions on your Philly cheesesteak
  • Yo: A greeting like hello, rumored to have been popularized after the filming of Rocky
Points of Interest
  • Constitution Center
  • Independence Hall
  • Independence Square
  • Liberty Bell
  • Longwood Gardens
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Valley Forge
  • Winterthur Museum
Shopping Centers
  • King of Prussia Mall
  • Marketplace East
  • Rittenhouse Square
  • South Street
  • Suburban Square
Movie Theaters
Bryn Mawr
824 Lancaster Ave.
Bryn Mawr
(610) 520-7373
Movie Theaters
Clearview's Anthony Wayne
109 W. Lancaster Ave.
(610) 225-0980
Movie Theaters
UA King of Prussia Stadium 16
300 Goddard Blvd.
King of Prussia
(800) 326-3264
Major Sports Teams
  • Philadelphia 76ers: basketball
  • Philadelphia Eagles: football
  • Philadelphia Flyers: hockey
  • Philadelphia Phillies: baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • New York City: NY: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Philadelphia: PA: 25 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 63 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.
  • 30% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 26% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 18% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 25% 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 61 responses

  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 36% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 64% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 61 responses

  • 18% No way.
  • 56% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 26% Totally.



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