Local Area

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Local Area


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3 College Sophomore

Local Area: The campus is surrounded by many close by museums, so there are a lot of cultural events to go to. However, a lot of students choose not to participate in these, so attending such events is usually something that doesn't integrate well back into your school life. The campus itself is pretty safe, but the surrounding area can be dangerous. The food is very diverse, as Philadelphia sports Korean, Vietnamese, Arab, Indian, and Chinese neighborhoods and more.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Area: Everything closes super early, like latest 11 pm.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: I feel very safe on campus and the surrounding scenery is magnificent. There are many stores and places to eat within walking distance. The traffic can be kind of loud outside my dorms at times, but that's really the only negative thing I can think of.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Area: Philadelphia is an amazing city. The people are unique and there is always something to do (concerts, art, etc.).

5 College Sophomore

Local Area: Philadelphia is an awesome city. Although many Penn students don't venture out enough, the city is an amazing resource, with things happening all the time. A deeply historic city with a deep tradition in arts and a burgeoning modern living movement, there's always something for everyone, should students bother to venture off campus (which also happens to have tons going on).

3 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Students at Penn love Philadelphia. Most wanted to study at an urban college for the excitement and opportunity one can provide, and their wishes are more than fulfilled at Penn's West Philly location. Center City, with its streets full of restaurants, theaters, and other hot spots, is a short walk away, and the historical richness of Old City is just a hop, skip, jump, and a cab ride from the heart of Penn's campus. Speaking of campus, unlike most urban schools, Penn actually has one, which allows students to relax, play sports, toss a ball, ride a bike, or catch some sun on the grassy expanses of college green or the many courtyards around the dorms.

Unique, vibrant, and artsy, the city of Philadelphia has absolutely everything a student could want. Music, food, sports, and more universities than Boston, as well as sections of the city which retain their friendly neighborhood feel, set Philly apart as a diverse and exciting place to go to school. On a given weekend, a Penn student could easily take a walk along Walnut Street, spend some time at the zoo, browse one of over 100 art museums, enjoy a meal at one of Philadelphia's excellent restaurants, and then spend some time at trendy South Street's many shops. While Philadelphia offers all of this and more, it lacks the crowded jostle of New York, providing a comfortable college setting for even those students without any previous urban experience.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Philadelphia is a city of firsts. The city is home to the first insane asylum, the first electronic computer (ENIAC developed at Penn), America's first university (yes, Penn itself), and the U.S.'s first zoo.
  2. The stairs that Rocky Balboa climbs victoriously in the first Rocky movie are none other than those which lead to the main entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  3. King of Prussia Mall, located in a suburb right outside of Philly is the East Coast's largest mall and the second-largest in the country, dwarfed only by The Mall of America.
  4. Philly's official nickname is "The City of Brotherly Love" because it was perhaps the first city in the world to tolerate all religions. Penn's mascot, the Quaker, was picked in homage to Billy Penn himself to reflect this aspect of Philly's history.
  5. Philadelphia boasts over 100 art museums, many of which can be found along the Ben Franklin Parkway, designed to mimic the Champs-Elysees. The Rodin Museum houses the second-largest collection of the artist's sculptures in the world (Paris is the only city with larger) and the Academy of Natural Sciences holds dinosaur remains, a live butterfly house, and much more
Notable Natives
  • Marian Anderson
  • Donald Bartholomew
  • John Barrymore
  • Ed Bacon
  • Boyz II Men
  • Alexander Calder
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Bill Cosby
  • Stuart Davis
  • Walter E. Diemer
  • Oliver Evans
  • W.C. Fields
  • Henry George
  • Grace Kelly
  • Patti Labelle
  • Mario Lanz
  • Tara Lipinski
  • George McClellan
  • Margaret Mead
  • Cecil B. Moore
  • Man Ray
  • Betsy Ross
  • Will Smith
  • The Three Stooges
Local Slang
  • Hoagie: Commonly known as a sub or a hero
  • Wawa: Found in Philly and south New Jersey, this is basically a 7-Eleven where you can get a 'fresh' sandwich 24 hours a day.
  • Wiz-with: The proper way to order a cheesesteak with cheese-wiz and onions. (For no onions simply say "Wiz-without." See? It's easy!)
Points of Interest
  • Old City
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Rittenhouse Square
  • South Street
Shopping Centers
  • The Bellevue
  • Cherry Hill Mall
  • The Gallery at Market East
  • King of Prussia Mall
  • The Shops at Liberty Place
Movie Theaters
The Bridge: Cinema de Lux
230 S. 40th Street
(215) 386-3300
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
  • Washington: D.C.: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 66 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 68 responses

  • 88% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 4% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 1% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 6% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 68 responses

  • 60% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 37% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 3% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 67 responses

  • 30% Totally.
  • 54% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 16% No way.



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