Adjusting to College Life in a Big City
New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are some of the largest cities in the United States and home to some of the country’s top universities. Attending college in a bustling, busy city is an exciting opportunity to learn and grow while immersing yourself in a new culture, but there will be unique challenges that may take some time to get used to. However, college in a big city is a great chance to get to know your likes and dislikes before you decide where your life will take you. These tips will help you make the most of out of spending your college years in a large city.
Live Like a Local
No matter what city your university is in, there will be many opportunities to live like a local. Skip the Starbucks and find a local coffee shop that makes you feel at home. Research local eateries and other locations where you can get a feel for the city. Volunteering with local non-profits is a great way to get more comfortable and make new connections in your new home. Spending your spare time in the vibrant communities that surround city universities can open your eyes to a new side of your city.
Be a Tourist
If you are living in a large American city, you live where other people vacation. Whether it’s visiting the Empire State Building in New York City or taking a tour of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., acting like a tourist in the city can be a fun way to see your home in a new way. Viator is an excellent resource for finding tours and activities in large cities. Take the time to learn about the history of your city and the United States by taking tours, such as a Revolutionary War Tour if you are attending school in Boston. Understanding the past and present of your new home can help you decide if you want to be part of its future after graduation.
Learn to Navigate
Living in a large city means you will be sharing space will millions of other people, so you’ll need to learn your way around quickly. Learning to navigate local public transportation can save you time and money. Some cities offer free bus lines, but you may also want to buy a metro or subway pass to get from one side of your city to the other efficiently. When class is over, grab a friend and take the time to explore different areas of the city that you aren’t as familiar with. This is a great way to get acclimated, and you may stumble upon your new favorite spot in the city.
Make a Budget that Works for You
Living in a big city can often be more expensive than attending school in a small town, which can be difficult on a college budget. The cost of living in some American cities can seem overwhelming at first, but creating a budget that works for you can help avoid financial stress. It is helpful to slow down and space out expensive outings to fit within your budget. Also, avoiding large purchases can help save money for exciting adventures or nights out with friends. If your apartment is unfurnished, furniture rental allows you to save money, move with ease and change your style as you go.
Getting comfortable in a new place can take time, but these tips can help make attending a university in a large city feel like the perfect fit.
by Yu Wu and CORT
Get matched to the best program for you
Let us know what you're looking for so we can find the best school for you.
Check Out These Schools
Portland Community College
Typical cost per Year: $5,000—$10,000
Kent State University
Typical cost per Semester: $15,000—$20,000
Hillsborough Community College
Typical cost per Year: $10,000 — $15,000
Start your U.S. adventure with Study in the USA
Learn About U.S. education financing, housing, and more
Study-USA Healthcare can give you the certainty of protection in an...
Get international student medical insurance for as low as $1.12 USD per day. Our plans are available to any student studying outside their home country and include coverage for Covid-19. Get your free quote and enroll today!
There’s a business school for everyone. Meet yours at a free upcoming...
Ready to make your MBA dreams a reality? Register now for a virtual or in-person event with The MBA Tour! Don’t miss your chance to speak directly with leading business schools, such as Harvard University, Boston University, Columbia University, UC...
Explore the American Dream with the ‘My Deals’ app from Student Advantage - save on car rentals, hotel rooms, and everyday essentials!
I will be attending Stony Brook University this fall. I'm very excited to get started.
I regularly find information regarding the best university for me and which is available on StudyUSA.com
Study in the USA's Instagram introduced various colleges in the USA. They interviewed actual students on there, so it was helpful to know the real-life of an American college student.
Learn about American culture and education direct from our experts at Study in the USA. Read more