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Old 01-12-2011, 08:31 AM
Location: UK
2 posts, read 2,599 times
Reputation: 10


Hey guys, my names suzanne ( well suzie) and i'm planning on coming over to boston in september this year for a semester international exchange at umass boston university. I'm 19, will be 20 by then and this will be the first time i've ever left home for more than a couple of weeks!

I'm really excited, i've always wanted to visit the states but it's just never happened yet and I hope to move out there once i finish uni here. I'll be coming from scotland so i'm sure my accent will be mocked lol but that doesn't bother me.

Ok, so i've tried doing some reasearch and as i have no idea about anything in boston i need some help! Where is the best neighbourhood to look for accommodation? I love to socialise and meet new people and really want to integrate with americans rather than stick with other people on the exchange program, so somewhere thats got alot of young adults would be perfect. Also heard that you have to be 21+ to get into clubs over there?

Any other info you make think i need to know before coming down would be appreciated also, thanks guys
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:56 PM
5,757 posts, read 13,323,224 times
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Hi Suzie. Well, your accent is not likely to be mocked. You might get some friendly needling, but if that happens, it's likely to be all in good fun. In fact, Americans tend to be charmed by foreign accents, so your accent is likely to be a plus for you.

Now, on to areas where you might want to live. Partly this depends on whether you want to not only socialize with other students around your age but also live in an area where undergraduate students would be living all around you. These areas can get noisy at times, but also have lots of people your age, and local nightlife that caters to the undergrad student population, so you would not have far to go for your social life. You'd just have to step out your door, and your social life would be all around you.

If this description appeals to you, the first area I'd suggest that you check out would be the Fenway/Kenmore Square area. This is a big area of students located on the edge of the central city, so from that area there's easy access to student nightlife as well as cultural attractions, shopping, and all the various amenities Boston offers.

The next area to check out would be Allston and Brighton in the blocks near Commonwealth Ave., and around Cleveland Circle in Brighton. Lots of students live in these areas, so this is another area where you'd find opportunities for a social life right in your neighborhood. I'm ranking this area below the Fenway neighborhood because Brighton and Allston are a bit out beyond the central city, so it's a longer trip from there to other attractions besides the student social scene. It would also be a longer commute to the UMass Boston campus from Allston and Brighton than the commute from Fenway/Kenmore.

The neighborhoods in Brookline of Coolidge Corner, Brookline Village, and streets in the far north corner of Brookline off of Longwood Ave. are the areas I'd rank third for someone who would prefer to live close to or right in the middle of the student social scene. These areas are very close to the student neighborhoods around Kenmore/Fenway, and fairly close to the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods with large student populations, but these neighborhoods in Brookline themselves have more of a mix of undergrad students, graduate students, and non-students (families, single professionals, etc.). Brookline is an affluent town, and the local shopping and dining is more upscale, with small shops and little neighborhood eateries being more typical than any kind of serious nightlife. These Brookline neighborhoods are fairly close to some areas with large student populations, but in Brookline you would not be surrounded by the student social scene right in your neighborhood.

If you still want nightlife, and would like to be able to find some people your age to socialize with, but would prefer not to be surrounded by noisy undergrads, try Cambridge. Around Harvard Square, Central Square, or Porter Square you'll find a mix of students, professors, single professionals, families, basically all sorts of people with students included in the mix, and you'll find some small dance clubs, local small shops, and a variety of ethnic restaurants. These areas also provide convenient access to the UMass Boston campus, because they are located directly on the same subway line as the campus. From the areas I've suggested earlier, you'd have to do one transfer to reach UMass.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:36 AM
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
2,050 posts, read 3,461,317 times
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Ogre provided you and other would be exchange students with some valuable info...

Would UMass-Boston be able to help foreign students arriving for just one semester in finding lodging? Not sure if it's common, but perhaps worth asking. Looking for a sublet apt. -- or prefer to do the roommate thing?

Yes, 21 has been the drinking age since maybe the early 80s? It was 18 when I arrived in '78 but wasted on me as I've never been a big drinker.

Some clubs occasionally have an 18 plus night where you can enjoy a band w/o drinking.

I could be wrong, but we don't seem to encounter too many UK students in Boston...
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:05 AM
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To note when you are referring to school say UMass Boston.
Boston University is a different school and it's totally different.

I think you'll find the trains to be ok. There's a fair amount of museums to go to. I'd recommend the middle east in cambridge as it can simply be a 18+ show area. There's a paper called Boston Phoenix that highlights a fair amount of the nightlife. if you google some of the tv stations you can get a feeling for it. wbztv wcvb whdh. biggest papers are the boston globe and the hearald.

If you ever miss things are home go to a large supermarket (usually stop and shop) and look for the international area. There's usually a uk and a ireland section. It is pretty expensive though. Sometimes bbc is on local stations but only late at night.

It could be worth it to take a train to providence to see waterfire. It is these bon fires set on water that happens monthly.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:21 AM
5,680 posts, read 5,012,024 times
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Originally Posted by SuzieJacuzzi View Post

Also heard that you have to be 21+ to get into clubs over there?

Just to clarify, you have to be 21 to go to any bar, pub, or club; or to have a drink in a restaurant or to buy alcohol in a store. In general, places are strict about this because the legal ramifications for serving minors are harsh.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:13 PM
Location: UK
2 posts, read 2,599 times
Reputation: 10
thanks for all the info, really appreciate it!

I think my uni alongside umass help suggesting accomodation but i'm not entirely sure yet, will be finding out next month. Just thought to do some of my own research before hand.

And thanks mdovell, i would have probably mixed both names thinkin its the same place!

Also, on the clubbing issue, just because its 18+ over here, im not a big drinker was mainly on the night out but i'm sure there will be things on.

Does anyone here go to umass? Any advice or info on the uni?
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:05 AM
5,757 posts, read 13,323,224 times
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UMass Boston is a commuter school which has no dorms. I'm assuming they have student organizations related to various interests, but because it's a commuter school there won't be as much life on campus outside of the classroom as there is at resident colleges and universities. This means that you'll most likely especially want to live in a neighborhood where you'll have good access to some social life. I don't know a lot about UMass Boston academically, what it's strong fields are or anything like that.

Regarding social life, yes, there will be plenty to do for someone under 21. I'm not really familiar with the best nightspots for people around the age of 18, and a lot of this will also depend on what you enjoy doing, but you should find plenty to do for fun.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:14 AM
158 posts, read 455,878 times
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The flagship of UMass is in Amherst. I like UMass. I graduated from UMass Amherst. I'm sure they have great programs at Boston, but like the other poster stated, it is a commuter school.

They recently added some dorms, but its not a "campus college". I dont want to be negative, but just give you the low down in case you're expecting something its not. It doesnt really have its own campus scene because people come in from the city to go to class and go back into the city. The location is pretty, but its not in the heart of the city. Its on a little peninsula just south of south of South Boston and east of Dorchester.
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