If you’re looking at colleges in the Boston area, you’re in good company. Home to more than 50 colleges and 249,000 students, Boston is truly America’s College Town. However, visiting area schools can be daunting and requires some advance planning.
- Consider what type of college interests you. A big university or small college? A self-contained campus or urban environment? A world-renowned science program or top-notch music school? Boston offers all of the above! Before you visit, check out a few colleges in your area to get a feel for what type of environment you like. You’ll be able to narrow your focus when you visit Boston and won’t waste time visiting schools that aren’t a good fit.
- Plan around peak tourist events. This may be a big city, but there are certain times of the year when finding Boston area accommodations can be challenging and cost-prohibitive. Avoid visiting during the Boston Marathon (mid-April), college graduations (mid-May), fall foliage season and the Head of the Charles regatta (mid-October).
- Leave the car at home. One of the best things about visiting and living in the Boston area is its great public transportation system. On the flipside, traffic and navigating through the city can be a nightmare for out-of-towners. Try to plan your visit without driving everywhere and book accommodations in a central location. Stay in a vacation rental apartment in Back Bay or Cambridge and take the “T” to the campuses you’re visiting.
- Plan for changing weather. As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute. This is especially true in the spring and fall. It can be 50 degrees one day in April and 80 degrees the next, so plan accordingly.
- Talk to as many people as you can. Seek out students on campus for directions and ask lots of questions. Every student you talk to will have a different experience and different perspective to share. Try staying at a bed and breakfast or small inn near one of the campuses you’re visiting. Your hosts can offer a wealth of insider information and give you a sense of what it’s like to live in this great city!