Living in Boston

The ISSO is here to help make your transition to Boston easier and more enjoyable. You’ll find information on daily life in Boston, including medical care and insurance, directions to campus and transportation, housing, banking, and schools and daycare for children.

You are also encouraged to review our detailed guidelines for applying for a visa, initial check-in requirements, and other recommendations for a successful entry into the United States.

About Boston

The capital of Massachusetts and the largest city in New England, Boston has a population of about five million. This includes a student population of 250,000, representing more than 50 colleges and universities. Students here hail from all areas of the United States and around the world. At BU alone we have students from over 130 countries.

Things to Do

When you study, teach, or do research in the Boston metropolitan area, you are immersed in one of the great intellectual and innovation hubs of the United States. Boston is a lively and diverse city, and we encourage you to explore its unique pastimes, culture, and nightlife.

Living in Boston will give you an excellent opportunity to experience one of the oldest cities in the United States, and to get a first-hand glimpse of American history. Many of the most important events of the American Revolution and the founding of this country took place in or around Boston, and historical monuments and museums can be found throughout the city.

Boston is definitely a “college city,” and you will find events, restaurants, clubs, museums, and sporting activities to suit every interest and taste. Check out these resources and enjoy everything Boston has to offer:

  • The Boston Globe calendar, which is online and part of every Thursday’s print edition, lists performances and activities in the Boston area for the week.
  • Ticketmaster lists musical/theater performances and sporting events in the area. You can check dates and purchase tickets online.
  • Bostix, located at Faneuil Hall or Copley Square in Boston, offers half-price tickets to many events on the day of performance.
  • For additional information about the city of Boston, check out these websites:

Weather in Boston

The weather in New England can be unpredictable and change quickly, but we have four seasons with distinct weather conditions.

Fall Winter Spring Summer
About Also known as autumn, fall in New England is famous for the landscape of bright reds, oranges, and yellows as the leaves change color. Often very cold and windy, with snow and ice. Milder around April; days become longer and flowers bloom. Frequent rainfall and strong winds are common. Can be very hot and humid, especially in the middle of the season.
Apparel Light jackets, scarves, sweaters; switching to hats and heavier jackets later in the season Heavy coats, all-weather boots, scarves, gloves, and hats Coats, sweaters, hats, and scarves early in the season; lighter apparel and rain gear as temperatures warm up Lightweight clothing and sun protection
Months Mid-September–late November December–late March late March–mid June Mid-June–mid-September
Average Temp. 46–60°F (8–15°C) 0–37°F (-17–3°C) 38–60°F (3–15°C) 60–95°F (15–35°C)