Life in Boston
As much as you need to discern your program of study, you also will discern whether the move to Boston is the right one for you. The greater Boston area is vibrant, historic, and home to almost a million people. Unlike some college campuses that are tucked into their own private enclave, BU sits right in the middle of Boston’s urban bustle. In fact, the nation’s oldest transit system runs right down the spine of our 1.3-mile campus, and the historic Charles River flows by our side. We like the energy. We like the variety. We like the diversity. We like being part of the greatest college town in the United States. Come to think of it, “like” doesn’t cut it. We love Boston, and bet that you will, too.
- Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium: Having the BTI as a resource makes Boston the best area of the country to study religion. It is a 50-year-old consortium that brings together nine religiously-diverse theological schools in the greater Boston area to provide their students access to all the others. Cross-registration is a free resource of the BTI that allows students at one school (such as BU) to choose from 500+ courses, 400+ professors, and 4 million+ library books from all 9 schools. Add to this access to free public lectures, certificate programs, and retreats, and the 2200 students of the BTI enjoy more resources for their education than any one institution could offer alone.
- Weather: Yes, when people think of Boston they often think of the weather – specifically the snowy winters. But Boston experiences all four seasons, each with its own charm. The redbud trees along the Charles River promise that spring is near, our summers are warm and full of free cultural events, and fall is all about colorful leaves, apple picking, and historic Halloween celebrations in neighboring Salem, MA. And while the northeastern winters can seem intimidating to an outsider, BU students know the fun, promise, and excitement a snow day can bring. If generations of students from all over the country and world have made Boston their home for a time, surely you can enjoy it, as well.
- Marathon Monday: Massachusetts celebrates Patriot’s Day each year in mid-to-late April, which is marked with the annual running of the Boston Marathon. The course ends in nearby Copley Square and mile 25 is right here in BU’s backyard of Kenmore Square. BU does not hold classes that day, and it becomes an annual tradition for students to cheer on world-class athletes and charity runners alike on the famed course.
- Boston’s parks: The Common, the Emerald Necklace, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Blue Hills Reservation, Jamaica Pond, and nearby Walden Pond in Concord, MA are excellent scenic routes meticulously maintained by public services. As much as Boston is an urban environment, it is easy to find yourself escaping the hustle in these locations.
- Museums: All BU students receive either free admission or discounted admission to all Boston-area museums. Don’t miss the Museum of Science, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (the site of the most famous art heist in history!), the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute for Contemporary Art.
- Restaurants: How about a French pastry for breakfast, Thai for lunch, and Ethiopian for dinner? Since the city itself draws on so many international cultures, our food options do, as well. The world-famous North End Italian neighborhood boasts street after street of delicious Italian cuisine and quaint coffee shops. The Langham Hotel downtown offers a weekly chocolate buffet (yes, almost everything is chocolate) that has to be experienced at least once. And many local restaurants offer the local favorite, authentic New England Clam “chowdah.”
- Theater: Walk Boston’s Theater District and you’ll see what a rich resource for live theater we enjoy here. Boston’s 12 major venues offer access to the best new plays and touring companies in the nation. Boston is often a “testing ground” for Broadway, so you’ll have access to new shows while they’re still affordable! While on-campus venues, like the Booth theater, bring students access to shows in their own neighborhood. Check out ArtsBoston for information about current shows and venues.
- Music: Music lovers will already know the brilliance of Boston’s Symphony Hall, home of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras. Both offer student rush tickets, which make seeing a concert in this historic space possible on almost any given night. But Boston’s music scene doesn’t stop there. Live music venues big and small dot the city, bringing everyone from up-and-coming indie bands to all the major artists to town regularly. If you play, many venues offer open mic nights, as well.
- Sports Culture: Whether you love our Boston-area teams or love to hate them, there’s no denying that Boston is a sports-friendly town. Fenway park is in our backyard. And for those who like to play sports, consider joining one of BU’s many intramural teams. Or you can always work out with your student membership to FitRec, our campus Fitness and Recreation Center that boasts an 18,000-square-foot weight and cardio room, a 1/7 mile indoor running track, a climbing wall, a Pro Shop, racquetball and squash courts, two swimming pools, and a lazy river.
BU Today, the online campus newspaper, offers a series of video introductions to several of the unique neighborhoods around Boston where our students live, work, and enjoy life in this urban environment.