The College Student’s Guide to Boston

Young college student standing outside on campus grounds.

Boston may be one of the oldest cities in the US but it is one of the best places for young people.

Home to some of the top-ranked universities in the world, Boston is home to over a total of 150 thousand of the brightest young minds in the world.  Together, they have made Boston a youthful city with a thriving culture, tons of great opportunities to learn and grow, and make friends in a stunning historic city.

If you’re thinking about attending university in Boston (or are the parents of a student), here’s what you need to know about Boston for students.

Get A Top Tier Education

Boston is home to world-renowned universities, including two of the highest-rated universities in the world. Here are the top colleges in Boston to consider.

Boston University (BU)

Educating around 35,000 students, BU is known for its strong research programs along with programs in communication, business, and health sciences. BU also has a world-class study abroad program.

Boston College (BC)

Educating around 15,000 students, BC is a Jesuit Catholic university known for its strong liberal arts, theology, and philosophy programs. BC is also known for its athletic programs, especially football and men’s basketball.

Gascon Hall at the Boston College Campus
Gascon Hall at the Boston College Campus

Harvard University

Educating around 31,000 students, Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and is known for its outstanding academic programs in a wide range of fields, including law, medicine, business, and the arts and humanities.

Wellesley College

Educating just 2,500 students, Wellesley is a highly selective women’s liberal arts college that is known for its strong academic programs and its commitment to women’s education. Wellesley is particularly well-known for its programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Educating around 12,000 students, MIT is the highest-rated technology research university in the world. MIT is known for its exceptional programs in science, engineering, computer science, and physics.

Tufts University

Educating around 11,000 students, Tufts is known for its strong programs in medicine, dental medicine, and veterinary medicine. Tufts is also well-known for its programs in international relations, political science, and international business.

Northeastern University

Educating nearly 30,000 students, Northeastern is known for its co-op program, which provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world work experience while they are still in school.

Beyond universities, Boston also is home to excellent community colleges, trade and tech schools, and vocational programs.

Getting Around Boston Is A Breeze

One of the best parts about living in Boston is that it is an easy city to get around. It is an extremely walkable city and there are bike paths and bike-sharing services like Bluebikes all over the city.

Commuter train tracks in Boston.

If you need to go further than your feet will take you, there are also plenty of public transportation options including:

  • The “T”: Boston has an extensive subway system known as the “T.” The T has four subway lines that run through different parts of the city, and it is a convenient and affordable way to get around Boston.
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA): MBTA operates an extensive bus network throughout Boston and the surrounding suburbs. Bus routes cover most areas of the city and are a good option for those traveling to neighborhoods not served by the subway.
  • Commuter Rail: The commuter rail system provides service between Boston and surrounding suburbs and towns. It is a good option for those who live outside the city and need to commute to work or school.
  • Ferries: Boston has a ferry system that connects the city to nearby islands and waterfront destinations, such as the Boston Harbor Islands and Salem.

As with any larger city, there are also taxis, rideshares, and other more novel forms of personal transportation like PediCab and Boston Rickshaw.

Boston Housing Options For Students

With so many universities, Boston has a wide variety of student housing options.

Most Boston universities have typical student housing options like dorms, fraternity houses, and sorority houses. These tend to be best for freshmen and sophomores to help them navigate independence.

For juniors, seniors, and graduate students, Boston also has tons of off-campus housing options in popular neighborhoods like Allston, Brighton, Fenway, and Mission Hill. There are also sublets, homestays, and co-living spaces to consider.

Do a little research to see what is best for you. Also, talk with your college and university about their housing resources and support services available to assist your housing search.

20 Fun Things College Students Love To Do In Boston

Once you’ve moved in, you’ll need to find some fun ways to spend your time. Here are just some of the amazing experiences you can have in this vibrant city:

  1. Catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park
  2. Attend a music festival like Boston Calling or Levitate Music & Arts Festival
  3. Visit the Museum of Science and explore its hands-on exhibits and planetarium
  4. Go to the top of the Prudential Center for a panoramic view of the city
  5. Walk the Freedom Trail and learn about America’s early history

    Metal marker on the sidewalk for the Freedom Trail in Boston.
    The Freedom Trail in Boston
  6. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts and see its impressive art collection
  7. Take a Duck Tour, a land and water tour that takes you around Boston
  8. Go to a rooftop bar, such as Lookout Rooftop and Bar or Yotel Boston Sky Lounge
  9. Go on a whale-watching tour in Boston Harbor or visit the New England Aquarium and see marine life up close on land
  10. Visit the MIT Flea Market and find unique and interesting items to decorate your space
  11. Attend a comedy show at ImprovBoston or Laugh Boston
  12.  Take a cooking class at the Boston Center for Adult Education
  13.  Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the Charles River
  14.  Take a tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery and taste some local beer
  15.  Go on a ghost tour of the city’s haunted sites
  16.  Attend a live theater performance, such as those at the Huntington Theatre Company or the American Repertory Theater
  17.  Walk around the Boston Public Garden and see the famous Swan Boats
  18.  Go on a pub crawl in the city’s lively neighborhoods, such as Fenway or Allston
  19.  Explore the trendy South End neighborhood and its restaurants and shops
  20.  Check out the street art in Central Square, Cambridge

No matter if you like sports, outdoor activities, or arts and culture, there’s no better city than Boston for students.

If you’re moving to Boston for college, EZ Storage is here to help with all your college storage needs. Make sure to check out our blog Packing for College from Out of State to help you plan a smooth move and grab a coupon for student storage to help save money on storing your extra belongings while in school or over summer break.