City Introduction

It is hard to know what to expect from a new city as travel guides tend to highlight typical tourist attractions and the media often plays up stereotypes. Check out these city descriptions to get a better idea about what some of America’s most famous cities are actually like.

City Overview Education # of Students Cost Climate
Philadelphia, PA A centerpiece of American history, this quaint city offers diverse communities, culture, the arts, and one of the largest college towns in the United States. Community College of Philadelphia | Drexel University | Holy Family University | La Salle University | University of Pennsylvania 91,900 Low* Humid subtropical climate, summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Snowfall varies in the winter, ranging from moderate snow to significant snowstorms.
* We have determined whether a city is low, medium, or high cost based on comparisons to other cities in the U.S. The cost of living depends upon several cost factors such as housing or apartment rental, auto insurance, health insurance, state taxes, food, utilities, etc. Please visit the Best Places website to compare cities where you are interested in applying to schools.
Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is known as the “city of brotherly love” because it is one of the friendliest cities in the country. The city is also a center piece of American history, as it is home to the Declaration of Independence, the American flag, and a multitude of other historical landmarks. Although quaint in comparison to its neighbor, New York, this city offers diverse communities, culture, and the arts. Despite its size, Philadelphia has one of the largest college towns in the United States and has the second largest concentration of students on the East Coast.

There are several universities located in West Philadelphia, including the University of Pennsylvania, Community College of Philadelphia, and Drexel University. The students and faculty have a large presence in this small city, creating a separation between the slums (West Philadelphia isn’t the safest neighborhood) and student population. The University of Pennsylvania is known for its intense, competitive, and focused students. However this university is also the “ivy league party school”. Fraternities, sororities, athletics, and clubs have a large presence. In addition,
Philadelphia University is located at the edge of Fairmount Park in a residential neighborhood, just 15 minutes from the city center. Nine percent of the students are international and the university is committed to the recruitment and assimilation of students from foreign countries. In addition over 50 percent of the students live on-campus and 25% live very nearby creating a great sense of community especially for foreign students nervous about meeting friends.

There is also a number of great universities right outside of city. If you can handle the “workaholic air” of Princeton, located in New Jersey you will receive one of the best educations in the nation. Seventy percent of the students from Princeton also live on campus. In addition there are over 600 university-owned units near campus. The close-knit residential communities help to form relationships with your peers and professors. The social scene at Princeton is mostly centered around room parties, the bars on Prospect Ave, and eating clubs. Eating clubs is something unique to Princeton. The eating clubs are large mansions that feed the upper classman during the day and host parties at night which often include Djs, bands, and theme parties.

Although Pennsylvania is small, it does not lack in a variety of things to do. You can find Caribbean, Mexican, Indian, Asian, and America restaurants all situated next door to one another. Of course no description of Philadelphia food would be complete without mentioning the Cheesesteaks: a long bun filled with strips of steak and melted cheese. The city has professional basketball, football, baseball, and even cricket teams. Besides, if you get bored, America’s greatest city is right next door. New York City may seem a bit intimidating at first but once you get used to it you can’t help but fall in love. The best aspect of the city is the people. Students and residence of Philadelphia are constantly described as friendly. This makes the city welcoming destinations for foreigners. Philadelphia is a great environment for learning, exploring, and getting a real sense of American history and culture.

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