For the final Qs&As, the Admissions Graduate Assistants will turn to locations — on-campus and off-campus, for study, housing, or simply learning about the area. Don’t miss their previous advice on preparing for Fletcher generally and preparing for Orientation and classes.
What is your favorite place at Fletcher or elsewhere on the Tufts campus?
Brooklyn: Ginn Library has a no-food policy, which I wholeheartedly endorse because nothing is worse than trying to read for class with someone crunching in your ear. However, there are times when I get really busy and it would be great to be able to do some work while I eat. This is where the Mugar Computer Lab comes in! Obviously, if you’re going to eat a whole meal, you might as well go to the café, but for snacking while reading, Mugar Computer Lab is the place to go.
Cece: My favorite place on campus is the roof area of the Tisch Library, called “Alex’s Place.” It offers a gorgeous view of the Boston skyline and the Medford/Somerville neighborhoods since Tufts sits on top of a hill. It makes a great reading spot or just a place to take a calming break from the library below.
Cindy: To be honest, I spend pretty much all of my time in or around the Fletcher building, but I don’t have a particular favorite place. I guess I’d say my favorite is anywhere I’m hanging out with friends. There is, however, a restaurant on the Tufts campus called Semolina Kitchen and Bar which has excellent food!
John: Hall of Flags during Social Hours — free food and great company — what could be better?
Do you have any tips for finding housing?
Cece: Fletcher Facebook pages and the Social List, Fletcher’s informal student listserv, are a good place to start a housing hunt if you are looking for places around Fletcher. Alums, current students, and incoming students all post housing-related messages all the way up to mid-August, so don’t panic if you are not successful early on. I would also say that living close to Fletcher is not the only housing option. Many students live in other parts of Medford or even in neighboring cities like Cambridge. The options are wide, based on what logistical arrangements you are comfortable with. I live 25 minutes away from campus but I took the distance as an opportunity to get back to cycling and it has worked out. Do keep the winter weather in mind as well — the cold and snow can complicate long commutes.
Cindy: I am in an unusual situation compared to most Fletcher students: I am married and have a dog and guinea pig. Roommates were not the best option for us to keep our rent costs down. I would highly recommend taking a trip to visit the area and search for housing on your own, or connect with other students on the Facebook group. If you cannot visit, get in touch with current Fletcher students who have used trusted realtors, and maybe they can help you find a place. Keep in mind that realtors typically charge fees.
John: The Social List and the Facebook group are both great resources for incoming students, but more important than the search medium is that you really think about what you want out of your housing in terms of price, roommates, and proximity to campus. There are a lot of options that come online throughout the summer so you can afford to be a little picky, but I would also recommend being open to new experiences that may be different from your ideal housing situation.
Brooklyn: Coming from Washington, DC, I had gotten used to looking for housing closer to the move-in date, probably 30 to 45 days out. In the greater Boston area, this is not how things work! Because something like 90% of leases in the metro area start September 1, people will start looking for housing as early as March/April. While you don’t need to start that early, the earlier you can start looking the better!
What location in the Boston area should students be sure to visit?
John: Beacon Hill is a cool historic district in downtown Boston. It’s very close to other noteworthy spots, including the Massachusetts State House, the Boston Common, and Newbury Street. Chinatown is a nice change of pace; there are some great restaurants and it’s a fun way to see a different side of Boston. I also really enjoy Harpoon Brewery in the Seaport District. Be sure to order one of their famed pretzels while you’re enjoying a beer!
Cindy: I love to sing, so I would recommend going to any of the karaoke bars in downtown Boston with your friends. There are also some excellent local breweries if you’re into trying interesting beers, such as Slumbrew and Aeronaut.
Cece: The Boston waterfront (while the warm weather lasts) or any neighborhood near the Charles River is where Boston feels complete to me. I love that this city has a great balance of urban and nature. If you don’t feel like going as far as downtown Boston, you’ll find a lot to explore in Medford, Somerville, and Cambridge, all of which have their own vibe and charms. Anybody new to Boston should definitely go on the Freedom Trail as well, to learn about the rich history of this city.