Small Town/Metropolitan Access by Christoph Straub
Coming from Europe, the beginning of my graduate education also marked my first visit to the U.S. Of course, academic education was my first and most important goal, but I was equally curious how life outside the lab would be, in a small city of which I never heard the name before coming here.
It turned out to become a positive experience. New Haven offers all the preferences of a small but urban place to live. It has short ways for commuting, pedestrian - and bike - friendly environment and the relaxed atmosphere of a place where chances of randomly meeting the same person more than once are high. Costs of living are comparably moderate, and due to short distances it is possible to live in a rather "green" area but still reach destinations quickly. The free Yale shuttle service provides easy mobility. And despite the small size of New Haven, it harbors a great variety of dinning possibilities, theatres, cinemas, concerts, bars and other cultural amenities.
Being located between Boston and New York, living in New Haven also offers easy access to both cities, with train and bus connections that make day (or "evening-only") trips feasible. And it is exactly this combination of easy small-town living and metropolitan access that makes my stay abroad such a positive experience.