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Living in Boston

American pop culture enthusiasts might think they know all about life in Boston — the city makes many an appearance in TV programs. But living in Boston is not all about St. Patrick’s Day, the Stanley Cup, or the distinctive New England accent. Our article on this bustling city has all the key information for expats.
Discovering Boston's past will be a treat for those with a soft spot for history.
  • There are countless leisure activities in Boston and especially sports buff won’t get bored since Boston has teams in four of the country’s major sports leagues.
  • Boston has one of the most extensive public transportations systems in the country. No matter if you live in the center or in the metropolitan region, you will be well connected to the city center.
  • Boston is one of the larger medical research centers in the country. With over thirty medical institutions and specialized facilities, your health will be in good hands.
  • Education for your children will be no problem in Boston. The city is home to an excellent public school system as well as some prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT.
 

According to recent news reports, people from various countries, including those with a valid visa and residence permit, have encountered difficulties when entering the United States. Unfortunately, the full extent of those issues seems to be unclear. Before you decide to move or travel there, or leave the country temporarily if already living in the USA, please consult a US embassy and an immigration lawyer if you fear you might be affected.

 

If you were to believe the image portrayed by countless TV shows, living in Boston is an experience entirely influenced by the “Old Country”, Ireland. While there may be a kernel of truth to this — the number of people with Irish heritage is quite high in Boston and many other parts of Massachusetts and New England — the city’s many facets can hardly fit into one single category. Just like most other big cities in the United States, the influences of a multitude of ethnicities and cultures coming together will make your stay in Boston a fascinating one.

Sports and Historic Walks: Activities in Boston

If you are a sports buff with particular interest in North American team sports, life in Boston will have your eyes gleaming with childlike joy. The city is home to highly successful teams in all four of the country’s major sports leagues. You needn’t worry, though, if you root for teams other than the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, or Red Sox; your favorite team will come to town and play the locals sooner or later. Furthermore, Boston has earned an excellent reputation among music lovers of almost any genre.

If you have a soft spot for history, you’ll be able to fill many afternoons and weekends exploring what living in Boston used to be like and which historical events took place in and around the city. Anyone up for a nice walk through the city should follow the Freedom Trail, a walking tour along a red brick path taking you to 16 important historical sites from the time of the American Revolution, including many in the city’s National Historical Park.

Are you interested in discovering other noteworthy cities in the US, or are you looking for relaxation or excitement in the great outdoors? Read up on tourist attractions and national parks in the US for tips on where to spend your next vacation.

Academic Strength: Education in Boston

As we allude to throughout our various articles on the city, education is one of the biggest assets for expats interested in living in Boston. Boston and neighboring Cambridge are home to more than 250,000 students attending the area’s many universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher education.

Boston’s academic strength does not only rely on higher education, though. Children living in Boston, expat kids included, have the luxury of attending the oldest and one of the most successful public school systems in the entire country. The standards of education are on par with other developed nations. If your children get high grades in school and pass their SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) with an above-average score, they should have a chance to be admitted to colleges or universities almost anywhere in the world.

If, however, you decide against enrolling your child in a public school, there are other options available. The city is home to various international schools of different backgrounds, including French and German, offering bilingual classes. Some also offer the more or less globally accepted International Baccalaureate diploma, which would specifically prepare your child for studying outside the USA.

Your children's education should be one of your main priorities at home and abroad. Read up on public and international schools in the US to get a better understanding of the local school system.

Staying Safe in Boston

Boston is generally quite safe for a city of its size. Being confronted with crime in some way or fashion is naturally hard to avoid in big metropolitan areas, even if simply in the local news. But if you adhere to the usual safety measures for large cities, expat life in Boston should be pleasantly uneventful in this respect.

You might have heard stereotypes about Boston being a violent city, but as with most others, those are quite exaggerated, and if you stay clear of certain neighborhoods, or don’t wander around alone by night, you needn’t worry while living in Boston.

For further information on crime and safety in the US, please refer to our detailed guide on the topic.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Guillaume De Faloix

"Everyone told me I had to attend an InterNations event here in Boston. I finally did, and from then, I didn't miss a single one."

Raquel Santos

"Friendly Ambassadors, various local scouts, great events - InterNations is one big happy family of expats here in Boston."

Expat Magazine