Getting to explore a new city can be one of the most exciting parts of going to school outside your hometown. From bars and clubs to tourist hotspots and historic landmarks, you'll want to see everything and your term at school should give you lots of time to do it. But whether you're making like a tourist for the afternoon or on a mission to find something, you should keep in mind these few simple rules for exploring a new place. They'll help you have the maximum amount of run with the minimum amount of danger.
1. Know Which Areas to Avoid
Identifying the danger spots of your new home is the first thing you should do before heading off with your friends to look for a decent place to play hockey. Some small towns may not have "bad sides" but the bigger the city the bigger the problems. There are many sections of larger cities where you will not see kids out at night playing, as it's just not safe. Use the internet and your school's resources to find out where you should and shouldn't go at night and in the daytime so you don't accidentally wander down the wrong alley and have a bad experience.
2. Always Carry a Map
Whether it's the Google Maps app on your iPhone or a good old fashioned paper road map, make sure you can always find your way home. Winding streets and dead ends seem to be a trade mark, so to avoid wandering around the confusing depths of some suburb for hours looking for your apartment, keep your map in your purse or backpack. If you can read it properly, any intersection or landmark can be used to find your location relative to where you need to be.
3. Make a List of Places to Go
While wandering around can have its charms, if you've only got a few hours before class a surgical strike in to see a famous landmark is more likely to be fun than a random walk, where your time is limited and you may not see anything at all. Whether it's a museum or a mall or a famous celebrity's wedding facility , you'll be able to find it's location and admission fees online or in a guide book if you want to go. Making a list also helps you make sure you haven't forgotten to visit any places you wanted to see before you have to move back home again.
4. Get the Real City Experience
Tourist attractions are fun and memorable, but expensive. If you're worried the $40 entry fees to major museums or attractions are going to create a need for you to visit a bankruptcy lawyer, fear not. The measure of a city is not so much in its tourist attractions but in its quality of life for its citizens. Ask around among local students to find out which parks, restaurants, markets, libraries, boardwalks, and public buildings real city residents like to visit and go there. Not only will it give you insight into the real life of the city, but it's also usually much cheaper!