Living here

Our students live in Washington, D.C. or in the immediate area of College Park, Maryland. The region — which we share with Georgetown, George Washington, Gallaudet, and Johns Hopkins Universities, among others — offers exceptional resources for linguists. It is home to speakers of countless languages from around the world, and home base to many national research agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. It also provides the vibrant life of a major metropolitan area.

Washington, D.C.

The University of Maryland is located just outside of Washington D.C., four miles from the northeastern border and nine from the National Mall. Some of our students and faculty live downtown and commute by Metro (subway) to the College Park Green Line station, a ride of only 15-20 minutes. Popular neighborhoods near the Green Line include Petworth, Columbia Heights, Mt Pleasant, U Street and Adams Morgan.

The capital city provides a rich cultural life, with the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra and the National Opera, alongside many casual venues for theater and popular music. At the heart of it are the several world-class (but free!) museums of the Smithsonian Institution, including the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Museum of American History.

Nearby outdoor activities include the National Mall (satellite), the National Zoo, hiking at Great Falls National Park, or biking in Rock Creek Park, and slightly further away the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Washington is one of only seven U.S. cities to host five major league sports teams: the Redskins (football), the Wizards (basketball), the Nationals (baseball), the Capitals (hockey), and DC United (soccer).

The College Park area

The University of Maryland is located in College Park, a close suburb of Washington DC. Many graduate students choose to live in College Park or in nearby areas such as Hyattsville, Greenbelt, Takoma Park, or Silver Spring. Many areas close to the university are served by the ShuttleUM bus service, which covers many popular routes and is free to students.

The City of College Park is primarily a college town, but it is increasingly attracting a diverse and highly educated population, due to nearby centers such as the National Archives at College Park, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and the new headquarters of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and due to the many expanding cultural, sporting and recreational activities available in and around the University of Maryland.

Cultural and sporting activities in College Park are dominated by the University of Maryland. The university's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center hosts an expansive program of theatrical, musical, and dance productions by nationally renowned performers (discounted tickets for students). Thanks to its proximity to Washington DC, the university regularly hosts events involving prominent national political and cultural figures, which in recent years has included such figures as Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, and Barack Obama. Maryland's sports teams in football, men's and women's basketball, soccer and lacrosse are hugely popular, and on game days the 18,000 seat Comcast Center or 55,000 seat Byrd Stadium are filled to capacity. The Campus Recreation Center houses outstanding facilities for competitive and recreational sports, including world-class swimming facilities (venue for multiple world record swims). The University of Maryland even has an on-campus 18-hole golf course.

Recreational opportunities in and around the town include an extensive network of biking and running trails, Lake Artemesia, ice skating, duckpin and ten-pin bowling, and the superb AFI Silver Theater in nearby Silver Spring. College Park also is home to the College Park Aviation Museum, which focuses on the early days of aviation when College Park Airport, now the oldest continuously operated airport in the world, was an important flight center.

From the spring through the fall, there are several nearby farmers markets that sell local produce: on campus on Wednesdays; in Riverdale on Thursdays; in Silver Spring and College Park on Saturdays; and in Greenbelt, Takoma Park, and again College Park on Sundays.

Retail in College Park has long been overshadowed by nearby centers such as Washington DC, Silver Spring, and Bethesda. But College Park and the surrounding area are beginning a dramatic transformation. Several new developments are transforming the area, with the addition of new graduate housing, restaurants, retail, a 4-star hotel and upscale supermarkets. Other substantial urban renewal projects are underway in nearby towns, especially within the thriving Arts District Hyattsville initiative just to the south of College Park.

Guide to eating in College Park

The Mid-Atlantic region

College Park is 45 minutes from Baltimore and Annapolis, two hours from Philadelphia, PA to the north or Richmond, VA to the south, three hours from the Delaware beaches to the east or Shenandoah National Park to the west, and four hours from New York City (just a cheap bus ride away). Our location makes it easy for students to attend conferences and workshops at universities all along the East Coast.