America is a large place, and getting around the country may seem like a challenge, especially for international
students. Whether you are living on or off campus, in a city or suburb, you are going to need to be able to get
around easily and efficiently. You will probably not want to buy a car just for your time in the States, so you’ll
want to learn about the many public transportation options available to you for getting around in your new country.
Depending on where you attend school, you may find a variety of public transportation systems. These options
- Trains and Subways
A bicycle can be a great way to get around your campus and your local area. Whether your campus is based in the
middle of a city or in the suburbs, a bike is relatively inexpensive, and it’s a good way to get some exercise.
Whenever riding your bike, always take care to observe the law of the road, and always wear a helmet. It is now a
law in some states that helmets must be worn. As with any personal property, take care to lock your bike up when you
are not using it. Most college campuses provide a bike rack for that purpose outside of many buildings on campus. A
good lock does not usually cost very much, and it’s a small price to pay for the security of your bike.
If you are living in a city, the bus system will likely be pretty extensive, as with most of the public
transportation systems in large urban areas. However, if you live in the suburbs, buses will not run as often and
you may have to find alternative methods to get around. On longer routes, Greyhound runs an extensive bus system
across the USA which is an inexpensive way to travel, but it can take a long time to get from one place to another.
Most city bus systems now offer smartphone apps that allow you to keep track of when your next bus is coming, which
can be extremely useful.
Taxis can be extremely expensive for students, and are good for longer journeys that are either too far for
walking or by bicycle, or there is no bus or subway system where you want to go. Always remember to check
your driver has a valid ID card which should be displayed (if not ask to see it) and make sure the meter is
running. Never enter a taxi where the driver has asked for a set fee!
A less expensive alternative to taxis is ridesharing services such as Uber. With these services, you can
enter your location and your destination in an app on your phone, and a driver will pick you up and deliver
you to your destination for a much lower fee than a taxi would require.
Trains and Subways
Subways will be found in most major cities in the USA, such as New York,