Part of what makes Northeastern different
is that it is a completely urban campus
, which is unique for a private
college. On one side of heavily-traffic
ked Huntington Ave
are the administrative and academic buildings, and on the other side (at least until recently) are all the residence halls
. The E segment of the Green Line
of the T
comes out of the subway
and out onto the street
right in front of the campus' main quad
This adds to the harshness of an NU tenure. Every time you walk from your dorm to class, you have to dodge four lanes of dangerous Boston Traffic and two train tracks potentially carrying public transit juggernauts.
Also, much like the rest of Boston, there is hardly any parking at NU. At least four of the ever-crowded campus parking lots to date have been ditched in order to build either a new residence hall, or a nice big patch of greenery (part of a recent initiative to try to get people standing on the campus to forget certain things, such as the fact that they are less than 500 yards from Boston's notorious Roxbury section). This adds to the commuter conundrum. If you live off campus, it either needs to be in an expensive (thanks to the elimination of rent control) condo in one of the redbricks near the campus, or very close to the subway lines.
Add to this the fact that NU is not the least bit shy about its corporate connections or its industrial focus, and all these little things that seem different about NU -- such as their historic co-op program, the corporate significance and industrial focus, and distinctly urban setting -- all tie together to make a university that is, for better or worse, about as real-world an education as you can get.