While 80% of HBS students live on campus, many choose to live in the surrounding areas of Boston and Cambridge. Cameron Farkas and Joe Kiernan are two such students – and would have it no other way. Here’s what they enjoy the most about their off campus living setup.
Where do you live and how did you make that decision?
Cameron: I live off campus between Harvard and Central Squares, and am incredibly happy with my decision. I am originally from Cambridge and was working in Boston prior to HBS. Knowing the area I had a good sense of which neighborhoods to live in and I also really valued being walking distance to restaurants, convenience stores, and public transportation. I also decided to live with my partner while at HBS and he works downtown. This decision allowed us both to have reasonable commutes and enjoy the privacy of having our own place.
Joe: Off Campus! With a significant other commuting into Boston, off campus was a great compromise. Also we have much more space!
What parts of the city do students living off campus tend to live?
Cameron: Most students living off campus tend to be between Harvard Square and Central Square. Within that space most students can walk to campus in ~10mins. Several students do live in the Back Bay in Boston as well.
Joe: The vast majority of students who live off campus have apartments either right across the Western Ave bridge (halfway between HBS and Central Square) or in Harvard Square. Occasionally students will live in downtown Boston or some of the other suburbs and commute in.
Do you feel like you’re missing out on things that are happening on campus?
Cameron: Many career talks and team meetings happen on campus. Living on campus makes getting to everything easier, and allows you to be constantly surrounded by peers. As a student living off campus I did not feel like I was at a disadvantage socially. The majority of off-campus students live within two blocks of my apartment, and many after class events take place in the bars and apartments around Harvard Square.
What advice do you have for prospective students as they think about their living options at HBS?
Joe: Finding off campus housing can be hard if you are not in town. The Boston housing market tends to really pick up around April/May and the vast majority of the leases are for September 1st. Also, check out the new Continuum building. Those apartments seem pretty nice and are super close.
What’s the biggest benefit to living off campus?
Cameron: Off campus you have more privacy, it’s easier for partners working in Boston, you can find larger apartments, and it’s closer to restaurants and bars.
Joe: Living off campus definitely can be more cost efficient and you can have much more space. As long as you stay within walking distance it won't feel any different.
For more information about housing options at HBS you can read the following blog posts:
Living in a Dorm at HBS
Living in an Apartment at HBS