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College Tours

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fairfax, va
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College Tours

We'll be in Boston for a few days in early April visiting colleges. We hope to see Boston University and Tufts and maybe Northeastern (Boston College isn't an option - don't ask!). Any hotel suggestions that don't charge for parking that would be convenient to all three schools? If we decide to drive to Providence for a day to see Brown, how long is the drive? If we really get adventurous, we might drive to Montreal to see McGill University. How long is that drive? I know you need a passport now to fly to Canada, but do you need one to drive there as well?

If you are an alum of any of these schools is there something about any one of these campuses that we shouldn't miss?

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1. Re: College Tours

Afraid the days of free Hotel parking in the city are gone. The closest you're going to come is the Midtown Hotel. It has reasonable rates (for Boston) and VERY reasonable parking (again, for Boston) at $12 a night. The reviews indicate that the rooms might be a bit dated, but it IS concenienct. It's within easy walking distance of Northeastern and maybe BU, if you you don't mind long walks.

For Tufts, no matter where in the city you stay, you'll need to take the "T". Tufts is on the Red Line near Davis Station. It's about a 10 or 15 minute walk from there.

Providence is a one hour drive from Boston. The drive to Montreal is about 5 hours. On the way, you can stop in Burlington Vermont, which has a nice pedestrian downtown section. You might want to take a look at the University of Vermont (UVM) while you're there as well.

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2. Re: College Tours

The 3 schools are at different ends of the city. NE is south near the Hospitals, Tufts North in sommerville and BU west near fenway park. Any downtown hotel that fits your budget would work since they are all in different directions anyway. I doubt you will find free parking at any.

My recommendation would be to stay out of the city in a suburb and ask the colleges if they have visitor parking on campus OR take the train in. My recommendation of late has been Waltham but there are a number of other options. Newton, Quincy, Braintree..etc.

You will find free parking at hotels in these towns. There are 5 or 6 big chain hotels in Waltham that are right off 128/95. From there it is an easy drive down to Providence in about an hour.

I am 99% sure that you need a passport to cross the boarder into Canada. I don't know the driving time up there. Sorry.

I'm not an alum but went to school in the area. BU and NE are city campuses in the heart of the action. Tufts is a little more removed and has more of a campus feel.

I'm sure others will help fill in the blanks. I love the feeling of Brown. If there is a chance of getting in there I reccomend taking a look.

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3. Re: College Tours

You might try the AmeriSuites located in Medford, 3min from Tufts, 5miles from downtown Boston via Rt93. Free Parking, Comp. Breakfast, approx $89-95 per night. RT 93 access to Northeastern and BU is relatively easy as long as you are not trying to do it during commutting hours. Also, you could take public transportation from Medford. RT 93 North will take you to the New Hampshire area... UNH.

Since your going to visit Brown, why not see Providence College (a choice for the kids that don't get into B.C.)

New York City, New...
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4. Re: College Tours

I wouldn't do Montreal/McGill as a day trip. Not just because of the drive entailed to get to/from there, but I think it's important for your son & daughter to spend some more time there: McGill reflects its English origins, but Montreal itself is still decidedly French. Some would-be American college freshman think that would fun & exciting, as my son didt; others feel a bit initimidated by the prospect of being a "stranger in a strange land", so speak.

Plus, Montreal is such an intriguing place, it's worthy of more than just a drive-by. You'll be able to travel to Canada via land or sea without a passport for the rest of this year. The Omni Mont Royal just announced a terrific deal - $99/night until April 15 -- on TravelZoo today:


My son & I stayed at the Omni for several nights when we visited Montreal so he could check out McGill; great hotel, spacious & lovely rooms, easy walk to the McGill campus... they even tolerated my rusty efforts to speak French with grace :-)

One thing you might not yet realize about McGill which may factor into the decision as to whether to make the trip for college-touring purposes: the campus consists almost entirely of academic buildings; there is very little on-campus housing, the vast majority of students live in privately-owned apartments. While I think it's fair to say that McGill attempts to accommodate its international freshmen, there is no guarantee that your son/daughter will be given a dorm room in even his/her 1st year there. Also, this lack of on-campus life means the student experience will be very different from that typical of US colleges. Again, he/she may think that's great -- or not.

As an aside, the University of Vermont has been very pricey for out-of-state students who live in states which are not part of the New England Compact. When my son (now a college senior) was looking at colleges, there were private schools with tuition comparable to UVT - and with greater potential for better financial assisstance. That may be changing, however, since Vermont is seeing a drop in its population of high school age.

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5. Re: College Tours

Best place to find passport info: the Dept of State website: travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

Don't assume just because a hotel is in the suburbs that it won't charge for parking. I stayed at the Sheraton in Needham last year and they surprised me with $8 per night for parking.

6. Re: College Tours

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