Ithaca is a small, lively city in the country. The city’s long tradition of ethnic diversity and the university’s multiracial and multinational student and faculty population have spawned a cosmopolitan atmosphere more commonly found in sprawling cities than in smaller, rural communities. Area retailers offer a broad range of domestic and international cuisine and products. The local farmers’ market provides organically grown vegetables, flower’s and handcrafts. Local clubs bring blues, reggae, rock and zydeco to Ithaca music enthusiasts and the annual “GrassRoots” music festival draws people from all over the US. Bookstore shelves feature diverse publications of authors from all over the world. Young children have a wealth of educational opportunities including Montessori and Suzuki training methods and an excellent Science Center. A variety of theaters present timeless classics and the latest US and international films. The annual Ithaca Festival celebrates the richness of local theatrical, musical, artistic, and culinary talent. One great source for information on community events is the Ithaca Times, a free weekly newspaper found in many local stores. The midsection is a complete calendar of concerts, nightclubs, theater, film, lectures, events for children and special events. The paper also includes reviews of local music, community theater and current films. Two great web sources for all things Ithaca is IthacaNet and Visit Ithaca!
On-campus films, concerts, plays, and cultural events provide welcome breaks from studying and data collection in the lab. Cornell faculty and student groups bring a variety of musicians and dancers to Cornell touching many diverse cultural backgrounds. The Johnson Art Museum brings the works of prominent contemporary artists to campus.
At Cornell’s back door lie country roads for bicycling, streams for fishing and spring canoeing, and extensive trails for jogging, hiking, and cross-country skiing. A national forest and numerous state parks afford additional recreational opportunities. Sailors, water skiers, swimmers, rowers, and anglers enjoy Cayuga Lake, which forms a backdrop to the celebrated beauty of the Cornell campus. The Cornell Outing Club makes canoes available to members and organizes hiking, skiing, and camping trips. Graduate students at Cornell form intramural basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and hockey teams. Athletic facilities at Cornell include two indoor swimming pools, a skating rink, a golf course, squash and tennis courts, two well-equipped gyms and satellite exercise centers and an indoor climbing wall. The Cornell Wellness Program offers supervised physical activity.
Student organizations abound on the Cornell campus. Some, like the Native American Students at Cornell, the Veterinary Intercultural Association, the Latin American Student’s Organization and the Mexican American Student Association, promote cultural awareness and help to facilitate integration into campus life. Others, such as ACETS, the Graduate Nutrition Club, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the Black Graduate Students Association, are professionally oriented. A number of graduate and general student organizations are issue oriented and span the full range of the political spectrum. Still others focus on recreational activities (from Frisbee to nature photography) and graduate student life (for example, the Student Family Residents’ Council and the Graduate Advocacy Organization).
Graduate students may choose to live on campus, in private housing within walking distance to the university, downtown, or in the surrounding countryside. Cornell’s Hasbrouck Apartments, a short walk from campus, is a node for many graduate student networks and a place where children have easy access to one another and to playground and grassy spaces. Akwe:kon, the Native American center, houses a mix of undergraduate and graduate students of many backgrounds (50 percent Native Americans) in a superb setting. The Townhouse Apartments, Schuyler House, Thurston Court, and Maplewood Park have rooms and apartments for single students. For more information visit On Campus Graduate Housing and Off-Campus Housing to discover more about your housing choices.