Are you considering studying English in the US? This is great news! Studying English in a country where it is spoken is a wise decision. It is always better to immerse yourself in a country and culture when learning a language.
So, now that you’ve decided you want to study English in the USA, you need to narrow down your options. There are many things to consider when choosing a language school such as accreditation, costs, and location. For instance, many international students prefer language schools in DC or other metropolitan cities because they offer more student activities and are easier to navigate.
When it comes to deciding on a location, language schools in Washington DC offer something that other schools do not – ease of transportation. As an international student, it is unlikely that you will want to buy a car just for the duration of your English class in DC. Instead, you will be looking for other ways to get around. Fortunately, as other students taking English courses in Washington DC will tell you, DC is a highly accessible city.
If you are worried about how you will navigate a large, metropolitan city like DC, we’re here today to show you how easy it is for students studying abroad to get from point A to point B.
A Walkable City
Anyone who visits DC will quickly discover that DC is a walking city. The city is designed with pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. You will find crosswalk signs and signal lights indicating when it is safe or unsafe for pedestrians to cross the street. Given the pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, it is not surprising to see many people walking to get from one place to the next. This is also one of the reasons DC has been named one of the fittest cities in America.
Ultimately, where you find student accommodations will factor into whether you can walk from home to class, but even if you cannot walk to school, you will be able to walk around the city. Whether you are walking to lunch or walking around the National Mall, you will find that walking is an acceptable form of transportation and activity in DC.
In addition to pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, DC is also a bicycle-friendly city. In fact, it was named one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US. It has invested in 80 miles of bike lanes and a bike share program. According to the Washington Post, DC has “the second-highest share of bike commuters among major U.S. cities.”
Capital Bikeshare is a district-wide bike sharing program that is open to anyone. It has 4000 bikes with 400 bike stations throughout the region. All you have to do is join the program (online or at a bike share kiosk), unlock a bike, ride it, and then return the bike to any station. Students at the Washington language school, inlingua, have a Capital Bikeshare station directly in front of the school!
Plus, there are over 3500 bike racks in downtown. If you have your own personal bike, you can use the district’s bike racks. Just make sure you have a bike lock and that you use it!
A Superb Bus System
Another popular means of transportation in the US is the various city bus systems. Students in DC are lucky to have the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Riders pay a fee that is dependent on their route through the city. The metro bus system is popular because it is cost-effective.
Students taking English classes in DC who plan to use the Metro will benefit from using a Smart Card. This is a rechargeable card that provides users with users with reduced rates for bus and metro rail fares. Inlingua students will be happy to find city bus stops right by their school.
In addition to buses taking riders to various points in DC, buses are also a means of transportation across the US. For example, there is a bus station directly across from inlingua that offers direct bus rides to New York City.
Ride the Metro
The DC Metrorail is another part of the WMATA public transportation system. The DC Metrorail system is the second busiest rail transit system in the US with 91 stations and six rail lines throughout the region. Students will be happy to discover it is safe, reliable, and clean. It is one of the most popular means of transportation in the area, and as discussed above, students should consider the Smart Card for a reduced rate. Another inlingua perk is that the school is located only one block away from a major Metrorail station.
Use Ride-Sharing Services
Ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Via are quickly becoming a major means of transportation for students. Ride-sharing services are app-based services that allow users to find rides and split costs with fellow passengers. While most students will not use Uber or Lyft for everyday transportation, these are great for exploring the city with friends.
Take a Taxi
There are several Taxi companies throughout the region with fares being determined by meters. In addition to the fare, riders are expected to tip the driver. Therefore, it is more costly than other options. Most students will only use taxis when they cannot use another option, but it is good to know that if you needed a quick ride to the airport, you could find one easily.
Other Means of Transportation for Exploring the USA
Finally, it is important to point out that while you will be studying abroad in one US city, you will want to visit other destinations. It is important to use the time you are in America to see America! Fortunately, this is possible for international students without cars. DC is home to three airports making it convenient to travel from here to there. Additionally, you can explore the US via trains such as Amtrak.
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