For most of you, relocating to a new state for school is not out of the ordinary. However, for a girl born and raised in the Garden State (New Jersey) the move to Pennsylvania was rather new. I grew up on the beautiful Jersey Shore which is about 3 hours from Harrisburg. Moving out of New Jersey was never a thought until law school. Harrisburg, the capitol of Pennsylvania, was going to be my home for the next three years while I attended Widener University Commonwealth Law School. My plan all along is to move back to New Jersey to practice law after graduating. I knew nothing about Harrisburg prior to being accepted to Widener. As any responsible, prospective law student would do, I researched the area in order to get an idea of where I’d be living for the duration of school. I was pleased to find out that Harrisburg was a city that had a lot to offer.
My research of Harrisburg uncovered some must see sights for new residents or tourists passing through. The Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex is immaculate. The sheer architecture of the buildings will undoubtably blow you away. The city of Harrisburg has many state and local parks that can be used for leisure activities or recreational activities. City Island, a mile-long island located within the Susquehanna River, has a lot to offer for all ages. My favorite activity on City Island is Water Golf, a miniature golf course. The Susquehanna River is a refreshing sight for those of us who are not used to being land locked. Harrisburg is located approximately 30 minutes from Hershey Park, a chocolate-themed amusement park, which is ideal for all the chocolate lovers out there.
After doing research on the area itself, my attention shifted toward housing. Although Widener does not provide on-campus housing for its law school students, Widener provides its students with a multitude of guides to ensure each student has all the information needed to find housing. Among the many guides Widener provides its students is the suggested housing guide. This guide was extremely helpful when researching apartment complexes. All the apartment complexes listed on the suggested housing guide were within a 20 minute drive from campus. It is extremely important that you take the time to visit each apartment complex in person. I visited about 5-7 apartment/townhome complexes before settling on an apartment. I ultimately signed a lease for an apartment complex not listed on the suggested housing guide. Thankfully, Widener is no more than a 5 minute drive from my apartment. Widener also provides a dining guide which is a list of on-campus dining and off-campus dining. The only on-campus dining option is a Grab ‘n Go area which provides a selection of pre-made food. The only off-campus dining option worth mentioning is a Starbucks located approximately 2 miles from campus. A potential roommate list is also provided by Widener which details each student’s preferences. To be placed on the roommate list you must submit a housing list submission form. All the above mentioned guides can be found on Widener’s website. Widener is without a doubt dedicated to making the transition to Harrisburg living hassle free. For me personally the move to Harrisburg was smooth and extremely comfortable.
Please note that during this pandemic searching for apartments, visiting Widener, and the normal Harrisburg activities may be subject to change.