Summer in the City: Admissions

Summer in the City: Admissions

Here at Barnard, summer is a very exciting time for students. While some decide to study abroad or spend time back home, many others decide to stay in New York City working an internship or conducting research with the Summer Research Institute. Staying in New York City over the summer is often accessible for students through SRI, Barnard grants, and other options such as subsidized housing. For my first summer at Barnard, I am happy to be working as an intern in the Office of Admissions and living on campus. Though the thought of summer in New York is exciting, at first I was a bit intimidated to be in the big city with lots more free time, and without my daily class schedule, dining halls, or an entirely full campus. However, not only have I realized that it is quite easy to connect with other Barnard friends in the city throughout the summer, I have also come to find lots of ways to have fun (many of which don’t cost a dime.)

Here are some great & low-cost summer activities:

  • See a free performance

Whether you are looking for a Shakespeare drama or a rock concert, there are lots of options to see free performances in the city. Here is a list of some offered this summer:

Shakespeare in the Park (free by lottery)

BRICC Celebrate Brooklyn (mostly free admission)

Central Park SummerStage (mostly free admission; some reservations required)

NBC Today Show Concert Series (free general admission)

New York Classical Theater (free admission summer series)

  • Take a walk in Central Park - (and all the parks)

One of my favorite ways to experience the city is simply by taking a long walk in the park. Being able to escape to an oasis of nature among the crowded city is quite calming, and you often are able to meet some friendly dogs (and people) on the path.

Some recent iPhone pictures I’ve taken on walks in parks around the city:

  • Enter a broadway lottery

Not only do many Broadway shows have heavily discounted student rush tickets, but you can also enter many lotteries to get tickets for free or very cheap (Plus you get the rush of excitement opening the email to see whether or not you won!)


Some lottery websites:

Broadway Direct

Today Tix


  • Go Thrift Shopping

Personally, one of my favorite activities in the city is spending a day exploring thrift shops throughout the city. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint and shopping more ethically, but you can also save money and find some great pieces.

Out of the Closet (96c of every dollar collected funds AIDS health programs)

Flamingos Vintage Pound

Housing Works

Goodwill Outlet Store, Queens

  • Go to the Beach

Something great about New York City beaches is that they’re only a few subway stops away - no sandy car rides necessary. If you’re looking to travel to a beach from Barnard, you walk right outside to the 1 train, wait until the last stop, and step right onto Coney Island (plus there’s a fun boardwalk!)

  • Food Trucks

A great way to taste the flavors of the city is by grabbing a bite from all of the food trucks. A full meal is often available for five dollars or less. Many food trucks are located right outside the doors of Barnard and Columbia, but if you’re looking to explore outside the Upper West Side, check out this food truck map.

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  • Find your favorite pizza in the city

Another food adventure I’ve personally decided to take on this summer is finding my favorite slice in the city. New York is home to the greatest pizza - some of which is right around the corner from campus! Here is a pizza map to find some of the hottest pizza spots.

  • Take advantage of free access to museums

As a Barnard student, you have free access to a plethora of museums throughout Manhattan (and beyond). Take a trip to the Met, the MOMA, the cloisters and more, but don’t forget that Barnard ID!

  • Take some free fitness classes

Not only does Barnard FitBear offer awesome weekly fitness classes ranging from yoga to kickboxing, but you can also find some super great and affordable classes throughout the city. Just blocks away from Barnard is “Yoga to the People” which offers donation based yoga classes!

  • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

This may just be a bucket list dream of mine, but walking the Brooklyn Bridge sounds like a fun, yet manageable feat. Plus, once you make it across you can explore another borough, grab a trendy bite to eat, or go thrift shopping.

  • Gallery Crawl  

If you are looking for a day filled with art and culture, but not in the mood for a museum experience - take a gallery crawl! Chelsea has tons of galleries each located just steps away from each other. You can observe beautiful paintings, sculptures, etc. without even dropping a penny.  

  • Explore Campus

Though it may sound silly, summer is the best time to find your future favorite study spots throughout campus. Whether it is alone or with a fellow student, take advantage of our gorgeous campus and you’ll often find some awesome places you never even knew existed.

Living with Local Students While Studying Abroad

Living with Local Students While Studying Abroad

Tour Tutorial: Learning the "Dos and Don'ts" of Campus Visits

Tour Tutorial: Learning the "Dos and Don'ts" of Campus Visits