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College student’s guide to living in Durham, NH

When you’re a student or becoming one, it’s always important to get to know the city you’re in or going to. Whether you’re coming from another city or a different country, it takes a lot of time to adjust to new things and people. This is not so hard when you’re studying in a small town like Durham, NH. Getting to know the people and the city itself, but also finding your way around the college is so much easier in a small environment. But, if you need some help (not saying you do, but just in case), here is a student’s guide to living in Durham.

Living in Durham

With a population of slightly over 14000 people, Durham can be considered a small town. But, it surely doesn’t lack anything. People living in the city have nothing but good things to say about it. With breath-taking landscapes, pleasant people, and art and dining options in and near the town, it surely has a lot to offer. Snowy mountains in winter and sunny sandy ocean beaches in summer. Lots of opportunities for sports activities, but also great cultural and music scenes both at the university and nearby Portsmouth. But the thing that interests us the most is the quality of life this charming city has to offer to students.

UNH student’s guide to living in Durham

If you got the chance to study here, you surely won’t regret it. Founded in Hanover and then moved to Durham, it is part of the University System of New Hampshire. Its campus comprises six colleges, which makes it the largest state university system in the state.

Students sitting with their notebooks on their laps
At UNH, you can choose from a lot of various programs

With a lot of activities, and fraternities and sororities, there is something for everyone. It also offers graduate assistantships, internships, and chances to study abroad in numerous cities in Europe. Sounds good, doesn’t it?


Though students don’t need to live on campus, they are encouraged to. And most of them choose campus life. Why? First of all, it is just 10 miles from the sandy beaches and 60 miles from the mountains. Second, it’s near Boston. Third, it is surrounded by over 2000 acres of farms, fields, and paths through the woods, all owned by the University. And last but not least, it offers themed housing, with different types of accommodation:

  • Traditional dorm rooms
  • Suites
  • On-campus apartments

However, if you’re not much of a dorm type of person, you can always relocate off-campus with some help from the companies which are experts in that area. Whether you got tired of living on campus, or you’re a freshman that wants to live with a couple of friends, moving will always be easier when you’re not the one moving the boxes. Either way, the housing options are numerous.

Second safest community in NH

It was named the second safest community in the area by a national provider of security systems. It’s been voted safer than 80% of the US cities. So if you’re looking for a college town with extremely low crime rates, then Durham is a town for you.


You can get anywhere in or around the town with ease, without stress and traffic jams. By highway, rail (the Boston and Maine railroad that stops within campus), air – domestic and international (Boston and Manchester airport within 50 miles from the city), and water (only 14 miles away from the Port Authority of New Hampshire) you can travel wherever you want. And let us not forget the public bus which goes through nearby seacoast towns and campus.

Among the most exciting places in NH

Durham was ranked the fifth most exciting place in the state in different categories: night-life, outdoor activities, arts, restaurants, young residents, and population density. It is not strange for it to be one of the youngest towns since it is home to the Durham University. It is also home to most of the cultural events. If not there, you can always go to nearby Portsmouth – to the Music Hall or many of the art galleries. It is also a city with most of the restaurants per capita. Just in case you got hungry after all that culture. From fast food to delicious and fancy seafood, you’re for sure gonna satisfy your cravings.

Outdoor activities

With such beautiful nature here, you don’t need some special kind of student’s guide to living in Durham to guide you. There are a lot of outdoor activities, for every age and everybody’s taste. Hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing in winter, along with camping with gorgeous breathtaking views all the way to Canada. Is there a better thing to wake up to? But don’t forget the coast in summer, the scenic sandy beaches, and the wildlife refuge at Odiorne Point.

Two men in kayaks on a river.
Enjoy outdoor activities with your college friends!

Why not go on a kayaking adventure into the Great Bay? There are so many interesting things to do. Just make sure to set aside enough time to try them out all. Just not at the expense of your important studies.

Job opportunities

A student’s guide to Durham wouldn’t be complete without talking about business opportunities after College. The good news is, this area is the eighth in terms of the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. With only 4.4 percent, it is considered the top growing community in the state for jobs and population. It doesn’t surprise that students are flocking to the Durham area attracted by good prospects of finding a job. As well as opportunities to bring their career to a new level.


The relocation process is a big if not the biggest part of a fresh student’s life. Moving out from a family home is always a huge step for every young person. Whether you’re coming from another city or state, the best thing to do is find a professional moving company to assist you. They’ll help you with everything, starting from organization to getting you into your new home. It includes packing your belongings, relocation and storage services in case it’s needed, but also unloading and unpacking. That way, you’ll save time, energy, your nerves, and get some extra sleep without worrying about relocation.


Fan of sports? There’s something for you too. You can always go golfing in a nearby Rockingham Country Club, play tennis or go swimming at the facilities of the campus, or work out at one of the athletic clubs. Become a part of The New Hampshire Wildcats and proudly wear the blue and white of the ‘Cats. Aside from basketball, cross country, football and ice hockey (men only), skiing, soccer, and track & field, ladies get to practice gymnastics, field hockey lacrosse, swimming and diving, and volleyball. Quite a selection of activities!

Enjoy your stay

The only thing we didn’t mention in this student’s guide to living in Durham, is how to decorate your new place here, whether it’s a dorm room or an apartment. But we wanted to leave something for you to think about in your spare time. In pauses between the numerous adventures that await you in this town. With so many extracurricular activities and fun time awaiting you with college friends that won’t be a problem, will it?

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