I'm looking to go on exchange for a semester in America this year, starting in August through to December.
Currently living and studying in Melbourne and would do the exchange through the university.
What cities would you guys recommend as the best places to live for about 6 months to get the best experience? I'm mostly looking to meet some people and have a good time experiencing the culture, not so fussed about the quality of universities.
There are plenty of decent college towns out there in America's heartland where you'd get a good feel for the culture. It all depends on what you're into hobby-wise, sports-wise, drinking/drug use, etc.
Fellow Melbournian here now living in the US. I'd recommend a college town that has plenty going on. That way you'll get to meet plenty of people and make close friends. The ones I'd look at are Ann Arbor, Ithaca, Berkeley, Amherst, Mass., Austin, Athens, GA., New Haven, or Chapel Hill/Raleigh. If you want to be in a bigger city, then I'd try NYC, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco. I think you'll find that a lot of parts of the US are weirdly conservative and lacking creativity, compared to a city like Melbourne (that is, unless you're really into that). Try not to live in a place where you need a car.
Pick where you go according to the weather (I think somewhere in the north-east would be great for that time of year so you get the foliage and some snow).
And this. Say more about your interests and you'll get some great tips. When I left Melbourne for Ithaca, I had no idea what I was doing and wish people could've told me more.
Don't bother coming to Boston. I've lived here my entire life, went to school and worked as well. Night life is dead, full of tourists and college students, and public transportation is absolute worst I have experienced in the US and abroad. They had late night services for a couple of years until 3am, but recently cancelled it because of the debt they are in.
And if it snows, you are screwed. The city just shuts down.
I would suggest Chicago or New York.
UNC chapel hill north carolina, NCSU raleigh NC, cant go wrong with those Florida universities but culturally I don't think you will see much you haven't seen before, Philly would allow easy access to beaches, mountains, new york city and people still have basic social skills, I'll also second Fort Collins Colorado. And I will tell you to stay away from Boston and Chicago cause its cold there.