Do’s & Dont’s of Cleveland for an International Student
I am from India, where I graduated and worked for a couple of years as an engineer before moving to this city for my master’s degree. This is my first time in the USA. Although many of my friends from back home have moved to LA, SF, NYC, Boston, DC, Seattle, and other cool places, and often boast about it, I ended up in Cleveland. I’m aware of how Ohio is sometimes made fun of on the internet, but I chose to stick to this city for some reason & I am looking to make the most of it. I am the kind of person who tries to find good in everything. After two years, when I move back home, I want to look back and tell myself I actually had fun here. So, my dear kind citizens of Cleveland and America, pass me some advice. What are some do’s and don’ts for cleveland(America, in general)? Tell me about things that would be new for a non-American.
P.S.: I am a huge Hollywood & U.S. pop culture fanatic. My streaming services and news apps’ locations have been set to the U.S. since my childhood. As for sports, I don’t have much idea(I know, I’m sorry).
Just practice good street smarts. If you’re walking around downtown alone at night be alert, stay near the street and don’t have your phone out. Avoid sketchy neighborhoods. If your gut gives you a bad feeling about an area than leave.
Cleveland isn’t really as dangerous as people make it sound. There are some rough neighborhoods but they really aren’t anywhere you would normally find yourself unless you live there or are involved in crime.
Cleveland is a great city and totally underrated. Personally I’d rather live here than a lot of the other places you mentioned your friends moving to. We don’t have the big city glamour but there’s still a lot to do and see and cost of living is a lot lower. There’s some great suggestions in the comments already, I’ll second the Rock Hall (as a fan of US pop culture you will love it) and the art museum. Go to a Browns, Cavs, or Guardians game if you can, just to experience it.
The Cleveland Museum of Art. The MetroPark system. Cuyahoga National Valley. Sporting events (that even a student can afford to attend). Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Eating everywhere. Visit the lake in the summer. West Side Market is its own experience. If you are vegetarian please be aware there will be a lot of meat displayed. The Old Arcade just for something interesting. Don’t forget Playhouse Square!
Do find friends of all backgrounds and cultures who can help you in your adventures.
Don’t assume cultural / caste behaviors that work in India will work here. It’s quite the opposite, in fact.
Do dress in layers for winter.