The GSE is all about the cohort model for going through your year (or two or 3,4,5) and it helps to create a community of intellectuals and friends to surround yourself with while you work through your studies. To help facilitate bonding within the group, each department sponsors events for the cohort as well as assigns a general coordinator who finds fun things to do and rallies the troops throughout the year. Although I am not the “manager of fun” for my cohort, I am not one to say no to hanging with my classmates in the city!

Right before winter break, our cohort went down to Penns Landing (from campus take the MFL from 34th to 3rd and walk a few blocks east) to do a little ice skating along the Delaware river. While none of us are future Johnny Weir’s or Tara Lipinski’s, we all had a lot of fun skating for an hour followed by Après in the Santa’s village attached to the skating area. While GSE paid for this trip, the ice skating is generally very affordable and a fun way to get outside with friends while enjoying the winters in the city of brotherly love. Also while you are in this area of Penns Landing, you should check out the great restaurant and bar scene. If you’re a fan of “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, the bar (Paddy’s Pub) that the guys owns is in that general area of old town.

Philadelphia has so many free or cheap activities to do while on an educator/student budget! One of my personal favorite things is going to The Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the Museum of Art you can pose as Rocky on top of the famous steps, explore the halls and see thousands of beautiful pieces of art spanning many centuries. A bonus about being at Penn is that it is just a short 2 miles away, and there’s a walk or run there along the Schuylkill river which separates West Philly and City Center.

The last gem that I want to bring up also makes me the most excited. Baseball season is right around the corner here in Philly and the Philadelphia Phillies are one of the most affordable baseball teams to visit as a fan. If you are in the city and would like to go to a game, let me give you a few pointers. As a student they offer “Student Steal” tickets which are $15 but includes up to $12 in food for the game! That’s right 3 bucks to get in and 12 for food!  If you are visiting and want to bring family or are not a student yet. Do not worry! Their outside food policy also is the most lax in the MLB. Not many people know about this, but you are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks (as long as they are in plastic bottles, non-alcoholic and not opened yet), so my recommendation is go to Wawa’s, pick up a two liter, a cheese steak and be the envy of everyone else in the stands who paid $15 for what you just paid $5!