Ways for UA Students to Make Tucson Their Home

running group in tucson arizona

Venturing out to University is an exhilarating experience, particularly for those lucky University of Arizona students making Tucson their new home. It’s easy to stay on campus and get lost in student life, but one of the best ways to enrich your university experience is to make the surrounding area off campus feel like home. We have some tips to help you take advantage of and connect with Tucson’s local community and culture!

Immerse Yourself in Local Culture

Tucson is steeped in culture and has endless options for local cuisine, shopping, and coffee. We came up with a list of some of our favorites that happen to be within walking distance from campus!

  1. The Buffalo Exchange – This isn’t your average thrift store! The Buffalo Exchange is a Tucson original, with its first store opening over 40 years ago. You’ll find great brands and lightly worn clothes at a great price.
  2. Exo Roast Co – Want a trendy coffee experience? Try out Exo Roast Co on Sixth Avenue. They pride themselves on using local ingredients like mesquite beans and chiltepin peppers in their special brews.
  3. Saigon Pho – This eclectic Vietnamese restaurant is Main Gate Square’s best-kept-secret. It’s tucked behind Caffe Luce on Park Avenue. We highly recommend the rice vermicelli dishes!

thrift shop in tucson arizona

Join a Club

Of course, joining a club at the University is a great way to get to know fellow students, but what about getting to know the locals of Tucson? One of the best ways to feel more integrated and comfortable in a new community is to participate in a local group like the Southern Arizona Roadrunners. This local running group has group runs to keep you safe, meet new people, and stay healthy and fit during stressful academic periods.



A great way to make Tucson feel like home is to get involved and volunteer with a local organization. This of course will look great on your future resume, but more importantly, you’ll be able to give back to the community and find a deeper connection to Tucson through causes you care about. Do you have a passion for helping animals? Try volunteering at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona or any of the other incredible organizations helping our furry friends.

volunteer at an animal shelter

Walk or Bike

Whether you come to university with a car or not, one of the best ways to get to know Tucson is via walking or biking. When you slow down the pace, you’ll be able to get to know the ins and outs of the town. Walking and biking are also great ways to get some light exercise while you explore Tucson, a perfect way to destress from studying!

Stargate West offers a variety of luxury apartments, for Fall stays or longer. Contact us today and we would be happy to help make your accommodation dreams come true!