Life in New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans is a Jesuit University that was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1912. Recognized as an outstanding academic institution, Loyola is listed among the 10 best regional colleges and universities in the southern United States. Loyola enrolls almost 5,000 students from all 50 states and over 48 countries. Degrees are offered in 60 undergraduate fields and 10 graduate and professional programs.

Click on the links below to learn more about Life in New Orleans:

New Orleans: An International City

With its colorful French and Spanish colonial history, New Orleans is a charming international city offering visitors the opportunity to experience the variety of U.S. life. You can explore Louisiana culture and customs from the French Quarter to the old cotton and sugar plantations up river from the city.

New Orleans is famous for its music and festivals, its beautiful architecture, and its great food. The city’s restaurants are famous the world over for their creative cuisine featuring international and Creole styles of cooking. Our fresh, spicy seafood is always a favorite. Jazz, rhythm and blues, and many other kinds of music can be heard everywhere, in clubs and on the street. Festivals, such as Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage Festival, attract visitors from around the world, making New Orleans one of the world’s leading tourist centers and a great place to study.


Loyola's 24-acre campus is located in the beautiful university area of New Orleans, Louisiana. The university area is located in the Uptown section of the city, the perfect area from which to explore New Orleans!

The historic streetcar stops in front of the university and runs downtown and to the world-famous French Quarter in less than 30 minutes, allowing you easy access to most of the city's attractions.

Across from Loyola is Audubon Park shaded by magnificent live oak trees. In the park, you will find recreational facilities such as running and bicycle paths and the city zoo, rated among the best in the United States. Audubon Park borders the banks of the Mississippi River where you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon bicycling, picnicking, or just watching the passing river traffic.

Click here for maps of Loyola and New Orleans


The climate in New Orleans is semitropical, making it possible to enjoy out-door activities year-round. Fall and spring are often very beautiful with bright, warm days and cool nights. The winter is short; yet, there are times when the temperature drops below freezing. The average winter temperatures range from 40°F (4°C) to 60°F (15°C). The summers are tropically warm and humid with average temperatures of 90°F (30°C) and even warmer, but virtually all facilities are air-conditioned. New Orleans has a high annual rainfall, with most of it falling in late summer.

Safety & Emergency Preparedness


Loyola University goes to great lenghts to ensure a safe living and studying environment. By following school regulations, participating in school safety programs, and using practical judgement, you should be safe and free to pursue your studies without fear or great concern.

Public Safety focuses its efforts on the safety of Loyola’s students, faculty, staff and visitors. To read more about safety and emergency preparedness, visit the Public Safety & University Police website. 


Many international students want to buy and drive a car when in the U.S. You should consider the following points if your budget will allow for this expense:

  • The streetcar runs just in front of Loyola's campus and on to a number of locations around the city. Loyola also provides free shopping shuttles on the weekends for students to buy any personal items they might need.
  • Students sometimes ask us about the price of cars, but it is difficult to answer. A student may have an opportunity to buy a used car from another student for a few thousand dollars or less, but the quality of used cars can be difficult to determine. New cars will obviously be much more expensive.
  • In addition to the selling price, taxes and ownership fees can add a few hundred dollars or more to the initial cost and car insurance in New Orleans is normally very expensive. It is against the law to drive in Louisiana without car insurance.
  • In addition, you will need a Louisiana license in order to own a car. To read about applying for a Louisiana license, visit the Driver's License section of the website.
  • If you are under the age of 25, it's usually difficult to rent a car. Some car rental companies do not allow it at all, while others require expensive deposits or charge higher rental rates.


The Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Medico hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30 each year. Basic information regarding hurricanes can be found at the City of New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness website. 

If a hurricane is headed towards New Orleans, the University's Emergency Information Line, 504-864-2186, will provide an official, recorded announcement of the latest information on the status of the operation of the university. Official information will also be posted on the Loyola website, explained via campus-wide email, and communicated to local television and radio news programs.

All Loyola students should familiarize themselves with Loyola's Hurricane Emergency Plan. Upon class cancellation due to an approaching storm, all students should evacuate to an area outside of the storm's path.

It is very important that you have a hurricane evacuation plan. Students who have their own transportation are strongly encouraged to take other students with them. Students without their own transportation should identify, at the beginning of the hurricane season, a person with whom they can evacuate if necessary. Students who live off campus must make their own arrangements to evacuate.

Most evacuations are of short duration with students returning to the university within three to five days. Students living in the Residence Halls who cannot evacuate on their own will be transported to Loyola's designated evacuation site. Students who evacuate with the school may have to sleep on the floor without air-conditioning and limited resources, so it is advised that you find another way to evacuate if possible.

During emergencies, CIE staff members will continue to check email and will post up-to-date information regarding immigration on the CIE website.

Expenses & Budgeting

As part of the visa application process, Loyola provided you with an estimate of costs on the affidavit of support and you already have or will need to show to the U.S. embassy financial documentation verifying that you have no less than that amount of money available.

You should be very honest and realistic about your ability to fund your studies. It is extremely difficult for an international student to find funding to continue studies after entering the U.S. If you aren't confident that you can fund the necessary costs for the entire length of study, it may be better to delay starting your studies until you are more confident of your ability to cover the full costs. NOTE: U.S. immigration law does not permit international students to work off campus without authorization. Doing so could cause them to lose their visa and have to leave the U.S.

Beyond tuition, books fee, supplies and basic living needs, students also have other expenses. Some examples of other expenses:

  • Books. The expense of buying textbooks in the US surprises many university students.
  • Extra Living Expenses. You will need money for basic personal needs such as bathing supplies, materials for washing clothes, and other necessities. Also, for your first few weeks in the United States, you will probably need to buy basics such as bedding, lamps, computer supplies, a cell phone, etc.
  • Travel. The cost of trips back and forth to your home during breaks. If you will stay in the U.S. during long school breaks and over the summer, be sure to allow extra funding to cover those time periods.
  • Extra Educational Opportunities. This can include extra coursework on campus that may be available, such as courses offered during summer sessions. In addition, some classes may have extra fees (such as in science laboratory courses).
  • Entertainment. These expenses can vary a great deal, but it is important to remember that everyone needs to periodically release stress through relaxing activities. Educators around the world believe that the total value of an international education comes not only through coursework but also through learning about a new culture. And to learn about U.S. culture, students need to have enough funding to make it possible.


For the first week or two, you should only carry a small amount of cash, in U.S. dollars,  (perhaps several hundred dollars). You will need cash to pay for meals or drinks when traveling, to handle emergencies or delays in travel, and perhaps to pay for transportation from the airport to campus. You may also need some extra money in your first few days to purchase personal items or extra items for your living space.


  • You should not carry large amounts of cash with you to pay for school fees. Traveler's checks or credit cards are much safer.
  • You should receive a bill from Loyola before school begins. Check with the Bursar's office with any questions about making payment for tuition and other charges.
  • If you are interested in applying for scholarships or loans, you should visit the financial aid section of the website.


For other money purposes, you should open a bank account.  Students often find that opening a checking account and learning how to use and write checks, in addition to getting an ATM (debit) card, is the most suitable method of handling money and payment needed.

The Center for International Education can help you get a bank account near campus. Sometimes banks ask for a social security number (SSN) in order to open an account, but international students cannot get a SSN unless they have a job, so we can write a letter that will help you get an account without having a SSN.


When international students arrive in the U.S. they may work only on campus and only part-time without prior approval. The pay will only be enough to help you pay for some personal expenses or books, but little else.

After completing a full academic year of study, an F-1 student can, in some cases, apply for practical training, which is authorization to gain practical experience through employment in his or her field of study off campus. In order to work off-campus, you must first apply for work authorization at CIE.



Related links

Life in New Orleans: Loyola's website about Life in New Orleans offers more information about New Orleans.

New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau: Offers convention services and information for visitors to New Orleans.

Best of New Orleans Gambit Weekly: A free paper that offers weekly information related to music, events, arts, theater and more.

Times-Picayune Newspaper: Daily newspaper for the greater New Orleans area. Includes local and world news, classifieds, and entertainment information.