The town of Amherst, founded in 1759, is located in the portion of the Connecticut River Valley known as the Pioneer Valley. Largely a rural area, it is dotted with farms and orchards. The principal area industry is education, with the University of Massachusetts and Amherst and Hampshire colleges in the town of Amherst, and Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges in nearby towns.
The Pioneer Valley is rich in outdoor recreational opportunities: downhill and cross-country skiing, mountain climbing, skating and fishing at numerous lakes and ponds, facilities for golf and tennis, plus a host of gymnasiums, pools, and tracks. In addition to all of the university and college libraries, the town offers the historic Jones Library. There are many other sites of historic interest in this town that features old New England houses on shady tree-lined streets. Amherst was the home of Emily Dickinson, Noah Webster, Helen Hunt Jackson, Eugene Field, Henry Ward Beecher, Robert Frost, and other illustrious people.
The cost of living in Amherst is comparable to that of other towns of its size in the eastern part of the United States. Estimates of minimum funds needed to support a student in residence are available through the Foreign Students Office, Whitmore Administration Building.
Amherst is less than 100 miles from Boston, 200 miles from New York City, and 30 miles from Vermont. Air service for Amherst is through Bradley International Airport, located between Springfield and Hartford; flights are available to major U.S. cities. There is a bus service from Bradley directly to the University Campus Center. The Vermonter stops daily at the Amtrak station on its run between St. Albans, Vermont and Washington, DC.