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Preparing to Live in New Orleans

New Orleans is home to some of the most unique neighborhoods (Links to an external site.) in the country. From the historic French Quarter to the beautiful homes uptown, there are no shortage of amazing neighborhoods to explore in the city.

With some of the most noteworthy and recognized restaurants in the nation, NOLA is a foodie’s paradise. From legendary and long-established Commander’s Palace to award-winning Israeli restaurant Shaya, there is never a shortage of incredible restaurants (Links to an external site.) to enjoy as a student at Tulane.

Take in a view of the Mississippi River while eating beignets from Café du Monde, listen to incredible music in the French Quarter, visit an alligator hatchery or take a haunted history tour. At Tulane, one thing is for sure – you will never have a shortage of incredible things to do!

Only in New Orleans

A vibrant music scene, world-class restaurants, a rich confluence of cultures and traditions, and the opportunity to make a difference in a unique urban culture--these are just a few of the characteristics that define life in our remarkable city.

Are you ready?

Tulane's campus is located in an area known as Uptown, which is near the New Orleans Garden District and just a four-mile streetcar ride away from the Central Business District (CBD), so students have easy access to all of the city's vast cultural offerings. New Orleans is defined by its distinct museums, live music venues on nearly every corner, hundreds of art galleries, and thousands of restaurants. The city hosts festivals celebrating nearly every local food, music, or heritage. Some of the most famous festivals include the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, and--the most famous celebration of all--Mardi Gras.

For professional sports fans, watching the Saints at the Superdome or checking out the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center is a fantastic time. New Orleans also frequently hosts major sporting events, including the 2013 Super Bowl (and nine others before that--3 on Tulane's campus).

Louisiana's nickname is "Sportsman's Paradise", which means there are plenty of fun opportunities for students who like the outdoors. Audubon Park, one of the most beautiful city parks in the country, also happens to be right across the street from Tulane's campus. With a par 62 golf course, several athletic fields, and ambling trails, the park is always alive with activity.

New Orleans is an endless provider for Tulane students, and it is only natural that students give back to the city on a regular basis. Contributing to New Orleans is part of the fabric of our institution, and students have been involved in nearly every aspect of New Orleans' renaissance. Their efforts through service learning have made tangible differences in the lives of others throughout the community.

Being Safe in New Orleans

No matter where you live, it is important for students to know some basic safety tips and procedures when moving into New Orleans. Visit here (Links to an external site.)for complete Tulane Police Department Public Safety information.

Make a copy of the following important documents and keep originals in a safe place at home.

  • Passport
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94

Also, make sure you have copies of your credit card account numbers filed in a safe place at home, so canceling and replacing them will be much easier if they are lost or stolen.

Crime is an unfortunate aspect of city life. However, there are many things you can do to feel and be safer. Read "Keeping Tulane Secure" for safety information, which is available at the Public Safety office located in the Diboll Complex.

The following "common sense" tips are a few examples:

While Walking

Always be alert while walking. Look up and down the street for suspicious people walking, on bikes, or in cars. Keep an eye on bushes and stay in lighted areas. On campus, try to walk near campus emergency phones (those with blue lights on top).

Be aware of your surroundings while walking. Don't wear headphones, read, talk on the phone or do anything else that might distract you. If you observe anyone or anything suspicious, walk to where there are other people and call the police.

Do not carry valuables or important documents (i.e. passport) with you. Only have enough cash with you for your immediate needs, including some change for phone calls and a dollar bill for bus/street car.

Try to walk with someone else. Always travel in groups, preferably with four or more people.

Use the Campus Shuttle. If you live at The Papillion Apartments or Deming Pavilion, take advantage of the free Tulane Uptown/Downtown shuttle (schedule on the following page).

Escort Safety Services

The Police Department offers an on-campus (Uptown) safety escort service. With this service, students can request a Safety Escort 7 days a week, 24/7. To request a Safety Escort, call (504) 865-5381.

Downtown Campus Students & Scholars may request safety escort service as you exit any Tulane building or building that is considered to be in the Medical Center perimeter by calling 85531 (or 504-988-5531 if not in a campus building). An officer will be dispatched to satisfy your request or needs. If the situation warrants, stay on the line until all information required to meet your needs is obtained.

Students can take advantage of the Gold Zone, an on-demand, point-to-point van service available 7 nights a week from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. With this service, students can travel to and from designated pick-up and drop-off locations within a 1-mile radius of the uptown campus. To request this service, use the TapRide smart phone app or call (504) 314-7233.

RAVE Guardian is a virtual safety escort application for your cell phone which will monitor your travels within the Tulane campus and anywhere Tulane patrols by inputting the amount of time you believe it will take for you to arrive at your destination.

The UPTOWN/DOWNTOWN SHUTTLE SERVICE is also available to take you from one campus to the other and makes stops at Tulane buildings along its route. The schedule for the shuttle can be found at this site: http://tulane.edu/studentaffairs/tom/transportation/shuttles.cfm (Links to an external site.)

Always carry your Tulane ID and a copy of your I-94 and your I-20 or DS-2019.

In Your Apartment

Lock the door of your apartment or room on- or off-campus, whether you are there or not. If someone knocks at your door, make sure you know who it is before opening. Check IDs for service calls (e.g. plumbers, electricians, etc.) Remember that no service people can come inside your apartment without you or your landlord having called them first.

In Your Car

Keep doors locked whether you are in the car, or out of it, and keep personal items out of sight. A thief who sees your backpack on the seat of your car may think you have something valuable inside, and might break the car window to steal it.

You are most vulnerable during the time between turning off your ignition and putting the key in your door. Have your house and/or apartment key ready. Park as closely as possible to where you are going. If someone is dropping you off, be sure they wait until you are safely in your house/apartment.

Around Town

We encourage you to take advantage of the numerous bars, restaurants, clubs and cultural events New Orleans offers. Although Tulane University is located in uptown New Orleans, Tulane University offers free shuttle service that can take you to different areas of the city. However, when you do go out please remember to:

Plan Ahead

Figure out where you are going before you go. Locate the street on the map, find out the address and telephone number. ASK questions of other students, teachers, and OISS staff. Leave your jewelry and expensive handbags at home. Take only as much cash as you think you will need. Leave your original passport and immigration papers in your apartment. Take copies and your Tulane student ID as identification.

Go in Groups

If you are going out, go with friends. A group of people will be less likely to attract attention than a single person. Go out in groups, and return in groups. When something unfortunate happens, it generally occurs when someone stays behind after the group has left. So, do not leave anyone behind and get back with the same amount of people you had at the beginning of the night.

Be very careful when using outdoor ATM's at night or in unfamiliar locations

Ride-sharing Services

Uber (Links to an external site.) and Lyft (Links to an external site.) are both available in New Orleans. You can download the apps on your phone, or if you have already been using these services in your home country you can use your same account. When using these services always make sure that you get in the right car (check the driver's photo, name, car plate and model).  For more safety tips you can click here (Links to an external site.).

Taxis

We recommend taking taxis after dark. The streetcar and bus are fine during the day, but the safest and surest way of going and returning at night is by taxi. Most bars and restaurants will have phone numbers for taxi services, but you may want to take some taxi company phone numbers with you when you go out. Make sure you get a business card and receipt from the driver. Students have left belongings in taxis and if you do not have a receipt, you will have a harder time recovering your possessions because you are not likely to remember the company name and cab number.

Taxi Cabs

Cost generally between $10.50 and $15.00 from the French Quarter to the Uptown Campus. Tips are 15% of the fare. Telephone one of the cab companies or hail a cab from the curb. The following are numbers of local cab companies: 

United Cab
(504) 522-9772

Checker Cab
(504) 207-7777

White Fleet Cabs 
(504) 822-3800 

This is a partial listing of the Taxi Companies in the city. To find more information go on-line or check the Yellow Pages of the phonebook under "Taxi Companies."

Fire, Police, and EMS On Campus

Uptown Campus
(emergency) (504) 865-5200
(non-emergency) (504) 865-5381

Downtown Campus
(emergency) (504) 988-5555
 OR (emergency) 55555 from an internal THS
(non emergency) (504) 988-5531
 OR (non-emergency) 55531 from an internal THS

Fire, Police and EMS Off Campus
Police Department and Fire Department
(emergency) 911

If Something Does Happen

DO NOT RESIST. Don't speak in a hostile or aggressive manner; don't speak to scare them off and don't make any sudden body moves. Speak slowly and clearly and as calmly as you can. Tell them what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. For example:

"My money is in my wallet and I will move my right hand to my back pocket and give it to you."

Most likely, the individual will want your money. But if he/she wants your shoes, shirt, pants, give it to him/her. We can replace those things. Call for help as soon as possible.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF A CRIME ON OR OFF-CAMPUS, THE TULANE UNIVERSITY VICTIM RESOURCES OFFICE PROVIDES SUPPORT SERVICES AND REFERRALS. SERVICES INCLUDE REFERRALS FOR MEDICAL, COUNSELING AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE, AND EMERGENCY HOUSING.

Tulane Office of Crime Prevention and Victim Resources

Diboll Complex
(504) 865-5381
http://tulane.edu/police/uptown/victim_resources.cfm (Links to an external site.)|

Tulane University Police Department

Uptown Emergency Line:  (504) 865-5911

Downtown Emergency Line:  (504) 988-5555

Victim Resources Line:  (504) 865-5381

Uptown Safety Escort Line:  (504) 865-5381

Downtown Safety Escort Line:  (504) 988-5531

Gold Zone Line:  (504) 314-7233

The Tulane University Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency that provides police services to the Uptown Campus, the Downtown Medical Center Campus, and the National Primate Research Center located in Covington. At Tulane University, we believe that safety is a shared responsibility shared among the police department, students, staff and faculty. TUPD's mission is to assist the university community in providing a safe and secure environment in which to learn, live, and work.

We believe in practicing the principles of community policing and working with departments throughout the university to help us provide a safe campus environment. Explore more about TUPD on the website (Links to an external site.)

Emergency Numbers

Report a crime or emergency

Make sure you store these numbers in your phone's contact list.

UPTOWN DISTRICT
(504) 865-5911

DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
(504) 988-5555

Click here (Links to an external site.) to watch a student's interview with TUPD and experienced Tulane EMS members. 

Tulane University Emergency Preparedness & Response

The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response is charged with the preparation, prevention, and response to all-hazards events at Tulane University. Through comprehensive risk assessment, training, planning, mitigation and response, they ensure a safe, healthy, and happy community. 

Here are some emergency preparedness topics and resources you should consider exploring: 

  • Emergency Terms to Know
  • How to create an emergency plan
  • View their Hurricane guide and Hurricane Preparedness Video 
  • Request an active shooter training

For more information please visit the Emergency Preparedness & Response website (Links to an external site.) and contact them for further details concerning emergency management efforts. 

Hurricane Season Preparedness

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Hurricanes can cause storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes and rip currents. These can cause damage to infrastructure, stopping basic services such as electricity and water. It is important that you prepare now for any potential weather events this hurricane season. 

In case of a hurricane please keep the following in mind:

  • You need to stay informed and prepare for the storm.
  • You need to have an evacuation plan in place.
  • You need to evacuate if a mandatory evacuation order is issued.

Please fill in any Hurricane Evacuation surveys that Tulane University sends you. Tulane can only support you if they are aware that you need help.

Please be sure to update Gibson Online with your U.S. cell phone number as soon as you have one.

On rare occasions, New Orleans issues a mandatory evacuation order due to the threat of a hurricane. If an evacuation is not ordered for a hurricane headed to our area, you may still choose to evacuate or, alternatively, shelter in place.

For more information about how to better prepare for hurricane season please visit the OISS hurricane preparedness website (Links to an external site.)