This unofficial guide has been started by Dariusz Jemielniak, and some tips were also added by Sara (LLM Class of 2015). From 2015 on, this guide is developed collaboratively with folks from The Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society.
It should be obvious, but just in case: This website is and will remain non-commercial, it does not run ads, and authors do not benefit from any businesses described (full disclosure: GrabHub, and Student Amazon Prime links serve as referrals – with benefits for readers as well).
You can re-use the text from this website under CC-BY-SA 4.0 license (just remember to attribute authorship).
Short bio notes of contributors, who felt like sharing:
I have started this guide basing on my relatively wide experience as a J1 visitor to the US.
My first stay was as a Fulbrighter: 2004-2005 at Cornell University (Ithaca is gorges!). At that time I was frequently visiting Cambridge, MA, initially renting a car, later in a used one I bought. In 2007 I spent half a year at Harvard (only to move for 8 months in 2008 to University of California, Berkeley – driving there on the Northern route was an adventure, but returning on the Southern one was much more fun!). 2011-2012 I went again to Harvard to HLS for a year as a visiting fellow.
I returned to Cambridge for 2015 to Berkman Center for Internet and Society (I’m so excited! this place rocks!), so I’ve wrapped up some of my unsolicited advice for other foreigners coming there – surprisingly, there is not that much useful information online on the topic, and even the orientation materials are not that well developed. Some topics are also omitted, as even reasonably good guides (such as the Harvard one) will obviously not want to give subjective judgments and recommendations.