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An Introduction
to Nashville

From serving as home to the nation’s largest Kurdish population to being named America’s friendliest city for three years in a row, Nashville is a metropolitan place that proudly exudes all of the charm and hospitality one expects from a Southern capital. Nashville has been named America’s friendliest city for three years in a row. It’s full of historic landmarks, hidden gems, and limitless opportunity. You’ll quickly understand by so many students choose to call Music City home.

The city was settled in 1779 and permanently became state capital in 1843. The city proper is 533 square miles with a population of nearly 655,000. Nashville typically enjoys a mild and pleasant climate with only a few days of the year having either very hot or very cold conditions. Most of the city’s rain is confined to the spring months, but a shower throughout the year is not unusual. Fall is a celebrated time throughout Tennessee. Visitors come from all over to see the annual changing of the leaves in mid-October. Nashville really shines throughout the winter. Although the climate is mild, winter temperatures do range from cool to cold. If a snowfall occurs, it is usually in January or February, and is seldom heavy.

People walking with Pancake Pantry sign in background
Hillsboro Village
Front of Belcourt Theatre
The Belcourt Theatre

Major industries include tourism, printing and publishing, technology manufacturing, music production, higher education, finance, insurance, automobile production and health care management. Nashville has been named one of the 15 best U.S. cities for work and family by Fortune magazine, was ranked as the number one most popular U.S. city for corporate relocations by Expansion Management magazine, and was named by Forbes magazine as one of the 25 cities most likely to have the country’s highest job growth over the coming five years.


Navigating the city without a car is easy. The Music City Star Commuter Rail has six stations throughout the city and WeGo Public Transit busses provide service to over 1,500 bus stops. Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, and taxis are all also widely available in the area. If you do have a car, there are nearly 30,000 parking spaces that make driving in the city convenient.

For getting in and out of the city, the award-winning Nashville International Airport provides flights to 75 nonstop markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, London, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

Nashville is this big city, but it can have the college town feel. You can go from the heart of a city to main campus in a 5 minute walk.

Vanderbilt Student


Nashville is made up of several neighborhoods, each with their own identity. The Vanderbilt campus is located approximately 1.5 miles southwest of downtown in the West End neighborhood of midtown Nashville.