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What's life like in Jacksonville, Florida?

Be engaged and get involved

There are many student groups, special interest groups, and activities on campus where you can get involved. Participating in social activities is a great way to get support from your peers, meet new people, and expand your horizon beyond medicine and science.

Student groups

Mayo Clinic staff with #WeAreMayoClinic sign

Student groups on campus are student-led and supported by faculty members and staff. Everyone is welcome — and there is no shortage of variety. Find groups related to professional associations, special interests, or social activities.

While specific organizations vary by school, below is a sampling that represents the wide variety of options. If you don’t see what you like, start something new! We have resources for that too.

  • Graduate Student Association
  • Interest groups in most every specialty
  • Journal club
  • Mayo Fellows Association
  • Mentorship Families Program

Student activities

Mayo Clinic runners in Donna marathon

We want to make sure you get plugged into the events and activities happening around campus. While specific events vary by school and program, there are a few types of activities that learners look forward to every year:

  • First Tuesday Concert Series
  • Graduate Student Association social events
  • Leisure and lifestyle activities programs
  • Mayo Fellows Association social events
  • Various lectures, symposia and seminar series on a variety of topics

Volunteer opportunities

Mayo Clinic staff volunteering at food shelf

We encourage our learners to volunteer their time to enhance the community. Students and trainees at Mayo Clinic are passionate about the community and making a difference. Learn more about some of the popular options among our students:


Explore a variety of local resources to get a better idea of everything that Jacksonville, Florida, has to offer.

Housing resources

Jacksonville has many housing options, including single-family homes, townhomes, and apartment rentals. Whether you want to rent or buy, there are many types of homes and neighborhoods to fit your lifestyle.

ResourceApartmentsHomes for saleHomes for rent X   X
Apartment Finder X    
Apartment Guide X    
Century 21   X  
HotPads X X X X X X
Trulia X X X
Zillow X X X

These resources may help you find housing options near campus. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science does not endorse any of these resources and provides them for informational purposes only.

Community resources

We've pulled together some local resources you might find helpful, from finding a place to get a haircut or figuring out how to get a library card.

Parent and family resources

Well-being resources

We care about each learner’s overall well-being. On and off campus, you’ll have access to resources to maintain your health and wellness. During your training, we support your work-life balance in order to instill the lasting skill of resilience.

  • Access to academic advisers and mental health clinicians
  • Primary care appointments
  • Fitness club discounts
  • Counseling services
  • Stress Management And Resilience Training (SMART) program
  • Other student services and resources

Food and drink

Group of people eating at Jacksonville restaurant

A diverse culinary landscape

Jacksonville is known for its seafood and southern eats, but the culinary landscape includes many types of cuisines for the city’s diverse population.

Jacksonville prides itself on creative chefs, culinary flavors, and options for nightlife. Stop by one of the city’s many fish camps. Shrimp and grits, and fish tacos, are two signature dishes loved by locals.

Dining options are endless — from quick bites to upscale elegance, you’ll have choices no matter your mood.

Sports and recreation

Jacksonville skateboard park

Above and beyond surf and sand

Recreational opportunities abound in Jacksonville and northeast Florida. While it's true Jacksonville is almost completely surrounded by water, there is so much more to do than swimming and surfing.

In addition to its 22 miles of sparkling beaches, the city’s parks and recreation department maintains acres of nature trails and hundreds of parks and playgrounds, making it the largest urban park system in the U.S. Residents enjoying biking, hiking, and more — all year-round.

The area is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team and minor league clubs in baseball and hockey. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the 50+ golf courses in the area, the Players Championship tournament, and the nearby World Golf Village.

Go off the beaten path and snorkel in the Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring. Get closer to nature at one of the many state parks such as the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve.

Arts and theater

Moran Theater

A bustling arts and culture scene

Jacksonville's heritage lends itself to a wide variety of cultural and historical influences, resulting in a city brimming with creativity.

Intentional about providing cultural events, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the weekly Riverside Arts Market provide great creative outlets. Another way to explore the artistic side of the city is through the Art Walk.

Jacksonville also has 19 museums and galleries to explore. Theater buffs will enjoy the many performances at the Florida Theatre. Audiophiles can catch a performance by the Jacksonville Symphony during its 39-week season or the nationally famous Jacksonville Jazz Festival in downtown Jacksonville.

Events and entertainment

Everbank Field

No shortage of things to do

From nightlife to shopping to festivals and beyond, Jacksonville has plenty of options for filling up your social calendar. 

The city boasts an eclectic nightlife with plenty of entertainment options, including live music, lounges, dining, and bars. (904) Happy Hour and Folio Weekly Magazine are a few resources to help you find things to do on the First Coast.

Shopping enthusiasts will find a wide range of retail options that include trendy upscale boutiques, major department stores, and outlet malls. Beaches Town Center and St. John’s Town Center are just some of the shopping options you’ll have.

Need a weekend away? Jacksonville's geographical location puts it close to many cultural, historic, and entertainment centers in Florida and Georgia, such as elegant Savannah, Georgia; exotic Amelia Island, Florida; and historic St. Augustine, Florida — the oldest city in the U.S.

Just a short drive away in Orlando you'll find Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Legoland, and SeaWorld Orlando. Tampa Bay, home to Busch Gardens, is approximately 3.5 hours from Jacksonville. Six hours away is Miami and seven hours away are the Florida Keys.

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