Like most big cities, Miami has areas that are very cultural, and visiting these areas might feel like stepping into another world. Instead of Chinatown, Miami has Little Havana, the world's largest collection of Cubans outside of Cuba. The huge Hispanic population in Miami is not limited to one area. You'll overhear conversations spoken in Spanish almost everywhere in the city, and sometimes the accents are hard to understand and you end up with totally preposterous things in your McDonald's bag after an unsuccessful trip to the drive-thru. Most students get accustomed to Miami's Hispanic heritage pretty quickly and take advantage of the great atmosphere of Calle Ocho, the street that runs through the heart of Little Havana.
Miami has so many different ethnicities represented that students coming from non-diverse backgrounds may feel uncomfortable at first. As the numbers prove, only half of the students in most classes will be white. This is a great experience for students of any ethnicity. It basically forces you to understand different cultures and people from various backgrounds. It's especially interesting to hear what students from other countries write in English class when culture plays a major part. There are also various religions represented. Christian clubs are popular, as are other religious organizations like Hillel. Homosexual students will also feel right at home, especially in South Beach, a hotspot for gay culture. Don't come to Miami expecting to be surrounded by the same people you would at a school in Iowa. UM is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and some students find this to be the best thing about life in Miami.