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English Programs for Internationals

Things To Do

There are numerous restaurants, clubs, and stores within walking distance of the USC campus. Take in the sights at a local festival, shop at the weekly market on Main Street, or go learn about US history at the State Museum. There is much for you to do while living in Columbia!

Top Attractions in Columbia:

Entertainment Districts

Five Points

Five Points is an area with many restaurants, shops, and clubs. It is only about a ten-minute walk from the USC campus. Five Points is a favorite entertainment area for USC students. There are often free outdoor concerts at the fountain. Check “EPI News” on the EPI email for announcements.

The Vista

The Vista is an area near the river with many nice restaurants. It is only about a ten-minute walk from the USC campus. The Vista is a favorite entertainment area for young professionals in the Columbia area. The State Museum is also located in the Vista area.

Main Street

Main Street offers many restaurants, bars, and stores. The Columbia Museum of Art is located at the corner of Main and Hampton Streets. Additionally there is the Tapp’s Art Center that offers art shows by different artists. There are also movies shown at the Nickolodeon Theater located at 1607 Main St in the heart of downtown Columbia. Every Saturday morning Main Street hosts the Soda City Market, offering food, handcrafts, and other interesting items for sale. Main Street also offers First Thursdays on Main, a monthly street festival which features music, food, and street exhibits.


Whether you are buying groceries, items for your apartment, or a new outfit, there are many different stores near campus and around Columbia where students can shop.

Convenient stores close to Campus:

  • Bi-Lo - This is a large grocery store/supermarket. There is one located in a large shopping center called Parkland Plaza in Cayce (over the Blossom Street bridge). There is another located at 4464 Divine Street.
  • Publix - This is a large grocery store/supermarket. There are two located near campus. One is located on Rosewood Drive. The other is located in the Vista at 501 Gervais Street.
  • CVS – This is a pharmacy located at the corner of College St. and Assembly St.  It is two blocks from the Horseshoe. You can buy many other items that you need in addition to medicine.
  • Walgreens – This is a pharmacy located at the corner of Blossom St. and Devine St.  It is located in Five Points.
  • Family Dollar - This is a discount store, which has many household items. It is located near the intersection of Pickens Street and Rosewood Drive.
  • Food Lion - This is a grocery store near Five Points on Harden Street that is about four or five blocks to the right of Greene Street. This is a good place to buy food if you don’t have a car and can’t wait until the EPI shopping trips.=

There are five shopping malls in the Columbia area.

For an extensive list of stores, boutiques, and galleries, please visit the following website:


There are hundreds of restaurants, diners, bars, fast food joints, and coffee shops across Columbia. You will find Indian, Thai, Chinese, Tex Mex, Ethiopian, and many more options from which to choose. Many restaurants are located within walking distance of the USC campus.

The Columbia Visitors Bureau has a searchable website listing hundreds of local restaurants:

The Free Times weekly newspaper has the Bites and Sights publication listing many restaurant options. It can be found online at

Eating on campus

Go to to read about the many dining options on campus. There is something for almost every taste.

Supermarkets and International Grocery Stores

Many students want to prepare meals from their home countries. Below are a few local grocery stores that offer international food items:

Oriental Market   1221 Bakersfield Rd Asian
Gourmet Shop 724 Saluda Avenue (5 Points) International
Indian Supermarket 2009 Broad River Rd Indian
Rosewood Market 2803 Rosewood Drive Natural, Health Foods
Hyundai Oriental Grocery 1807 Decker Blvd. Asian
Earth Fare 331 Devine Street Health Food, Vegetarian
Halal International 1601 A Broad River Rd Mediterranean /Middle Eastern 


Columbia has numerous annual festivals and events throughout the year. To learn more about these events, visit the Columbia Visitors Bureau website.

There is also searchable calendar for local events at the CVB website.

The Free Times newspaper has a list of events and activities happening each week.

Free Times also lists music shows around the city.