Well, the college/university system in America seems a whole lot more complicated than the one here. Some similarities, but sounds like a lot of differences too. So much more straightforward over here.
I went to Sydney Uni. One big main campus in the middle(ish) of Sydney, and several specialised campuses located elsewhere in or outside of the city. I was based on the main campus, which had different buildings and areas dedicated to the different 'schools' and faculties (eg arts faculty, science faculty). First year classes tended to be big (well, for me anyway, first year science students all had to do the same basic courses), then got smaller in the next couple of years as people took more and more specialised classes.
I think most uni's hate cars - certainly all city-based campuses I've been to have few and expensive parking areas. Wasn't a problem for me, I lived on campus. Well actually, it wouldn't have been a problem for me anyway 'coz I didn't have a car then and I still refuse to drive in Sydney traffic, so if I'd lived off campus I would have had to use public transport - which was one reason why I chose to live on campus. City people don't seem to understand how absolutely terrifying public transport is when you're not used to it. It's scary, it really is, but you say to someone you're afraid of the buses or trains and they look at you like you're strange.
And yay! for scoring a job that allows you to work on the comic, that was a stroke of luck
As for finding chicken wire, good luck. My sister has a similar problem, she's studying fashion design and so needs to buy all sorts of things all the time (including stuff you wouldn't think a fashion student would need), and she has a hell of a time getting stuff. I think that 'being unable to find the store the teacher recommended' is a common occurence, maybe they do it on purpose?
Eh-heh, long self-involved post. Sorry.