I am an international grad student in a middle-tier mathematics PhD program in the USA. I am still in my first year. Soon after joining the program I realized there is no active faculty who works close to my interest. Also I don't like the city, and one of the reasons is there is repeated incidents of crime nearby
Now I know it does not make a good impression to change PhD programs but I don't want to stay in this place for obvious safety reasons. So I want to apply to other PhD programs in the next cycle. I have good relationships with my professors and I don't want to make the impression that I am taking advantage of the program.
As I need recommendation from my current program to reapply, can anyone suggest what should I do in the meantime to make my profile stronger? Also should I tell my letter writers now that I intend to leave?