In deciding what school to attend in the USA, there are a number of factors to consider, and one of the most important factors is location, location, location. Do you want to be in a city? Do you want to be in a rural area? The west coast? The east coast? Down south?
Before we start breaking down the USA into regions, let’s evaluate the city campus vs. the rural or suburban campus. There are pros and cons to both, so it all depends on what works best for you.
The City Life
Attending college or university in the city will give you the freedom to move around. A lot. Let’s say you attend school in New York City, this will give you opportunities to take weekend trips to Philadelphia or Baltimore. You might even explore as far as Boston.
Maybe you don’t necessarily want to leave your general area and you’d rather explore what your particular city has to offer. That’s okay because cities across the US all have public transportation, which will give you the opportunity to adventure around the place you live. Cities are vibrant, bustling centers of culture and diversity and you’ll have a number of social spaces to experience, whether that be cafes, clubs, live music, or simply taking a nice evening stroll to people-watch.
One of the drawbacks of going to school in a city is that some of the campuses have a tendency to be spread out. This means you may have to hop on a shuttle or take a bus, or, if you prefer, there is always the option to get around via bicycle.
The Rural and Suburban Campus
So maybe you’re not interested in the fast-paced rat race of the urban world. Maybe you like smaller communities of people where you can settle into a slow-paced, relaxing rhythm. Or maybe you want to be closer to nature. If this is the case, you may want to consider a small school in a rural or suburban area.
Small, centralized campuses are much easier to navigate. If need be, you can roll right out of bed and walk to class without fear of being tardy or late. Bicycles and skateboards are always options as well.
The campus life of rural colleges are generally more localized. This means you’ll be spending most of your out-of-class time socializing on campus. The upside to this is that you’ll have opportunities to play an integral part in organizing campus events.
A few other questions to consider:
Do you want to go to a school with an emphasis on Greek life, that is, do you want to join a sorority or fraternity? Do you want to go to a school with an emphasis on sports teams?
All these questions are easily answerable. It’s simply a matter of narrowing down the place you’d like to be, whether that’s urban, suburban, or rural, and matching your interest with the kind of life and experience the college has to offer.
In the next post, we’ll explore studying in the USA by region, and how that may affect the courses you take and what is available for you to learn.