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Which university campus is right for you: city, suburban, or rural?

The city college campus

Pros: These universities are located in, or around, bustling metropolitan areas, so there is plenty to do. There are many activities to explore, museums or parks to visit, and many places to eat. Public transportation is prevalent, so you don’t have to worry about renting or buying a car. For tips on how to travel throughout each city coast to coast, read more about it here. 

Cons: Although the city campuses have much to offer, many are very expensive and most are private universities, which can mean pricey tuition. For tips on how to budget your expenses while you’re abroad, click here. 

Examples of colleges and universities in the U.S.: The University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois); University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); Barnard College (New York City, New York); University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California); New York University (New York City, New York); Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana); Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts)

The suburban college campus

Pros: If you picture a “college town” typically you’ll envision a suburban college campus. These schools usually have a main strip or two near campus filled with fun places to explore. These can include spots for things like hiking and jogging, or fun dining at local restaurants, cafes or bars. 

Cons: Not everything is in such close proximity as the urban campus, so sometimes renting or buying a car is helpful for getting around. This can be significantly more expensive than taking public transportation or walking from place to place. While suburban colleges offer things to do, they tend to offer less variety than a city does. 

Examples of colleges and universities in the U.S.: University of Virginia (Virginia), Tufts University (Massachusetts), University of Connecticut (Connecticut), University of Maryland-College Park (Maryland), Lafayette College (Pennsylvania), Villanova University (Pennsylvania), Emory University (Georgia), Harvey Mudd College (California), Princeton University (New Jersey), Stanford University (California), University of Michigan (Michigan) 

The rural college campus

Pros: If you’re looking for a quieter place while studying abroad, one with beautiful nature and greenery, then the rural campus is the right choice for you. Whether it’s shopping, hiking, sightseeing, or dining at tasty, local places, the rural campus offers plenty to do. Many colleges like this are smaller, and offer smaller classes so there are more one-on-one opportunities with your peers and professors. 

Cons: Most rural campuses are farther from major cities such as New York City or Boston, so getting internships might not be close by campus. Consider renting or buying a car rather than spending money on public transportation. Also, sports teams and school spirit might not be as recognized, like it is at larger universities. 

Examples of colleges and universities in the U.S.: Hamilton College (New York), Thomas Aquinas College (California), Saint John’s University (Minnesota), Vassar College (New York), Dartmouth College (New Hampshire), St. Olaf College (Minnesota), Colby College (Maine), Amherst College (Massachusetts), Miami University (Ohio), Middlebury College (Vermont) 

For any questions about the best place to study, please visit:


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