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4 Reasons to go to college in the south

Universities are great in the north and south alike, but there are some differences between the two. At GradTrain, we support schools from both regions, but want to help to point out the comparisons between the two to help you make the best decision you can. Here is a list we comprised of some of the most attractive aspects of attending a southern college.

The Weather

The weather at your university will make a difference to your experience, whether you realize it or not. If you go to school in the southern United States, you will experience a warm, sunny climate most of the year. Near the middle of the country, winters can be cool, but they will be short and mild. From there, the further south you go, the longer it stays hot, making your year a constant summer. Houston weather and Phoenix weather, for example, are much warmer than the weather in NYC or Washington DC. This can be a huge benefit, allowing you to have nice walks to classes, hang outside with your friends, and have outdoor parties.

The Social Scene
Because of the nicer climate, the social life at southern colleges can also be more active. During the winter at northern universities, parties can seem to stop altogether due to the snow and cold, and if they do exist, they are normally smaller house parties. In the south however, there is no seasonal problem. Therefore, the parties are big and outdoors all year long. This creates a happy, carefree atmosphere that might be for you.

Happier Local Area
There have been studies done that prove that living in warmer areas simply create a happier culture. Long, cold winters filled with grey skies and long nights can create seasonal depression, while bright blue skies and a blazing sun have a tendency to make people smile more. This can be super helpful at your university during stressful times, allowing you instant relief by stepping outside and being surrounded by happy faces and a beautiful day.

Greek Life
Another aspect of the south that stands out above the north in general is the prominence of Greek life. Of course, there are universities in the north that have a heavy emphasis on fraternities and sororities, but in general, these organizations have a larger presence at southern schools. If you are interested in becoming part of a very close group of people, this could be the thing for you. Another bonus about greek life is that you can typically get a higher salary if you were a member because of the connections you will make.

For any other questions you have, pertaining to choosing the right college or anything else related to your secondary education, check out

5 best methods of moving out of your dorm

Everyone hates to admit it, but while you’re cramming to study for final exams, you also need to think about packing up your dorm room and all the contents of your university home. The one thing people hate more than finals stress is having to empty out the place you’ve called home for an entire year, and leaving it in an organized fashion to assist in your future move-ins. Luckily, this article contains some helpful moving tips for you to incorporate into your packing habits.

1. Start as early as possible
Although preparing for final exams is most peoples’ first priority, the last thing you want is to take your last final and only have a few hours to pack before you leave for good. Starting early resolves this issue because you divide your packing into manageable chunks. For instance, you could start by packing all of your cold-weather clothes and jackets because, odds are, you won’t be wearing them in spring time. 

2. Use boxes, bins, or vacuum sealed bags
These containers will be your best friend during packing sessions. They keep all of your items in a confined, clean space, and, importantly, they are able to be labeled so you can know exactly where you left everything upon your return. 

3. Storage units are your friend
If you plan on packing up your entire dorm into luggage to return home with, you are going to be slammed with heavy overage fees by airlines, and the bags will take over the majority of your garage or guest bedroom back home. Relieve yourself of this burden by paying a small fee to keep your belongings in a storage locker. Near every college campus you’ll be able to find several moving companies that will hold your belongings, and some offer extra services, such as pickup and dropoff, free of any additional charge. 

4. Purge the things you don’t really need
During the year it is a fact that college students accumulate a bunch of new stuff. Ranging from free T-shirts to room decor, these additions will cause you to have more belongings when you leave school than when you entered. The options here are clear, you can keep the new items that you’ve acquired, but it might require you to get rid of the items you don’t really use anymore. Or, that free hat that you got at a fair, that you will probably never wear again, can meet its new home. The trash can. 

5. Be a thorough cleaner
Last, but not least, take a good look around your home and try your best to remove any filth that remains. Use some glass cleaner and a rag to clean up areas that tend to accumulate dirt and dust over the course of the year, like the bathroom or kitchen areas. Check your closets, underneath the bed, and in between couch cushions as these areas tend to be traps for objects and dust. By doing this, you not only leave on good terms with your soon-to-be former landlord, but you’ll also make sure that you don’t leave anything behind!

For any more tips on how to solve your college problems, or make the most out of your experience studying abroad, head to

It’s graduation season – time to look within and beyond

As the end of the semester brings warm weather and lesser motivation to study for exams, it seems that everyone in college is ready to burst. 9 consecutive months of studying culminate into this frenzy, where students simultaneously work diligently and savor the sunshine with their friends one last time before summer break. However, there is also a strong feeling of sentimentality in the air, as seniors wrap up their university careers with one last hurrah: Graduation.

No one wants to admit that their undergraduate stay is over, hiding behind the gaping smiles and warm family embraces. But graduation creates this unique nostalgia – where students are proud of their incredible accomplishments and also apprehensive of what obstacles lay ahead of them in the future. Not to worry. Once you toss that graduation cap up in the air, the world will not begin to crumble before your eyes. In fact, recent grads often take their senior summer as an opportunity to celebrate their last bit of freedom before entering the working world, viewing it as a holiday for their achievements. Whether you have a full-time job waiting for you next September or are still deciding your next steps, this time period gives you a great chance to look back on your personal growth in college and look forward to what your future interests might look like.


Four years of college can fly by, and after all the final exams and counselling sessions are finally complete, it is good to pause and think about the memories, skills, and relationships that you’ve formed. Over the course of this self-analysis, you will learn a lot about yourself that will not only change the way you view yourself, but hopefully bring you great pride and closure as well, knowing that you gave your best effort.

Forward-Thinking: After you’ve looked back, you are now ready to look ahead. You might have a reflex to find a job as quickly as you can, so you do not immediately become unemployed after school, but this reflection period can be a helpful tool for you when taking steps toward your future. Often times people dive into their careers too quickly, without considering other opportunities. Being in the prime of your youth, recent graduates can seize the chance to travel the world or devote time to volunteering, as you are not yet restricted by career requirements, dependent family members, and other factors that reduce the freedom of adults. You could also continue advancing your education by applying to graduate school. If you take the time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and the lessons that you learned from completing college, it can only benefit your future prospects. When you tell the truth to yourself, it guides your future actions to produce more happiness in your life. 

If you’re thinking about attending graduate school, check out GradTrain’s admissions predictor to learn more about how you can be successful. 

Why you should extend your stay after a term abroad

Studying abroad in a foreign country can be an exhausting feat. Not only do you have to learn the challenging concepts taught in your classes, but you also have to adapt to a new culture, people, and environment. It can take awhile for you to feel fully adjusted, and, even then, you might feel pangs of homesickness along the way. However, as you read here, you will see why you should consider extending your stay abroad, before finally returning to your home country.

1. Airfare is expensive

You’ve already spent a large amount of money on your flights overseas, so you should try to see as much as you can while you are living in this side of the world. Rather than paying for flight tickets to study abroad and then having to invest in separate airline tickets for your next trip, you could combine two trips in one, and only need one round trip ticket.

2. You are at your peak
As most students going abroad for a semester are in their 20s, this can be seen as the prime of your youth. You have no children depending on you, no career obligations, and you’re in the best shape of your life. If there was any age where you could withstand long plane rides, late nights of parties, food, and memories, now is the time. 

3. Share experiences with new friends and old
While studying abroad, you will absolutely make new relationships with the native people of that country. Because it is difficult to maintain overseas relationships, due to time differences and varying agendas, this could be the last time you see these people for a long time. You should definitely try to take advantage of the opportunity you have with natives, seeing their homes, cultures, and lifestyles. A great time to do this is when you’ve finished your studies and are on break because you can fully immerse yourself into that way of life, without distractions from schooling. Additionally, it’s likely that at the same time of your abroad term, other friends from your homeland could also be studying abroad. In this case, sharing these experiences can make memories that will last a lifetime and strengthen the bond you share. 

One important consideration for deciding to extend your stay is that you must be eligible, according to your visa status upon entering the country. If you have a F-1 visa, you are eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) Status, which will allow you to stay if you are training in a field directly related to your studies, for up to 12 months. However, if you are studying with a J-1 visa, then you are not eligible for OPT status, so you would be required to get approval from your RO and dean. If that is satisfied, then you can begin paid or unpaid work for up to 18 months in that country. 

If you have any other questions about studying abroad, or want the best tips on travelling during your stay, visit