So, you've used a college search engine to narrow down a list of potential schools. You may find that, for the majors you want to study, urban universities offer the degree program you want. But what if you've come up with a list of schools way out in the countryside? How does life, and the kinds of majors taught at these universities, differ from city schools?
One of the most obvious differences between urban and rural universities is the access to majors that focus on nature and the environment. Schools in cities frequently do not offer the same access to rural fieldwork opportunities in the way that rural campuses can. If you're considering a degree in majors such as agriculture, sustainability and environmental conservation, a rural college will probably be a much better fit.
Another aspect of rural colleges that differs from some urban universities is the sense of community. Schools in more isolated rural areas are often self-contained, as many of the clubs and extracurricular activities organized by the school are held on campus. This, combined with the close-knit sense of community, which is often an integral part of rural life, can help you feel like you belong to a part of something in a way that might be difficult in a big city.
One benefit of living and studying in the countryside is the fact that, on the whole, crime rates are lower. This can often mean that people feel safer. That's not to say that you shouldn't take care of your belongings if you attend a rural school – think more along the lines of the way people treat each other.
One downside to studying at a rural university is that getting around can be harder. In a city, you can hop on a bus or take the subway, but out in the countryside, you'll need your own transportation. If you're considering attending a rural college, make sure to take this extra expense into account when you're planning your finances. On the other hand, owning your own car can be very liberating, and who wouldn't want to drive through rolling hills and farm country on their way to class?
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