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Is It Frivolous to Choose a School Because of Its Location?

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Location Location Location!

Location is the decisive factor when someone goes on holiday or summer camp. It is clear why a vacation in a place like New York City would be different than a place like a mountain cabin resort in Montana. Likewise, a summer in Paris would be different than a summer in Hawaii. Clearly, location is essential in setting a vacation's tone, pace, amenities, and quality.

However, when people pick universities, asking about location, access to recreational areas like the beach or the mountains, or other amenities such as dorm room decorations and gym facilities seems naïve and frivolous.

Still, few have asked the question directly: is it a bad idea to consider the location of a univers

ity as a prime decision-maker?

I believe that looking at universities based on location can be a very reasonable way for a student to be at their best.

Here are some reasons:

By Simple Coincidence, Top-Ranked Locations of Universities Also Have Excellent Schools California, Australia, France, New Zealand, and cities like Cape Town (South Africa) are known for their laid-back culture, plenty of sunshine, above-average economies, high quality of life, and vibrant, optimistic personalities. While a person's location does not determine their entire career, being in a good person-environment fit can do wonders for academics and careers.

As it stands, these top sunny locations also have excellent school systems and individual schools. The University of California, Stanford, Santa Clara University, University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, University of San Diego, Group of Eight Australia Universities, Sorbonne, University of Paris, University of Otago, University of Cape Town, and dozens of more universities are known for excellent academics amongst excellent locations.

Beautiful Campuses Often Have Excellent Campus Cultures

A simple web search will show that campuses in a great location have well-above-average academics and sometimes even superb levels of academics, campus culture, and general experience.

The University of Hawaii, Florida State University, and the University of California- Santa Barbara are some of the many party schools near the beach. Still, anyone familiar with analyzing academic records can also praise them for excellent academics without being overly competitive. Even U.C.S.B.'s nearby community college, Santa Barbara City College, has a very high transfer rate to every University of California school, each of which has become highly selective.

Many of the world's oldest, most prestigious, and top-ranked universities in continental Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, and the United States also have some of the most well-renowned architecture because monarchs and influential people have supported these universities for centuries.

Cities Have Influence

Among ratings of global cities, New York and London continuously tie for the role of Alpha++. These cities lead in business, politics, education, media, and culture. Depending on the criteria analyzed, other well-known cities like Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Washington DC, and Br

ussels are not far behind.

In the case of getting that internship or first job in politics or finance, simply being at any school in Washington DC, New York City, or London may prove more opportunities than going to a higher-ranked school well outside these areas. For those with few resources to travel constantly for job interviews or other logistical reasons, any school in a big city such as London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Diego, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc., may be a great advantage in moving forward.

Additionally, as we all know, many big cities have venues and experiences that are educational in themselves. A student could easily absorb New York's multi-ethnic neighborhoods with 100+ languages, cultures, cuisines, great art, music, and cultural museums in big cities, many festivals, and lively fairs.

How Does Location Fit Into Choosing a College?

College is not only a way to enhance prestige but also a living experience. Living well can mean studying well and doing well in a career. Beyond academic skills, students are also learning how to start a new life academically and socially. Certainly, a person will enjoy assimilating to a location and population that they find enjoyable.

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