You’re about to take the leap into college. You are already considering what major you are interested in. Have you decided if an urban or rural college experience is for you? Both have their benefits; however, there are some major differences when it comes to what each can offer you.
If you’ve grown up living in the in the suburbs or just outside of the city, the idea of taking one of the biggest steps in your life while simultaneously moving to the middle of an urban city can seem like a massive undertaking. As an Oregonian, Portland is not only our largest city, it is a truly vibrant and diverse urban city and it offers a number of excellent in-city colleges. Choosing a Portland university can provide you with a wide range of benefits that a rural college experience can’t.
Enjoy A Wide Range Of Activities
Portland universities are just one part of the bustling cultural center that bring energy to Portland. In addition to all of the activities offered by the university itself, you have the opportunity to explore the vast array of festivals, arts and cultural events, hip streets, musical venues and shops that are only available in a bigger city. Take your study group off campus to a trendy coffee shop, or sit in one of the many amazing inner city parks to read a book.
Live In An Up And Coming Area
As a college student attending a Portland university, you have the option to live in the dorms or to join up with friends and live off-campus. The city is filled with adorable neighborhoods with housing only blocks from trendy streets like Alberta or Division. Choose a home-base that inspires you to go outside and enjoy the city life so close by.
Take Advantage Of Public Transit
Another benefit of attending an in-city college is having access to public transit. Portland has an excellent array of choices, with buses, a light-rail (MAX), a trolley and even a train station nestled in downtown Portland to take you further. Try a ZipCar, take an Uber or Lyft, or rent an orange bikeshare cycle. Having to own a car is definitely an option when you are in Portland and there are many ways to save on that expense and still experience all the city has to offer.
Work Your Way Through College
With the city right outside your doorstep, you have so many opportunities for work available to you. It’s easy to find a day or night job working at a local coffee shop or serving at a restaurant. Often, Portland universities offer night classes and internships to help you find the right balance between work and study.
Start Networking Now
Most graduating students find themselves moving to the city after college to look for networking contacts, internships and opportunities for professional growth in their field. Attending an in-city college gives you access to these people and experiences before you are thrust into the real world. There are countless opportunities to meet new people, attend networking meetings and job fairs, and businesses that inspire you.
Experience New Cultures
Choosing an in-city college often means taking a trip outside of your hometown and exposing yourself to new experiences and cultures. Portland’s neighborhood offer diverse dining options including food carts, distinct entertainment (music, performance), unique architecture, large natural areas, and eclectic boutiques.
Access A Wide Range Of Resources
Public libraries, museums, meetup groups, industry experts, all of these are at your fingertips when you go to an in-city college. You are as limited in your access to professional and academic resources as your imagination is. Have a paper to write on small businesses? Go to a small business meetup group and ask founders and CEOs about their experiences. Attending a Portland university means you are in the middle of one of the fastest growing cities in America, and every day you have access to more and more unique experiences.
Take Classes At Other Universities
Portland has 19 in-city colleges available. Because there is such a large network of colleges available in the city, a lot of Portland universities also allow you to take classes at other colleges. This gives you the chance to expand your experiences even more. Adding new chances to meet people who can help you on your career path, and providing you with different avenues of learning than the Portland university you may have chosen.
Take A Trip To Anywhere
The convenience of having an international airport right in the city opens your Portland college experience up even more. Take a trip to a new place on your spring break. Explore the world and get new experiences from different cultures.
There are countless benefits to attending an in-city college. From having a diverse cultural exposure, to the benefit of experiencing a wide range of social and career building activities, you are sure to find growth and surprises during your time in college.