Why Some Prefer to Study in Small Town USA Colleges

Posted On: July 6, 2011

Many students; especially from abroad may overlook small colleges in small, rustic and rural towns because it’s not in a big, bustling city. Some colleges try to break the stereotypes that educational and social opportunities only exist in big colleges and universities in big cities.

Throughout these campaigns, the theme is “We are proud to be a small college because here you will sit in smaller classes, get more individual attention from teachers, yet still be well prepared for big and important careers. Here, you will find a good support system and plenty to do on and off campus. Yes, the culture and lifestyle is different than a big city, but that is our unique angle. You will enjoy your time here because everyone knows each other, you will feel at-home and you won’t be lost in the crowd.”

Because of this, there is an assumption that adjustment to living in a small town (even if coming from a big city) is possible and students will get help from staff, faculty and students to make this possible.

I wonder as a cross-cultural coach how specifically is that done? Of course if you need any assistance with that- I am happy to help! 

Cross-Cultural notes:

  • Note that the students highlighted come from different places in US, yet they still face adapting to a new place and a new culture; especially those coming from a big city  to a small, rural town.
  • The students refer to University as a ‘school’. Regardless if the higher educational institute is called a college, university or institute, Americans often call it a ‘school’. (See some more Indian to US English terms here.)
  • The video focuses on the multitude of activities one can do in even in a small town. Being set in the countryside in the mountains gives ample opportunity for outdoor activities. 

Take a look at this video, where I talk about this concept from a small town in NY state.

Thank you for taking the time to do the exercises and watch the video. This will help you better prepare for a successful cross-cultural adjustment in USA. 

Jennifer has worked with students preparing to come to the USprovided pre-departure programs to study abroad programs to India (from the US) and advised academic departments to welcome students from IndiaContact her if you are also looking for some assistance. 



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