Advantages to Living the College Life in a Big City

By Laura Iglehart, Student at Georgetown University

While there are many advantages of attending college in a small town, there are just as many (if not more!) perks of studying and living in a major city.

Having lived in Washington, D.C., for close to two years, I have been able to experience all of the exciting benefits that come with city life.

Here are just a few of the perks I’ve enjoyed!

Abounding Free Activities

Tourism is a major incentive many cities have in creating and supporting free museums, monuments, theatrical performances, parks, etc. In D.C., for example, almost every museum, including all of the Smithsonian museums, is funded by taxpayers. Private collections and museums charge admission but can be relatively affordable with a student discount. Visiting monuments is also free of charge, as is touring the White House and Capitol Hill. As is the case in New York, many theaters have free performances on a daily or weekly basis. National parks, zoos and cemeteries are also free.

Playing Tourist

On occasion, I have been known to ditch my identity as a student for that of a tourist. With so many visitors, there is always an opportunity to hop on guided Segway, museum, boat or bus tour. Every time, I learn something new about this great city I am fortunate enough to live in.

Unique Experiences

I love the charm of a small college town, but presidential inaugurations, grocery shopping with politicians and celebrities, Avicii concerts, gay marriage protests and music festivals just aren’t going to happen those settings. In what other environment could you bump into Oprah at lunch and run by the White House in the same day? (Yes, I have done both of those things!)

Professional Opportunities

Ladies, many of the companies that we want or will work for — whether they are in the government, finance or fashion sectors — are all based in major cities (think D.C., New York, L.A.). Because of this, college students who live in these cities have priority to access to internships and networking opportunities and are among the first to get jobs at the companies. Trust me, there are worse things in the world than rushing from class to an internship at the National Treasury.


Whether they are residents, students, federal employees/politicians, professors or tourists, I have met many diverse people who I probably could not have met in any other setting. Many of my professors also sit on federal committees or run their own consulting firms on the side and are very well connected within the city. Rarely will you find these kind of qualified and active professors in smaller towns.

Image courtesy of CNaene /

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