Nov 1, 2017

Which one to choose: studying in a big city or a small city?

Overcrowded avenues or quite streets? Large skyscrapers or beautiful landscapes? Traffic jams or unfilled roads? Public transport or by bike? Have you ever struggled with the choice of wheter you want to study in a small or a big city? I chose to study in a small city, but recently I did my exchange programme in a big city. Since I have experienced both, I would like to share the plusses and disadvantages of small and big cities with you! 

Firstly, I started studying at HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. And then, during my third year, I went to Vienna in Austria to do the minor in an exchange programme. There i saw a big difference between the two cities. Therefore, i pointed out the six main differences between small and big cities. Read this blog and decide where you would like to study!  

1. Accessibility


Obviously, accessibility is one of the most pronounced disparities between big and small cities. Imagine, taking a subway to school, for example, in Seoul, spending around one hour (or even more) in an overcrowded train where you cannot even move a hand to take your phone from a pocket and check the Instagram stories. Or you could ride a bike to the university, which will take you about ten minutes, so that you could sleep longer if you have a class at 9 am. You can also take a walk if it is sunny. Just go by foot and breathe some fresh air after partying in the club last night. Isn’t it amazing?


2.  People


It would be wrong not to mention the difference between inhabitants of big cities and small towns. I found people in small cities more friendly. Let me give you a real example from my life. While I was doing an exchange programme in Vienna, i took the subway back home from the gym on a rainy day. Because of the rain, the escalator was very slippery and i fell down. Everyone around me noticed, but no one helped. My first thoughts were: ”In Vlissingen half of the city would come and proposed their help already”. In general, people’s attitude to you and your opinion to them is different in small cities. This makes you feel safer.

3.  Entertainment


Of course, it is a fact that there are much more activities you can do in big cities during your free time. There are more cultural places, restaurants, parks, clubs, cinemas and other places to visit. However, the advantage of Vlissingen in this case, lies in the fact that everything you need is in the city. Cafes, pubs, big cinema, shopping centre, supermarkets, clubs, museums and street entertainment. I never felt i was missing out. 

4. Tranquility


What can be better than going for a walk on the coast to clear your minds? I don’t know a better place than the sea in this option. Luckily, my university is to be found close to the coast. It is hardly possible to find a peaceful environment in big cities. In smaller cities you find more quiet parks, remoted beaches or wild forrest.

Viktorija Balodis at Vlissingen Boulevard.jpg 

This is me at the Vlissingen boulevard


5. Safety


Open the local newspaper and check the crime sector. You can see that most cases are happening in large cities. Obviously, onsets are happening everywhere, but statistics show small cities have less crime compared to bigger cities.  I feel safe in Vlissingen, because it is a peaceful and calm town and the government does everything to provide their citizens with high security level.

6. Price

Let’s move on to the most important point for students- the PRICE. Prices might dramatically differ in big and small cities. Especially in the capitals you have to be careful when going shopping in the main center. Usually the prices in smaller towns are lower, which is definitely better for the student’s budget.

These were the six biggest differences between small and big cities that in my mind are the most important for making the right choice of where to study. If you are still reading this blog, let me just tell you my personal opinion. Personally, I chose Vlissingen because of a cozy environment, accessibility and better communication. It feels so comfortable to live there. You know about every party and event happening in the town.  You can easily go and meet with your friends. The university is in 10 minutes walking distance. All in all, you choose where to live and you should listen to your heart. These were just some tips that hopefully helped you to make the right decision!

Are you thinking of stuyding in Holland? Get to know the 10 things you need to know about stuyding in the Netherlands! 

10 things you should know about studying in Holland