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Old 01-31-2011, 02:33 AM
 
30 posts, read 54,269 times
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Hi I may be attending Oregon State University through exchange during the fall. I am from Australia and have really been searching for the most quintessential college town of the US. My first preference is Chapel Hill at North Carolina but it looks bleak I'll get into it so Oregon State looks more likely. Can anybody tell me something about the state of Oregon, the city of Corvallis and about the college town itself? Music, outdoor activity and social environment are really high importance to me. Cheers

PS I will be doing an Environmental Education Masters degree. Thanks
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:03 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 13,333,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ando300 View Post
Hi I may be attending Oregon State University through exchange during the fall. I am from Australia and have really been searching for the most quintessential college town of the US. My first preference is Chapel Hill at North Carolina but it looks bleak I'll get into it so Oregon State looks more likely. Can anybody tell me something about the state of Oregon, the city of Corvallis and about the college town itself? Music, outdoor activity and social environment are really high importance to me. Cheers

PS I will be doing an Environmental Education Masters degree. Thanks
Well, Corvallis definitely fits as a college town in the smaller town sense. Many US states set up 'land grant' schools intended to educate in agriculture, vocations and engineering, and it proved to be one of the smartest and most forward-thinking actions in the history of a nation with a whole lot of dumb, shortsighted national decisions. The result was schools like OSU. Most are in smaller towns, some existing almost solely due to the university's presence. As such, when you attend, you are immersed in a pure college town experience. While I think College Station, TX, Pullman, WA, Fort Collins, CO, Stillwater, OK, Logan, UT and many other such towns would bicker over the honor of the most quintessential college town, in fact all are representative. The tradeoff is that most don't have law, dentistry, medicine, or much of a liberal arts focus.

Oregon is a fairly maverick, environmentalist granola state with significant natural beauty and more climatic diversity than most imagine (I live 40 km from the northeastern border, a radically different climate from Corvallis). Corvallis being a small town, you wouldn't find in abundance the sorts of diverse/debauched entertainments readily available in Portland or Seattle, but you'd find those that are tailored to college students' interests. Outdoor activity in the region is unexcelled, given the short distances to mountains, the sea, fishing, hunting, hiking, rock and mountain climbing, and so on. I don't know about the music part, but as a social environment, I've been to Corvallis and it's pretty friendly. From what you describe it sounds like you'd enjoy being a Beaver.

As to attitudes in Oregon about environmental education, let me describe a situation some years back when California (again) wanted an aqueduct to transport Columbia River water down to LA. Proposing this to Oregonians is like proposing turning Mt. Hood into a nuclear waste repository and mine tailings dump, especially when the California statement was "But there are millions and millions of gallons going into the sea, and it's all being wasted! We're only asking for 3 million gallons!" Perfect illustration of why Oregon has a history of general hostility to California (Southern in particular); if they think of water entering the ocean as 'wasted' (since they can't use it for swimming pools and hot tubs), that says it all.

Myself, I was as disgusted as the Oregonians, but I didn't worry, because I knew there was no hope. Go ahead and try building such an aqueduct, and watch it never deliver a quart of water. Oregonians would see to that--some, if need be, with judiciously placed sabotage. There is a bit of a survivalist, hunker-down, self-sufficient mentality sprinkled about Oregon. You wouldn't find it oppressive, I don't think, but you'd feel it in places. The state doesn't care a whole lot what the rest of the nation makes of it--it charts its course, and if people don't like that course, well, no one forces anyone into Oregon at shotgun-point. In Australian terms, it would more or less politely invite them to bugger off.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:57 AM
 
48 posts, read 170,723 times
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Default Corvallis / OSU

I went to OSU and loved the school and Corvallis! OSU sounds like a good fit for your major, and the area is beautiful. Corvallis is a liberal town that values education, community over commerce, and has great events. There are outdoor farmers markets that are great, community events such as Da Vinci Days, and of course there are tons of major sporting events, as the college is in the highest division for all athletics. The student facilities are fantastic, such as the award winning library, and the excellent, new student recreation facility. There are a lot of dormitories on campus, plus plenty of student housing off campus ranging from co ops to condos. Corvallis is also within an hour or two of great beaches, mountains (including many dramatic volcanoes), forests, deserts and Portland. Summers are sunny and dry, fall through spring is usually overcast and rainy.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask!
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
15,296 posts, read 15,359,962 times
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17,000 students in a small town. There's not much in Corvallis that is not university related. I don't know about quintessential, but you can certainly have a lot of fun there. People will love your Aussie accent. Try not to lose it. Speaking of quintessential, you will run across an Oregon brew pub every time you turn around. I have been told Australians like their beer. So do Oregonians.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:12 AM
 
48 posts, read 170,723 times
Reputation: 88
Default Corvallis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
17,000 students in a small town. There's not much in Corvallis that is not university related. I don't know about quintessential, but you can certainly have a lot of fun there. People will love your Aussie accent. Try not to lose it. Speaking of quintessential, you will run across an Oregon brew pub every time you turn around. I have been told Australians like their beer. So do Oregonians.
The student population at OSU is 23,761 this year.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,839 posts, read 18,635,402 times
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And Eugene isn't far away for more music and theater offerings.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:26 PM
 
5,766 posts, read 10,933,391 times
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Corvallis is not a stereotypical "college party town" of the type that the American media tends to depict in movies... so, if you are searching for that in particular, you might be a bit disillusioned. But it is a nice little town in its own regard.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,986 posts, read 12,706,911 times
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If you are not locked into Oregon State, you might also consider Southern Oregon University. It is in Ashland, which is a small college town at the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, a world class area, with a local ski resort, great hiking,etc. I work with several SOU graduate students in Environmental Education, and I think it is a great program. But the university is not in the same league as Chapel Hill or OSU. Personal message me if you want more info.
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