When choosing your graduate program, there are many variables to consider. For example, the graduation rates of students, the percentage of those who find jobs after graduation, the length of the program, the funding available for research projects, and the financial aid offered are all important things to consider; however, I also wanted to know what life was like outside of the classroom.
I am always on the lookout for life experiences that will enrich my graduate career…and trust me, Charleston delivers opportunities for an enriched life. Charleston boasts a thriving arts, environmental, culinary, music and festival scene as well as world class beaches only 20 minutes away from downtown. There is truly something for every interest and lifestyle.
As a historic city, there are a plethora of museums, walking tours, carriage rides and art galleries dedicated to commemorating the vibrant history of our city, as well as reminding us that this is a city on the cutting edge of the future. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the College of Charleston School of the Arts, boasts exhibits that are informative and breathtaking. There are many different plantation tours, such as the Charleston Tea Plantation and the Magnolia Plantation, that allow visitors to both glance into the past and the present, seeing how plantations still operate today. And if festivals are your passion, Charleston is home to the Spoleto Festival USA (http://spoletousa.org), the premier performing arts festival in the country, and the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, a nationally acclaimed festival celebrating Charleston’s culinary superiority and renowned culture (http://charlestonwineandfood.com). In addition, Second Sunday on King is a monthly festival celebrating all that historic King Street has to offer in terms of shopping and delicacies that will make your mouth water. The vendors are all local business owners who love showcasing their goods to the many explorers who come calling.
If you’re interested in outdoor activities, Charleston has you covered there too. Due to the temperate climate enjoyed by the Lowcountry year round, many locals are avid outdoor enthusiasts, enjoying various water sports and outdoor activities. In fact, the College of Charleston’s Campus Recreation Services organize weekend sea kayaking, hiking and climbing adventures as well as flag football, kickball and midnight basketball leagues for students (http://cofc.edu). Just ten minutes away is James Island County Park (www.ccprc.com), which offers various outdoor adventure opportunities and owns the state’s tallest outdoor climbing wall.
As much as we love the sunshine, Charlestonians do not just sleep when the sun goes down. There is always something going on for the night owl. Rooftop bars overlook the glowing city, live music floats through the streets from talented local musicians, and nightclubs bounce with opportunities for every price range. Sunset dinner cruises give you a perspective of downtown that can only be experienced from the Charleston Harbor, and shagging on the pier is a fun way to experience a Charleston tradition with a special someone.
The College of Charleston, located right in the middle of it all, gives graduate students the perfect opportunity take in all the city has to offer. So if you’ve been thinking of paying us a visit, I invite you to come on by! I would be happy to show you why Charleston was voted Best City in North America by Travel + Leisure, and why I’m proud to call it home.